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Publication numberUS3844438 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateOct 29, 1974
Filing dateAug 9, 1973
Priority dateAug 9, 1973
Publication numberUS 3844438 A, US 3844438A, US-A-3844438, US3844438 A, US3844438A
InventorsPierre L, Pierre R
Original AssigneePierre L, Pierre R
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Bottle and cap locking structure
US 3844438 A
Abstract
A plastic bottle cap includes an inner projection which engages against the bottle neck thread when the cap is threaded in position and prevents unthreading of the cap. By applying pressure to a thinned wall portion of the cap, the projection is moved out of the way of the thread so that the cap can then be unthreaded and the bottle opened. The arrangement frustrates the possibility of a child opening the bottle should it contain poisonous medicine.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent St. Pierre et al.

BOTTLE AND CAP LOCKING STRUCTURE Inventors: Robert St. Pierre, 1231 Euclid, Apt.

4, Santa Monica, Calif. 90403; Leo St. Pierre, 248 Barnard, Venice, Calif. 90291 Filed: Aug. 9, 1973 Appl No.: 386,931

US. Cl. 215/221, 215/9 Int. Cl 865d 55/02 Field of Search 215/9, 221, 217, 219, 220,

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS l/1957 Thornton 215/9 3/1958 Martin 7/1968 Szekely 215/221 [111 3,844,438 [4 1 Oct.29, 1974 3,514,003 5/1970 Fitzgerald ..2l5/221 3,610,454 10/1971 Malick ..2l5/9 Primary ExaminerWilliam 1. Price Assistant Examiner-Ro E. Hart Attorney, Agent, or Firm-Pastoriza and Kelly 5 7 ABSTRACT A plastic bottle cap includes an inner projection which engages against the bottle neck thread when the cap is threaded in position and prevents unthreading of the cap. By applying pressure to a thinned wall portion of the cap, the projection is moved out of the way of the thread so that the cap can then be unthreaded and the bottle opened. The arrangement frustrates the possibility of a child opening the bottle should it contain poisonous medicine.

2 Claims, 4 Drawing Figures BOTTLE AND CAP LOCKING STRUCTURE This invention relates to bottle and cap locking structures for inhibiting children from opening the bottle.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION Many different structures have been proposed in the past for locking a cap on a bottle to the extent that a child cannot easily remove the cap. Some of these prior art devices take the form of actual locks with keys or combination type locks. While such systems are effective, they are quite expensive to manufacture and as a consequence, have not gained wide acceptance on the market.

In an effort to simplify the construction, some prior art arrangements provide for thread structures which make it very difficult for a child to unthread the cap since a given amount of torque must be applied to effect the unthreading. However, an adult, if he has sufficient strength can theoretically uncap the bottle. These devices would be effective provided that there is not an abnormally strong child and assuming that aged people or weak adults need not gain access to the bottle. Otherwise, bottles with caps that are difficult to remove in that they require a great deal of strength are somewhat impractical.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE PRESENT INVENTION With the forgoing considerations in mind, the present invention contemplates an improved bottle and cap locking structure which is not only extremely economical to manufacture but in addition does not require a great deal of strength to uncap the bottle and yet a child attempting to remove the cap is normally frustrated.

More particularly, the invention contemplates a bottle having at least one thread on its neck terminating in a portion having a flat end normal to the circumferential direction of the portion. A cap for the bottle has thread means for threadedly engaging with the thread to close the bottle. The cap includes a thinned wall portion over a given circumferential extent, the thinned wall portion including a radial directed projection with a convexly curved end engaging a side of the neck of the bottle, the projection having a circumferentially spaced abutment positioned in opposing abutting relationship to the flat end of the one thread whereby the cap is blocked by the abutment against unthreading from the neck when the cap is threaded completely onto the neck.

With the forgoing arrangement, the cap can easily be threaded onto the neck, the projection and abutment simply riding over the end portion of the last thread and then assuming the abutment relationship so that turning of the cap in a counterclockwise direction is prevented so that the cap cannot be removed.

On the other hand, when it is actually desired to remove the cap, it is only necessary for a person to apply a radial inwardly directed pressure at the thinned wall portion of the cap which serves to rock the projection or cam it in such a manner that the abutment is removed from the flat end of the neck thread so that the cap can then be easily unthreaded in a counterclockwise direction to remove the same.

