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Publication numberUS3866796 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateFeb 18, 1975
Filing dateAug 31, 1973
Priority dateAug 31, 1973
Publication numberUS 3866796 A, US 3866796A, US-A-3866796, US3866796 A, US3866796A
InventorsBozek John S
Original AssigneeContinental Can Co
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Childproof pill dispenser
US 3866796 A
A childproof pill dispenser having a case with several stacked disks rotatable to align peripheral slots in the disks which form a pocket to receive a pill and as the disks are rotated discharge the pill through an opening in the side of the case. A supplementary lock is provided to releasably hold at least one disk against rotation, the lock being displaceable to unlocking position and arranged to snap into a locking position either by direct manipulation or by rotation of the disks which by being pressed radially tight against the disk mounting pin constrain the pin to rotate therewith and thereby index the lock into locking engagement with one of the disks.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent Bozek Feb. 18, 1975 CHILDPROOF PILL DISPENSER Primar ExaminerWilliam I. Price h k, y [75] lnvntor J0 Bole Chlcago I" Assistant Examiner-Allan N. Shoap Asslgheei Continental Can C p y, New Attorney, Agent, or FirmJ0hn J. Kowalik; Joseph E.

York, NY. Kerwin; William A. Dittmann [22] Filed: Aug. 31, 1973 [21] Appl. No.: 393,540 [57] ABSTRACT 52] U.S. c1 221/152, 206/1.5, 206/42, A ehildpreef P dispenser having a ease with Several 221/266, 222/370 Stacked disks rotatable to align peripheral slots in the 51 1m. (:1. G07f 11/16, B65d 83/04 disks which form a peeket to receive a P and as the 58 Field 61 Search 206/42, 1.5; 221/152, 266, disks are rotated diseharge the p through an Opening 221/277; 222/368, 370; 70/312 in the side of the case. A supplementary lock is provided to releasably hold at least one disk against rota- [56] R fe Cit d tion, the lock being displaceable to unlocking position UNITED STATES PATENTS and arranged to snap into a locking position either by l 891 817 I2 932 HM b d 222 368 direct manipulation or by rotation of the disks which 307726l 1963 20/6/42 by being pressed radially tight against the disk mount- 3355067 11/1967 g g 206/42 ing pin constrain the pin to rotate therewith and 3:425:578 2/1969 Owens.::::........1........ I: 206/42 thereby index the lock locking engagement with 3,651,927 3/1972 Richardson @1611 206/42 One Of the diske FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS 11 Claims, 8 Drawing Figures l,l31,5l5 10/1968 Great Britain 222/370 61 ill :I I II- CHILDPROOF PILL DISPENSER DISCUSSION OF THE PRIOR ART Various different types of so-called childproof closures have been developed and essentially their primary purpose is to prevent inadvertent or accidental poisoning of children. Closures have been developed which are not only childproof but also virtually adultproof. This is particularly disadvantageous for the aged and infirm who do not have the strength to pull, twist, push, turn, etc. intricate components to gain access to the container contents.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION This invention is directed to a novel childproof closure which is relatively simple to manipulate by an adult but requires several components of movement which would frustrate a small child.

The invention comprehends the provision of a closure in the form of a stack of rotatable disks with peripheral notches adapted to be indexed to form a pill receiving pocket whereupon the disks are rotated as a unit to discharge the pill through an opening in the container within which the disks are mounted.

The invention is further directed to a novel interlock for at least one of the disks with the container to prevent movement of the disk and thus alignment of the notches and rotation of the disks as a unit.

More specifically, the invention contemplates a novel interlocking mechanism for releasably holding at least one disk from turning, said mechanism comprising a latch which is movable axially of the disks with a portion of a split pin .mounting the disks for rotation, the latch having a catch tooth which is adapted to extend through a selected opening in a wall of the container and enter into one of an annular series of registering notches in an opposing disk.

