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Publication numberUS3837692 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateSep 24, 1974
Filing dateJun 7, 1973
Priority dateJun 7, 1973
Publication numberUS 3837692 A, US 3837692A, US-A-3837692, US3837692 A, US3837692A
InventorsG Ayers, G Zinnbauer
Original AssigneeLilly Co Eli
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Safety fastener for container
US 3837692 A
A safety fastener for a two-section container having an integral slide which is selectively engaged with a portion of one or both sections of the container to permit the container to be opened or to be maintained in a locked position. The slide has a resilient portion which upon being depressed permits movement of the slide from a locked position to a free position thereby allowing the container to be opened.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent Ayers et a1.

[4 1 Sept. 24, 1974 SAFETY FASTENER FOR CONTAINER Inventors: Grover W. Ayers, Vinton, Va.;

Gerald B. Zinnbauer, Indianapolis, Ind.

Eli Lilly and Company, Indianapolis, Ind.

Filed: June 7, 1973 Appl. No.: 367,917


US. Cl 292/152, 292/107, 70/63, 292/DIG. 65

Int. Cl. E051) 65/52, E050 19/10 Field of Search 292/106, 107, 150, 152, 292/207, 145, DIG. 50, DIG. 65; 70/63; 220/55 L; 206/15 References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 8/1932 Leberman 292/152 1,878,413 9/1932 Leberman 292/D1G. 50

Primary Examiner-Robert L. Wolfe Attorney, Agent, or Firml-louston L. Swenson; Everet F. Smith [57] ABSTRACT A safety fastener for a two-section container having an integral slide which is selectively engaged with a portion of one or both sections of the container to permit the container to be opened or to be maintained in a locked position. The slide has a resilient portion which upon being depressed permits movement of the slide from a locked position to a free position thereby allowing the container to be opened.

9 Claims, 8 Drawing Figures SAFETY FASTENER FOR CONTAINER BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION For a considerable time efforts have been directed toward the design and efficient production of containers which will have locking or safety devices to deter opening of them by children. In particular, the pharmaceutical industry has had a need for containers that can be readily opened by adults but not opened easily by young children. A great number of designs have evolved which are directed toward providing safety closures for bottles. However there has still been a need for providing a safety closure design that can be used on other types of containers such as conventional plastic boxes having two sections which are normally hinged together for opening.

In the prior art designs have been produced for providing safety fasteners for purses which are hinged. Referring to the design disclosed in US. Pat. No. 1,883,481, Baum, a fastener of a slide concept has been developed for securing one or both sections of a purse. In order to open the purse it is necessary to first depress the slide at one end to disengage it from a complementary section of the purse and then slide it toward one end of the purse, thereby moving it from both portions of the purse to one portion. It is apparent that although a fastening device requiring a number of elements may be suitable for purses it is not acceptable from an economical standpoint for adaptation on millions of inexpensive plastic boxes. Likewise, U.S. Pat. No. 2,006,268, Geiser et al., discloses a multi-piece slide fastener adapted for securing the handles of a purse together. Such slides as shown in the Baum and Geiser et al. patents, in addition to being expensive to produce, are also likely to fail to meet standards established for the pharmaceutical industry in packaging medicaments inasmuch as a child could readily operate these fasteners.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The safety closure of our invention can be molded from inexpensive plastic materials and, due to the integral nature of the safety slide, expenses in assembling the closure to a plastic box are held to a minimum. A conventional two-section container having a lid and base can be adapted by providing a pair of rails that extend from them and which are in alignment when the box is closed. A slide molded from plastic material is engaged on a portion of both of the rails in order to maintain the box in a locked position. This is achieved through the provision of a catch on the slide which can be placed in a caught position with at least one of the rails while the slide is overlapping both of the rails. In this caught position the slide cannot be moved along the rails. The slide has a resilient portion from which the catch depends and upon depressing this portion the catch is disengaged from its caught position, thereby permitting concurrent movement of the slide along the rails to an unlocked position where the slide engages only one of the rails. In this manner the two sections can be displaced from each other and the box opened. By providing sufficient strength in the slide and in particular in its resilient portion it has been determined that children below the age of 6 years old are generally unable to simultaneously depress the slide and move it along the containers rails.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING FIG. 1 is a front view in elevation of a container embodying the safety fastener of this invention;

FIG. 2 is a perspective view of the container in an opened position;

FIG. 3 is a partial top view of the container illustrating its pair of rails prior to attachment of the safety slide;

FIG. 4 is a partial end view in elevation of FIG. 3;

FIGS. 5 and 6 are partial top and end views respectively of a container bearing a safety slide;

FIG. 7 is a partial top view of a container bearing a safety slide positioned in an unlocked relationship therewith; and