With respect to the forgoing, the cap is provided with a knurled circumference with only a portion of the knurl being removed to define a smooth area which indicates to an adult the proper point on the cap to apply the radial pressure.

It normally would not occur to a child to exert a radially inwardly directed force on a bottle cap at a specific circumferential point in order to enable him to remove the cap. Rather, he would simply attempt to unthread the same in the usual manner and thereby be completely frustrated.

Since there are no moving parts other than the cap and the bottle itself, there is substantially no increased expense in the manufacture of the structure, there only being required slight modifications of the end of the neck thread and the provision of the projection and abutment in the inside of the cap. When plastic bottles are involved and formed by injection molding, there is only required slight changes in the molds themselves.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS A better understanding of the invention will be had by now referring to a preferred embodiment thereof as illustrated in the accompanying drawings in which:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of the cap and bottle of this invention with the cap shown separated from the bottle;

FIG. 2 is a side elevational view of the bottle with the cap shown in a cross section taken in the direction of the arrows 2-2 of FIG. 1 and also shown in complete threaded position on the bottle;

FIG. 3 is a cross section looking at the underside of the cap when in it's locked position on the bottle taken in the direction of the arrow 3-3 of FIG. 2; and

FIG. 4 is a view similar to FIG. 3 illustrating the manner in which the cap is unlocked to enable it to be removed in accord with the invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT Referring first to FIG. 1, there is shown a bottle 10 which may be formed of plastic and designed to hold medicine such as aspirin or pills of the type to be shielded from children. As shown in the particular example, the bottle 10 includes at least one external thread 11 on its neck portion 12. The thread 11 terminates in a portion having a flat end 13 normal to the circumferential direction of the portion; that is normal to the direction of the arrow 14 of FIG. 1.

Shown separated above the bottle 10 is the bottle cap 15 including internal thread means 16 for threaded engagement with the thread 11 on the bottle neck. The cap 15 may also constitute a plastic molded product.

In accord with an important feature of the present invention, the cap 15 includes a thinned wall portion 17 over a given circumferential extent as indicated by the double headed arrow 18. This thinned wall portion integrally includes a radial directed projection 19 with a convexly curved end portion 20 arranged to engage a side of the neck of the bottle when the cap is threaded on the bottle.

Referring to FIG. 2, the cap 15 is shown completely threaded on the neck of the bottle 10. The projection 19 is shown in cross section in view of the section line 2-2 of FIG. 1 and it will be noted that this projection I includes a circumferentially spaced abutment 21 which extends upwardly in a position in opposing abutting relationship to the flat end 13 of the thread 11.

FlG. 3 illustrates the same position and it will be evident that the cap cannot be unthreaded in view of this abutting relationship.

, lt will be noted in FlG. 3 that the cap itself is knurled about its exterior circumferential portion as at 22, except, for a smooth portion 23 corresponding to part of the thinned wall portion 17. It will also be noted that the convexly curved end of the projection 19 engages the side of the neck 12 of the bottle.

ln order to release the cap as described from its position shown in FlG.s 2 and 3, radial pressure is applied against the thinned wall portion at the smooth area 23 as by a persons finger.

The forgoing can be understood by referring to H0. 4 which shows a person's finger 24 applying radial pressure to the smooth area 23. Because of the provision of the thinned wall portion 17, this portion of the cap is deformed by the pressure, the deformation being transmitted to the projection 19 in such a manner to rock the projection on the convexly curved end 20. The rocking motion is indicated by the small arrow 25 and takes place in a plane normal to the axis A of the bottle neck.

From the forgoing illustration of FIG. 4 it will be evident that the rocking motion removes the abutment 21 from its opposed abutting relationship with the flat end 13 of the thread 11.

After the pressure has been applied and while holding such pressure as described in H0. 4, it is now an easy matter to rotate the cap in a counter-clockwise direction as viewed from the top or in a clock-wise direction as viewed from the bottom and shown in H6. 4 to thereby permit the flat end 13 of the thread to pass under the projection abutment 21. The cap may then simply be unthreaded in the usual manner, the abutment 21 riding on the exterior circumferential portion of the thread 11 as the unthreading takes place. In other words, it is not necessary to maintain the radial pressure on the thinned portion during the complete unthreading but only momentarily to remove the pres ence of the abutment from in front of the flat end of the thread. After a slight turning of the cap has been achieved to permit the flat end to pass under the abutment, the person opening the bottle can then simply easily unthread the cap without having to maintain any pressure at the thinned wall portion.

