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Publication numberUS3851805 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateDec 3, 1974
Filing dateJan 24, 1973
Priority dateJan 24, 1973
Publication numberUS 3851805 A, US 3851805A, US-A-3851805, US3851805 A, US3851805A
InventorsHazard R
Original AssigneePolytop Corp
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Child-resistant closures with limited spout accessibility
US 3851805 A
Abstract
It is known to manufacture dispensing closures which have a cap adapted to be secured to a container and having a spout rotatably mounted on the cap so as to be capable of being rotated when physically engaged between a closed position in which the spout extends horizontally and seals off an opening through the cap and an open position in which the spout extends vertically and is in alignment with the opening. The chances of any such closure being opened by a small child can be materially decreased through the use of side walls on the cap allowing access to only the tip of the spout when the spout is in a closed position and through the use of a horizontally extending wall serving to prevent the tip of the spout from being directly engaged by a finger when the spout is in the closed position. The horizontally extending wall, however, permits the tip of the spout to be engaged by an implement such as a fingernail so that the spout may be rotated to an open position.
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United States Patent 1 [111 3,851,805

Hazard 1 Dec. 3, 1974 CHILD-RESISTANT CLOSURES WITH [57] ABSTRACT LIMITED SPOUT ACCESSIBILITY [75] Inventor: Robert E. Hazard, North Kingstown, RI

[73] Assignee: Polytop Corporation, Slatersville,

[22] Filed: Jan. 24, 1973 [21] Appl. No.: 326,425

[52] US. Cl 222/534, 222/536, 222/538 [51] Int. Cl B65d 25/46, B65d 47/06 [58] Field of Search 222/533, 534, 536, 538, 222/498 [56] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,893,611 7/1959 Akers 222/536 3,255,930 6/1966 Woodward i 222/534 X 3,318,494 5/1967 Porter et al.... 222/536 X 3,718,238 2/1973 Hazard et al. .f. 222/536 Primary Examiner-Robert B. Reeves Assistant Examiner-Frederick R. Handren Attorney, Agent, or FirmEdward.D. OBrian It is known to manufacture dispensing closures which have a cap adapted to be secured to a container and having a spout rotatably mounted on the cap so as to be capable of being rotated when physically engaged between a closed position in which the spout extends horizontally and seals off an opening through the cap and an open position in which the spout extends vertically and is in alignment with the opening. The chances of any such closure being opened by a small child can be materially decreased through the use of side walls on the cap allowing access to only the tip of the spout when the spout is in a closed position and through the use of 'a horizontally extending wall serving to prevent the tip of the spout from being directly engaged by a finger when the spout is in the closed position. The horizontally extending wall, however, permits the tip of the spout to be engaged by an implement such as a fingernail so that the spout may be rotated to an open position.

8 Claims, 8 Drawing Figures BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION The invention set forth in this specification pertains to so-called child-resistant dispensing closures. The term dispensing closure is commonly utilized to designate closures having a cap adapted to be secured to a container in any of a variety of ways and having a spout rotatably mounted on the cap so as to be capable of being rotated between a closed position in which the spout extends vertically and seals off an opening in the cap and an open position in which the spout extends vertically and is in alignment with the opening.

Such dispensing closures may be manufactured in a number of different ways. One dispensing closure structure which is considered to be particularly desirable is set forth in the Wilson et al U.S. Pat. No. 2,793,895. Such closures may, however, be constructed in other manners. It is highly desirable to utilize within them a sealing ring which fits against the spout so that leakage cannot occur between the spout and the cap when the spout is in a closed position. One particularly suitable sealing ring is disclosed in the Akers U.S. Pat. No. 3,495,745.

Dispensing closures are unquestionably highly desirable and utilitarian for a number of types of uses in which they are employed in dispensing liquid or nearly liquid ingredients from various containers. Because of the nature of certain of such ingredients it is currently desired to modify such closures so that they are relatively child-resistant in character. This term childresistant" is a term which is increasingly being utilized in connection with closures to designate closures which are of such a character that they are not apt to be opened by comparatively young children and/or adult individuals of less than normal mental capacity. In the past the term safety closure" was commonly utilized instead of the term child-resistant closure.