The invention further comprehends a mechanism wherein the latch is rotatable to a position circumferentially displacing the tooth from any of an annular series of openings in the container wall and wherein the disks are capable of providing a frictional drag against the mounting pin about which the disks revolve and to which the latch is mounted, whereby the user by pressing against the disks radially with his thumb and rotating the disks causes the pin to rotate and the latch being constrained to move therewith will cause the tooth to enter the next opening and being spring biased toward the disks, to snap within such opening and into a notch in the cooperatingly arranged disk.

Broadly, it is an object of the invention to provide a novel closure which will automatically shift to closing position attendant to indelicate manipulation of the medicine discharge metering component of the closure device.

These and other objects and advantages inherent in and encompassed by the invention will become more readily apparent from the specification and the drawings, wherein:

FIG. 1 is a fragmentary side elevational view of a container partially broken away with the novel closure applied thereto;

FIG. 2 is a cross-sectional view taken substantially on line 2-2 of FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a fragmentary enlarged cross-sectional view taken on line 2-2 of FIG. 1 showing the pivot post structure in axial section;

FIG. 4 is a view comparable to FIG. 3 showing the latch in unlocked position;

FIG. 5 is a side elevational view of the latching closure and dispensing disk;

FIG. 6 is a side elevational view of another of the combination closure and dispensing disks;

FIG. 7 is a side elevational view of the container partially broken away and partially in section showing another embodiment with the disks aligned and in dispensing position; and

FIG. 8 is an edge view partially in section of the embodiment of FIG. 7.

DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION FIGURES 1-6 The invention shown in the drawings, is applied to a pill box or container 2 which is preferably of plastic transparent material and comprises top and bottom or side walls 3 and 4 and an interconnecting peripheral wall 5 to form a rectangular shaped case. The shape of the case, of course, is immaterial to the invention.

The case has a discharge opening 7 in its peripheral wall 5 through which project a sector of a stack of three disks 8, 9 and 10 which are provided with center openings 11, 12 and 13, respectively by which the disks are mounted for rotation on a stub shaft assembly 14.

The shaft assembly, journal means, or pivot post 14 comprises telescoping male and female elements 15 and 16 (FIGS. 3 and 4), the female element being in the shape of a cylinder closed at one end by an end wall 17 integral with the cylindrical portion 18. An axially projecting pivot stud 19 is centered on the end wall 17 and projects into an opening 20 in one of side walls 4.

The element 15 comprises a pivot stud 22 telescoped within the bore 23 in the cylindrical portion 18 and has a head 24 at its inner end which is of non-cylindrical, preferably square configuration which fits into the complementally shaped bore 23. Thus the pivot stud 22, constituting the male element 15, and the cylindrical or tubular portion 18, consituting the female element, are constrained for rotation together for purposes hereinafter described.

The stud 22 projects through an opening 25 in wall 3 of the container coaxial with opening 20 in wall 4 and has an outer end portion 27 which fits into an aperture 28 in the inner enlarged end 29 of a transversely extending latch member 30. The end portion 29 of the latch and the end portion 27 are keyed together by a transverse pin 32.

As best seen in FIG. 3 the stud 22 is biased inwardly into the female portion by a compression spring 34 which bears at one end as at 35 against the head 24 and as at 36 against the inner side of the side wall 3 of the container. The spring also causes the latch 30 to be biased toward the external side 38 of wall 3 and holds a tooth or locking nib 40 on the outer end of the latch 30 within one of an annular series of apertures 42 in the wall 3, the tooth in such position extending into one of the radial notches or slots 44 in the external side 45 of disk 8 thus effectively holding disk 8 from rotating.