FIG. 8 is an enlarged perspective view of the safety slide.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT The two-sectioned container 11 illustrated in the drawing may be formed from a plastic material or any other suitable material that enables the container to maintain rigidity. Thus the illustrated container has been formed from a conventional injection plastic molding technique and is comprised of a lid 13 and a base 14 which may be connected together at their rear by conventional plastic hinges. Although this container is of a rectangular form it will be apparent that it can take on other forms such as an eliptical or circular configuration without departing from the invention herein. With one exception this container may be of a conventional design. It is to be noted that at the front end of the container as shown in the drawing a pair of rails 16 and 17 are provided on the lid and base. The rails are of like configuration with each having a ledge portion 19 and a stepped portion 20. Each rail extends across a predetermined distance of the container whereby the two ledges l9 overlap each other. The height of each of the stepped portions 20 is such that it is flush with the ledge of the opposite container section, thereby causing the two rails to assume an aligned position when the container is closed (FIG. 3 and 4). In the illustrated embodiment the overlapping ledge portions 19 extend a distance such as to nearly abut the stepped portion 20 of the opposite rail in order to provide a surface that is substantially smooth.

Referring to FIGS. 1, 5, 7 and 8 an integral slide is provided for engagement with portions of one or both of the rails 16 and 17. Slide 23 is likewise formed of a plastic material or other suitable material and again can be formed in a single injection molding step. This slide (FIG. 8) comprises a front panel 24 and a pair of end panels 26. Depending from these panels are two pairs of legs 29 with each of these legs being of similar configuration and having a foot 30 extending therefrom (FIG. 8). The length of each of these feet is just slightly less than the depth of the recessed area 32 extending along each side of rails 16 and 17.

Depending from the front panel 24 of the slide are a pair of detents or catches 34 which are positioned intermediate of the end legs 29. As best shown in FIG. 5 these catches are shorter than the legs of the slide. Re-

ferring to FIG. 8 each catch 34 has a foot 35 that extends from it in a right angled fashion similar to feet 30 extending from legs 29. In FIG. 7 slide 23 is in an unlocked position and is consequently shown in a distorted form. This distortion is permitted by the provision of a resilient central portion in panel 24 from which catches 34 depend.

As shown in FIGS. 1 and 3, the overlapped portions 19 of the two rails each has a cutout or recess 38 which is located midway along its length. Each of these cutouts is of a rectangular configuration in order to snugly receive a foot 35 on the slides catch elements 34. In addition to this pair of first cutouts appearing on the overlapping ledges 19 of the two rails two pairs of second cutouts 40 are positioned intermediate the first cutouts and the outer ends of the rails. These cutouts are also of a rectangular configuration for again securely receiving the feet 35 on catches 34. Outer end abutments 42 are provided on the ends of the rails to limit the movement and maintain the slide thereon.

Slide 23 may be formed of a flexible material thereby permitting its legs 29 and catches 34 to flex outwardly temporarily while the slide is being assembled in a straddling position over the rails. When the slide is so positioned it is to be noted that the underneath surface of its front panel 24 is spaced from the rails and is maintained in such a position by the cooperative effect of its end panels 26 and legs and catches with their corresponding feet extending into the recessed surfaces 32 on each rail. It thereby becomes extremely difficult to remove the slide from the rails since there is insufficient space to enable one to easily spread the legs outwardly for disengagement from the rails.

As shown in FIGS. 1 and slide 23 is in a locked position on the container. In this position the slide assumes an unstressed form with its catches 34 having their feet 35 interlocked with the first cutouts 38 on the two rails. Inasmuch as the catches 34 are on shorter length than the legs 29 of the slides the feet 35 are maintained in the cutouts and prevent the slides from moving either to the left or the right.

In order to open the container it is necessary that the slide be moved into a position whereby it engages only one of the two rails and in the particular embodiment is moved to a position where it straddles the stepped portion of a single rail. This may be accomplished with one hand (adult) by gripping the box between the thumb and middle finger with the index finger placed on the front panel 24 of the slide. By pressing the spaced front panel toward the rails the catches 34 are moved inwardly as shown in FIG. 7 and consequently their respective feet are moved out of the first cutouts 38. At this point if pressure is released on the front panel the feet of the catches will resume their interlocked position with the cutouts as shown in FIG. 5. Thus it is apparent that pressure must be maintained on the front panel while simultaneously pushing the slide either to the left or right on the rail. The dotted arrows of FIG. 7 depict the two concurrent forces of depressment and sliding to the right (or left) required to move the slide out of its locked position.

In the illustration of FIG. 7 the slide has been depressed and simultaneously moved toward the right. It has not completed the full distance it is permitted to travel until it reaches the end abutment 42. As the slide of FIG. 7 is moved a slight distance more toward the right the feet 35 of the catches 34 will drop into the second cutouts 40 on a rail. With the slide fully moved toward the right and straddling only stepped portion 20 of a single rail 17 the container is in an unlocked position and may be opened as shown in FIG. 2. It is to be noted that as the slide is moved from its locked position in FIG. 5 to an unlocked position that the feet on the left pair of legs 29 will pass over the first cutouts 38. It may therefore be desirable in order for assured smooth movement that the width of these feet 30 be greater than the width of the first cutouts 38 in order that these feet do not hang up in the cutouts. However, the strained condition of the slide caused by the riding of the shorter catches 34 and their feet (FIG. 7) will normally prevent feet 30 from tending to hang up in cut-outs 38.