Because of the nature of dispensing closures, the industry pertaining to such closures has been faced with a significant problem in modifying known closure structures so. as to make them child-resistant in character. A number of such modifications have been proposed, and in a few cases, such proposals have been more or less accepted or adopted. It is considered, however, that the proposed structures for childresistant closures have all been deficient in any of several different regards.

On occasion, such closures have been too simple for children to open. On occasion, such closures have tended to be so difficult to open that they cannot be effectively used by normal adults. Frequently the structures proposed for such child-resistant closures have been relatively complex and expensive to manufacture. This matter of economics is of critical significance in the dispensing closure industry because millions of such closures are used every month and are discarded after they have been used.

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION From the preceding it will be apparent that there is a need for new and improved child-resistant closures. A broad objective of this invention is to teach the construction of dispensing closures which will fulfill this need. Other objectives of this invention of a related character are to provide childresistant dispensing closures: which are neither easy nor difficult to open; which may be easily and conveniently used as required by adults of normal mental capacity; and which can be economically produced at a comparatively nominal cost.

In accordance with this invention these objectives are achieved in a dispensing closure having a cap adapted to be secured to a container and having a spout rotatably mounted on the cap so as to be capable of being rotated when the spout is physically engaged. between a closed position in which the spout extends horizontally and seals off an opening through the cap and an open position in which the spout extends vertically and is in alignment with the opening by providing the improvement which comprises: two vertically extending walls located on the cap so as to extend vertically along and adjacent to both of the sides of the spout when the spout is in a closed position and a horizontally extending wall located on the cap so as to extend beneath the tip of the spout when the spout is in the closed position.

The vertically extending walls used limit access to the spout when the spout is in the closed position so that only the tip of the spout can be engaged when the spout is in this position to rotate it to an open position. The horizontally extending wall is designed so that the spout may not be directly engaged by a finger applied to the underside of the tip of the spout as in prior dispensing closures in order to rotate the spout from a closed position to an open position.

The horizontally extending wall used, however, is spaced so as to permit an implement such as a fingernail, a knife or the like to be inserted between it and the tip of the spout so as to rotate the spout from such a closed position. Preferably an end wall is provided on the extremity of the horizontally extending wall to further limit the access to the tip of the spout. Preferably detent means are employed so as to hold the spout in the closed position against a minor force such as might be applied to it by a child so as to limit the ability of such a child to rotate the spout to an open position and so as to discourage such rotation.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS The invention is best more fully explained with reference to the accompanying drawings in which:

FIG. 1 is an isometric view of a presently preferred embodiment or form of a dispensing closure in accordance with this invention;

FIG. 2 is a top plan view of the closure shown in FIG.

FIG. 3 is a front elevational view of the closure shown in FIG. 1;

FIG. 4 is a cross-sectional view taken at line 4-4 of FIG. 3;

FIG. 5 is a cross-sectional view taken at line. 5-5 of FIG. 4; I

FIG. 6 is an isometric view of a modified dispensing closure in accordance with this invention;

FIG. 7 is a top plan view of the modified dispensing closure shown in FIG. 6; and

FIG. 8 is a cross-sectional view taken at line 88 of FIG. 7.

The particular closures illustrated in the drawings are two specific structures employing the concepts of this invention defined and summarized by the appended claims forming a part of this disclosure. These concepts may be easily used in other somewhat differently constructed and/or differently appearing dispensing closures through the use or exercise of routine engineering design skill in the dispensing closure industry.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION In the initial figures of the drawings there is shown a dispensing closure in accordance with this invention. This closure includes a cap 12 and a spout 14. Both of these parts are normally formed out of a somewhat resilient material such as polyethylene, polypropylene or the like so that they can be conveniently snapped together in such a manner that the spout 14 rotatably is mounted on the cap 12 through the use of a structure as hereinafter described or a related structure.