As best seen in FIG. 4, to release the disks, the lever or latch member 30 is lifted by the user to withdraw the tooth 40 from the aperture 42 and notch 44. The latch 30 is then swung laterally rotating the pin assembly and is released in position wherein the tooth is misaligned with respect to any aperture 42 and seats on an interstitial or intervening portion 44' of wall 3, the portions 44 being located between the apertures or openings 42. The latch in such position is released whereupon the spring biases the latch toward the container wall 3 and seats the narrow profiled tooth upon the respective interstitial portion 44'. Thereupon the disks 8, 9 and 10 which are provided with peripheral notches or receptacles 48, 49 and 50 respectively are indexed by the user turning them individually to align the notches axially to form within the container a pill admitting pocket. The pills 53 within the container are gravitated toward the disks by upending the container so that the pills lay against the disks. One of the pills 53 enters into the pocket and pursuant to rotation of the disks is discharged through the opening 7 into the users hand, the user preferably rotating the disks with his thumb.

In order to prevent wedging of a pill between the wheels, which constitute the metering means, and adjacent walls of the container an inwardly extending triangular shaped deflector tab or projection 55 is provided as at 56 on the wall 5 directed toward the disks, the apical end 57 of the tab being spaced from the peripheries 58 of the disks less than the diameter of the pills which may ride against the peripheries inwardly of the tab, but such distance being slightly greater than the diameter of the pill which is pocketed allowing it to pass out of the housing.

A feature of the invention is the provision of a simple automatic locking feature which comprises providing roughened surface areas shown at 60, 61 and 62 on the margins of the openings 11, 12 and 13 and a roughened external annular surface 63 on the female member 16 of the pivot post to increase the coefficient of friction therebetween. Any suitable friction lining could also be used such as fiber, etc. The construction is such that in normal use the disks rotate about the post. After dispensing the pills the user may press radially on the disks with his thumb and rotate the same whereupon the pivot post is caused to rotate and displace the latch circumferentially attendant to sliding the tooth 40 on the smooth interstitial portion 44 of the wall 3. The tooth slides over and aligns with the next aperture 42 and snaps thereinto and into an aligned slot 44 in the disk 8.

Thus the user, an adult, would be able to rotate the disks with light pressure, after the latch is unlocked, to discharge any number of pills and the adult would also realize that pressing inwardly on the disks and rotating would snap the latch to locking position. Pressing the disks while rotating would be the normal proclivity of a child and therefore even if the adult failed to manually slide the latch to locking position, rotation of the disks by the child would normally lock the device.

EMBODIMENT OF FIGURES 7 AND 8 In this embodiment, parts identical with those of the previous embodiment are identified with the same reference numerals. This modification shows a single pice stub shaft 75 rotatably mounting disks 8, 9 and 10, the reduced diameter lower end 19a of the shaft 75 extending through opening 20a in wall 4 of the case 2 and the upper end 76 ofshaft 75 extending through aperture in wall 5 and being attached to a flexible, preferably plastic latch member a which may be deflected transversely to released position and which is selfbiasing to locked position. To move the latch 30a to released position, it is rotated with the post as in the previous modification and is adpated to be rotated by pressing the disks into frictional contact with the post surfaces 77, the disks preferably having roughened mounting apertures and surface 77 also being rough. In all other aspects, this structure operates as the one of FIGS. 1-6.

A supplementary snap-on cap 65 may be provided as a cover telescoped over the dispensing end 66 of the container, the cover being removable by sliding it off end 66.

It is to be understood that the invention is not to be limited to the embodiment heretofore described, and that those skilled in the art will be enabled to devise other modifications within the spirit and the scope of the appended claims.

What is claimed is:

1. In a childproof closure for a container having a wall structure with a discharge opening therein, manually operable metering means having a predetermined course of movement for metering the contents from said container through said opening, manually positionable latch means disposable in noninhibiting position to said movement of said metering means, and means for releasably interlocking said latch means with said metering means for shifting said latch means for said noninhibiting position to an interlocking position with said metering means upon a predetermined manipulated movement of said metering means.

2. The invention according to claim 1 wherein said latch means has a locking portion extendible in locking position into an opening in said container wall structure and into movement-preventing position to said metering means.