With the slide in either a fully extended left or a right unlocked position and gripping only a single rail the method of locking the container is as follows. The lid and bottom are closed and the box is gripped again between the fingers and thumb of the hand with the index finger pressing against the front panel 24 of the slide. As pressure is applied the catches disengage from cutouts on the single rail 17 thereby enabling the slide to be simultaneously moved toward the central or locked position of FIG. 5.During such movement the slide is again in a cocked position as shown in FIG. 7. The shorter catches 34 ride along the rails and further assist in assuring that the feet of legs 29 do not enter a cutout. Thus the catch may be returned to a locked position which comprises straddling the overlapping ledges of the two rails.

Another feature of this safety fastener is that its components on the two box sections are identical. Therefore, if the box has hinges of the ball and socket type, such as in US. Pat. No. 2,570,341, I-Iake, a single mold cavity can be used for both the lid and base sections. To obtain three sizes of boxes which differ in depth, one need only employ two mold cavities of different depths.

I claim:

1. A safety fastener for a two-section container having a lid and base comprising:

a pair of rails extending from said lid and base which are in alignment when said box is closed,

an integral slide selectively engaged with a portion of both of said rails in a locked position of said fastener and with only one of said rails in an unlocked position of said fastener,

said slide in the locked position of said fastener having an intermediate catch in a caught position with at least one of said rails and preventing movement of said slide along said rails,

said intermediate catch depending from a resilient portion of said slide, said resilient portion being spaced from said rails and which upon being depressed releases said catch from its caught position and permits concurrent movement of said slide along said rails.

2. A safety fastener for a two-section box in accordance with claim 1 in which said intermediate catch, in its caught position, has a first detent interlocked with a first cutout in one of said rails.

3. A safety fastener for a two-section box in accordance with claim 2 in which said slide is engaged with said rails by depending legs which grip said rails in a straddling relationship.

4. A safety fastener for a two-section box in accordance with claim 3 in which each of said legs has a foot positioned on the underneath side of said rail for sliding there along.

limiting movement of said slide along said rails.

8. A safety fastener for a two-section box in accordance with claim 1 in which said portion of said rails engaged with said slide in its locked position comprises overlapping ledges of said rails.

9. A safety fastener for a two-section box in accordance with claim 2 in which each of said rails has a second cutout intermediate said first cutout and its outer end adapted to receive said first detent of said slide and secure it in an unlocked position.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US1875037 *Dec 27, 1930Aug 30, 1932Groove Lock Co IncFastening means for bag frames
US1878413 *Oct 31, 1930Sep 20, 1932Groove Lock Co IncFastening device for bags
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4469225 *Dec 9, 1982Sep 4, 1984Sony CorporationTape cassette cases with locking mechanism
US4972690 *Feb 14, 1990Nov 27, 1990Sullivan Daniel J OLocking cassette case
US5351510 *Nov 13, 1992Oct 4, 1994Elsag International B.V.Cover lock for pressure transmitter
US5481889 *Jan 15, 1993Jan 9, 1996Federal-Hoffman, Inc.Mechanical latch system
US5740849 *Aug 8, 1996Apr 21, 1998Tashco Industries, Inc.Multiple mode latch for sliding screen door system
US6561347Oct 25, 2000May 13, 2003Autronic Plastics, Inc.Case and lock with improved disc protection
US6601414 *Jan 17, 2002Aug 5, 2003Kun-Fa ChangAnti-theft compact disk casings
US7140489Mar 26, 2004Nov 28, 2006Autronic Plastics, Inc.Denial system for securing an asset within a container and methods of use
US7194880 *Oct 11, 2002Mar 27, 2007Pietro NecchiAnti-theft case for miscellaneous items, particularly for videocassettes, DVD, compact disks, cassettes tapes and the like
US7257971May 16, 2001Aug 21, 2007Autronics Plastics Inc.Case with internal lock
US7260962Mar 8, 2004Aug 28, 2007Autronics Plastics Inc.Case with internal lock
US7316309 *Feb 5, 2004Jan 8, 2008Black & Decker Inc.Tool container
US8054194Nov 23, 2005Nov 8, 2011Autronic Plastics, Inc.System and method for verifying a security status of a lockable container
US20040154942 *Feb 5, 2004Aug 12, 2004Streich John P.Tool container
US20060005587 *Oct 11, 2002Jan 12, 2006Pietro NecchiAnti-theft case for miscellaneous items, particularly for videocassettes, dvd, compact disks, musicassettes and the like
U.S. Classification292/152, 292/DIG.650, 292/107, 70/63
International ClassificationE05B65/52
Cooperative ClassificationE05B65/5238, Y10S292/65
European ClassificationE05B65/52A1C2