In reapplying the cap, the cap is simply threaded onto the bottle neck in the usual manner and when the cap has been completely threaded on the bottle, the abutment 21 will snap over the flat end of the neck thread to assume the position illustrated in FIG. 2 and in FIG. 3 thereby locking the cap to the bottle.

From the forgoing description, it will thus be evident that the present invention has provided a vastly improved bottle and cap locking structure. Any child attempting to open the bottle must effect a compound application of force; first, one directed radially inwardly at the precise correct circumferential portion of the cap and secondly a torque tending to unthread the cap. It is unlikely that a child could perceive of removing the cap in this matter without knowing its precise construction.

On the other hand, an adult familiar with the manner in which the cap is secured to thebottle can easily apply the necessary pressure at the proper point and simultaneously effect the initial unthreading of the cap.

In addition to the forgoing advantages, it will be evident that no modification of any extent is required of the bottle neck thread or of the cap structure other than the slight changes to provide the flat end for the neck thread and the projection and abutment arrangement on the inside of the cap. These modifications, as mentioned, can be built directly into the mold so that there is in effect really no increase in expense once the molds have been provided.

The present invention thus provides a bottle and cap locking structure which overcomes disadvantages associated with presently available prior art structures.

What is claimed is:

l. A bottle and cap locking structure comprising, in combination:

a. a bottle having at least one thread on its neck terminating in a portion having a flat end normal to the circuferential direction of said portion;

b. a cap for said bottle having thread means for threaded engagement with said one thread to close said bottle, said cap including a thinned wall portion over a given circumferential extent, said thinned wall portion including a radially directed projection with a convexly curved end portion engaging a side of the neck of said bottle, said projection having a circumferentially spaced abutment positioned in opposed abutting relationship to said flat end of said one thread whereby said cap is blocked by said abutment against unthreading from said neck when said cap is threaded completely onto said neck, and whereby radial pressure against said thinned wall portion rocks said projection on said convexely curved end in a plane normal to the axis of said bottle neck in a manner to move said abutment radially out of abutting relationship with said flat end so that said cap may then be unthreaded.

2. The subject matter of claim 1, in which said cap is externally knurled except for a smooth portion defining the position on the cap against which pressure is to be applied to said thinned wall portion.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2776066 *Aug 20, 1954Jan 1, 1957Thornton Elbert H EClosure for containers
US2827193 *Sep 6, 1955Mar 18, 1958Martin Warren NClosure cap for containers
US3390799 *Apr 7, 1967Jul 2, 1968Szekely GeorgeSecurity-capped containers
US3514003 *Mar 11, 1968May 26, 1970Fitzgerald Millard CSafety bottle cap
US3610454 *Jul 24, 1969Oct 5, 1971Malick Dell MSafety container and closure structures
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4647093 *Nov 27, 1984Mar 3, 1987Palsson Johannes SaemundurSafety latch assembly
US5687863 *Jan 30, 1996Nov 18, 1997Owens-Illinois Closure Inc.Squeeze and turn child resistant package
US5921417 *May 8, 1998Jul 13, 1999Rexam Plastics Inc.Large diameter safety closure
US6053343 *May 14, 1998Apr 25, 2000Kerr Group, Inc.Child-resistant closure and container with tamper indication
US7513384 *Aug 22, 2005Apr 7, 2009M & M Industries, Inc.Open ended container having locking lid
US8286819May 12, 2010Oct 16, 2012Morris Jr Glenn HPail with locking lid
US8839976Jun 14, 2010Sep 23, 2014Glenn H. Morris, Jr.Locking lid container
US9446890 *Aug 30, 2013Sep 20, 2016Glenn H. Morris, Jr.Rectangular pail with locking lid
US20070039964 *Aug 22, 2005Feb 22, 2007Morris Glenn H SrOpen ended container having locking lid
Classifications
U.S. Classification215/221
International ClassificationB65D50/00, B65D50/04
Cooperative ClassificationB65D50/046
European ClassificationB65D50/04F2