3. The invention'according to claim 1 wherein said metering means comprises rotary disk means having contents-receiving means adapted to be entered into the container and pursuant to rotation of the disk means sequentially positioning the receiving means within the container and then without the container for removing the contents from the container.

4. The invention according to claim 1 wherein said metering means comprises disk means and a pivot element therefor mounted within said container, and means providing a coefficient of friction releasably interlocking the disk means and element for rotation together, and means operably connected to said element for selectively locking and unlocking said disk means with respect to said container.

5. The invention according to claim 4 and said pivot element comprising telescoping portions and spring 4 means associated therewith for biasing said portions into telescoped position, and a latch connected to one of said portions for movement thereby toward the container and into latching position with one of said disks.

6. The invention according to claim 1 wherein said latch means is a plastic resilient element having a relaxed position in interlocking relation with said metering means and manually flexible to an unlatched position.

7. The invention according to claim 6 and said latch means comprising a locking element extendible through an opening in the container into movementpreventing relation with said metering means.

8. A. childproof dispenser comprising a casing for containing pills and the like, a plurality of individually rotatable tumbler disks extending partially into the container through an opening therein, each disk having a notch alignable with the notches in the other disks to form a pill-admitting pocket for receiving a pill contained within the casing and attendant to rotation of the disks as a unit exiting the pill in the pocket through said opening, releasable means rotatably supported in the casing providing a journal means for interlocking at least one of said disks with the casing against rotation, said releasable means having an unlocked position permitting free rotation of the disks, and means for transmitting rotational motion of said disks to said journal means for displacing said releasable means for unlocked position to a locking position with respect to the disks.

9. The invention according to claim 8 wherein said transmitting means comprises interengaging surfaces on the disks and journal means adapted to be pressed into essentially slip-free contact with each other whereby rotation of the disks effects corresponding rotation of the journal means.

10. The invention according to claim 8 and said interlocking means comprising a latch constrained for rotation with said journal means and displaceable axially with respect to said disks for entering a portion thereof through an opening in a wall of the container and a slot in one of the disks for locking the same.

1 l. The invention according to claim 8 and said latch formed of resilient material and deflectable axially of the journal means between latched and unlatched positions.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US1891817 *Jul 19, 1930Dec 20, 1932Hildebrand Axel GEjector package
US3077261 *Jan 26, 1962Feb 12, 1963Samuel TapperTablet storage case with dispensing control unit
US3355067 *Apr 27, 1967Nov 28, 1967Espinal MartinRecording pill dispenser
US3425578 *Sep 5, 1967Feb 4, 1969Owens NicoliPill container
US3651927 *Oct 21, 1969Mar 28, 1972Cambridge Res & Dev GroupTablet dispenser
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4057145 *Mar 19, 1976Nov 8, 1977Wray Betty BCompliance dispenser for oral medication
US4083452 *Jul 6, 1977Apr 11, 1978William RossmoContainer for medications and the like including locking device
US4767023 *Apr 18, 1986Aug 30, 1988Bramlage Gesellschaft Mit Beschrankter HaftungDispenser for tablets
US5108006 *Apr 27, 1990Apr 28, 1992The Procter & Gamble CompanyTablet dispenser with locking means
US8579116 *Mar 26, 2012Nov 12, 2013Oneworld Design and Manufacturing Group, Ltd.Tamper evident device
US20120241451 *Mar 26, 2012Sep 27, 2012Fred PetherTamper Device
WO1991017103A1 *Apr 23, 1991Nov 14, 1991Procter-Syntex Health Products CompanyTablet dispenser with locking means
U.S. Classification221/152, 206/534.2, 221/266, 206/1.5, 222/370
International ClassificationB65D83/04
Cooperative ClassificationB65D2215/04, B65D83/0409, B65D2215/02, B65D2583/0495
European ClassificationB65D83/04A