The particularly cap 12 illustrated includes a flat disc-like base 16 which is adapted to rest against the top of a container when the closure 10 is used. It also includes a downwardly extending boss 18 located beneath the base 16 which is adapted to project a short distance into such a container. Normally peripheral ridges 20 will be located around the boss 18 so as to make it possible for the closure 10 to be secured to a container in a known manner. A closure such as the closure 10 can, however, be constructed in other manners so that it can be conveniently mounted upon a container in such a way that it cannot be easily removed from the container.

The principal or central part 22 of the cap 12 is located above the base and is shaped so as to include a back wall 24 and parallel side walls 26 which fit together in a generally U-shaped manner so as to define a central cavity 28 and a slot 30 leading from this cavity 28 generally to the periphery of the central part 22. An opening 32 extends from the bottom of the cavity 28 through the cap 12 so as to be in communication with the interior of the boss 18. A sealing ring 34 of a known type is preferably located around this opening 32 so as to extend into the interior of the cavity 28. The side walls 26 preferably include diametrically opposed bearing openings 36 of known design which are connected to the tops of the side walls 26 by sloping slots 38 which are of lesser diameter than the bearing openings 36.

These slots 38 are designed so that aligned trunnions 40 on a generally cylindrical center member 42 forming the base of the spout 14 can be snapped through the slots 38 into the bearing openings 36 in such a manner that the spout 14 is rotatably mounted on the cap 12 in a position in which the center member 42 constantly rests against the sealing ring 34 so as to form a seal with respect to it. When the spout 14 is so held in a closed position it extends as indicated in the initial four figures of the drawings within the slot 30 so that only a small portion of its conical tip 44 extends beyond the side walls 26. In such a closed position the tip 44 of the spout 14 is exposed in such a manner that it can be engaged so that the spout 14 can be rotated to an open position in which it extends vertically with a passage 46 in it in alignment with the opening 32 except the exposed extremity of the tip 44.

Many prior dispensing closures have been constructed in this same general manner so that either the end of the spout or so that an overhanging portion of a spout is exposed to the exterior of such a closure when the spout is in a closed position. Such prior structures have been constructed in this manner so that a finger could be brought up underneath the extremity of such a spout or a portion of the spout to apply leverage in rotating such a spout to an open position. This type of construction has been considered quite desirable inasmuch as it is permitted leverage to be used in facilitating the opening of a dispensing closure of the type indicated. Unfortunately, closures of this type are too easy to open to be considered as child-resistant in character.

In accordance with this invention this disadvantage of prior closures is prevented by locating on the cap 12 a horizontally extending wall 48 so that it extends outwardly from the base 16 a distance which is at least equal to and which is preferably slightly greater than the distance to which the tip 44 of the spout 14 extends beyond a central part 22 of the cap 12. The wall 48 shown is in alignment with the base 18 so as to fit closely adjacent to, but still so as to be spaced a short distance from this tip 44.

By virtue of the use of the wall 48 and the walls 26 a user of the closure 10 cannot directly engage the spout 14 with a finger so as to rotate this spout to an open position but instead must resort to the insertion of an implement between the wall 48 and the tip 44 in order to provide a force to rotate the spout 14 from a closed position as shown. The term implement is used herein in a broad sense so as to include virtually anything smaller than a finger which can be inserted as described. Thus, this term designates such things as a knife, a portion ofa paper clip or even a comparatively elongated fingernail.

Preferably the cap 12 also includes a vertically extending end wall 50 located on the extremity of the wall 48 remote from the central part 22 of the cap 12. This end wall 50 extends upwardly far enough so as to be opposite with and aligned with the tip 44. It will be apparent from the foregoing that the walls 48 and 50 define an upwardly extending passage extending transverseiy of the tip 44 of the spout 14. This construction makes it impossible to insert an instrument as described beneath the tip 44 from opposite this tip 44 so as to rotate the spout 14 to a vertical position. This end wall 50 is, however, spaced from the central part 22 and the side walls 26 so as to permit such an implement to be inserted beneath the tip 44 from a side of this spout 14. Thus one end of the identified passage defined by the walls 48 and 50 is used in opening the spout 14. This is considered to improve the child-resistant opening characteristics of the closure 10.

Such characteristics may also be included by provid ing curved extremities or ends 52 on the side walls 26 opposite the end wall 50. These extremities 52 are designed so as to resiliently engage the conical exterior of the tip 44in such a manner as to serve with this exterior as coacting detent means which will block initial rotation of the spout 14 in a closed position to an open position unless significant force is applied to the tip 44. Such detent means are considered to serve as a deterent to a child attempting to open the closure 10 even if such a child should determine where an implement should be located and applied in order to open this closure 10. Various equivalent detent means may be employed instead of those shown.

In FIGS. 6, 7 and 8 of the drawings there is shown a modified closure of the present invention which is essentially very similar to the closure 10. In the interest of brevity various parts of the closure 100 which are identical or nearly identical to various parts of the closure are not separately described in this specification and are indicated in the drawings and in the remainder of this specification by the numerals previously used to designate such parts preceded by the numeral 1.

In the closure 100 the spout 114 is lengthened so as to extend in a closed position into a notch 154 in the end wall 150 and the side walls 126 are cut back in length a short distance so as to provide an upwardly facing opening 156 between the spout 114 and the wall 148 when the spout 114 is ina closed position. This opening 156 is adapted to receive a pencil tip, a match, toothpick or a similar instrument which can be used in lifting the spout 114 so as to rotate it to an open position.

With the closure 100 the curved extremities 52 previously described are not utilized. Instead it is possible to provide a curved side wall 158 above the notch 154 so as to obtain a coacting detent action with respect to the tip 44 tending to impede rotation of the spout 114 to an open position. Such an action requires that the end wall 150 be somewhat resilient.

From a detailed consideration of the preceding it will be apparent that the invention pertains to a very simple concept of creating a child-resistant closure from a known dispensing closure by essentially adding to such a closure features as described making it relatively difficult to gain access to the spout so as to swing the spout to an open position. This concept is considered to be highly utilitarian in providing effective childresistant closures based upon known closures. In many cases, closures in accordance with this invention can be manufactured using existing molds by modifying these molds to a limited extent. From an economic point of view this factor is considered to be particularly important.

I claim: 1. In a dispensing closure having a cap adapted to be secured to a container and having a spout rotatably mounted on said cap so as to be capable of being rotated about an axis when said spout is physically engaged between a closed position in which said spout extends horizontally and seals off an opening through said cap and an open position in which said spout extends other than horizontally and is in alignment with said opening, the improvement which comprises:

two vertically extending walls located on said cap so as to extend vertically along and adjacent to both of the sides of said spout when said spout is in said closed position, said vertically extending walls surrounding the sides of said spout when said spout is in said closed position so that only the tip of said spout can be engaged to rotate said spout from said closed position to said open position, v

a horizontally extending wall located on said cap so as to extend beneath the tip of said spout when said spout is in said closed position, said horizontally extending wall extending from the central part of said cap beyond the tip of said spout when said spout is in said closed position,

an end wall located on the extremity of said horizon- 6 tally extending wall remote from the central part of said cap and extending upwardly from said horizontally extending wall so as to be aligned with the tip of said spout when said spout is in said closed position, said horizontally extending wall and said end wall being located so as to cooperate to define a passage extending transversely of the tip of said spout, at least one end of said passage being open to provide access to an under portion of said tip of said spout when said spout is in said closed position, said vertically and horizontally extending walls and said end wall serving to prevent said spout from being directly engaged by a finger when it is in said closed position so that said spout cannot be rotated from said closed position to said open position by a finger but serving to permit an under portion of said tip of said spout to be engaged by an extending implement inserted through an end of said passage so that a force can be applied beneath said tip when said spout is in said closed position to rotate said spout to said open position. 2. A dispensing closure as claimed in claim 1 wherein:

said end wall is spaced from said tip of said spout when said spout is in said closed position. 3. A dispensing closure as claimed in claim 1 wherein:

said end wall has a notch formed therein, and said tip of said spout fits within said notch when said spout is in said closed position. 4. A dispensing closure as claimed in claim 1 including:

interengaging detent means on said spout and said cap for holding said spout in said closed position against undesired rotation to said open position. 5. In a dispensing closure having a cap adapted to be secured to a container and having a spout rotatably mounted on said cap so as to be capable of being rotated about an axiswhen said spout is physically engaged between a closed position in which said spout extends horizontally and seals off an opening through said cap and an open position in which said spout extends vertically and is in alignment with said opening, the improvement which comprises:

two vertically extending walls located on said cap so as to extend vertically along and adjacent to both of the sides of said spout when said spout is in said closed position, said vertically extending walls surrounding the sides of said spout when said spout is in said closed position so that only said tip of said spout can be engaged to rotate said spout from said closed position to said open position,

a horizontally extending wall located on said cap so as to extend beneath the tip of said spout when said spout is in said closed position, said horizontally extending wall extending from the central part of said cap beyond the tip of said spout when said spout is in said closed position and being so closely spaced relative to the tip of said spout when said spout is in said closed position so that a finger of a user of said closure cannot be inserted between said tip and said horizontally extending wall,

said tip of said spout having a rounded, tapered configuration, and

said vertically extending walls having resilient curved extremities which engage said tip of said spout so as to hold said spout in said closed position against undesired rotation to said openposition,

serving to permit said tip of said spout to be en- 1 gaged by an extending implement such as a fingernail so that a force can be applied beneath said tip when said spout is in said closed position to rotate said spout to said open position.

6. A dispensing closure as claimed in claim 5 wherein:

an end wall located on the extremity of said horizontally extending wall remote from the central part of said cap and extending upwardly from said horizontally extending wall so as to be aligned with the tip of said spout when said spout is in said closed position,

said end wall serving to limit the access to said tip of said spout when said spout is in said closed position.

7. A dispensing closure as claimed in claim 6 wherein:

said end wall has a notch formed therein, and

said tip of said spout fits within said notch when said spout is in said closed position.

8. A dispensing closure as claimed in claim 6 wherein:

said end wall is spaced from said tip to said spout when said spout is in said closed position.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2893611 *Dec 24, 1956Jul 7, 1959Stauffer Chemical CoCombined spout and closure structure
US3255930 *Aug 12, 1964Jun 14, 1966Woodard Gordon KHang-up dispensing cap for containers
US3318494 *Oct 4, 1965May 9, 1967Product Design & Engineering IDispensing closure cap for container having frangible sealing means
US3718238 *Jul 27, 1970Feb 27, 1973Polytop CorpSafety dispensing closure
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3957181 *Feb 13, 1975May 18, 1976Polytop CorporationChild resistant dispensing closure
US4081113 *Mar 11, 1976Mar 28, 1978Polytop CorporationChild resistant dispensing closure
US4232688 *Sep 26, 1978Nov 11, 1980Pascal Company, Inc.Dental gingival retraction cord dispenser
US4284200 *Oct 1, 1979Aug 18, 1981Sunbeam Plastics CorporationChild-resistant dispensing closure
US4860934 *Feb 16, 1988Aug 29, 1989Schmalbach-Lubeca AgClosure for receptacles for receiving free-flowing filling material
US4938393 *Nov 6, 1989Jul 3, 1990The Procter & Gamble CompanyBimodal storage and dispensing package for fluent material
US5961010 *Jan 9, 1998Oct 5, 1999Erie Country Plastics CorporationDispensing beverage closure
Classifications
U.S. Classification222/534, 222/538, 222/536
International ClassificationB65D47/30, B65D47/04
Cooperative ClassificationB65D2215/04, B65D47/305
European ClassificationB65D47/30B