US 3870192 A
A dispenser for pills and the like, wherein a movable outlet member is normally locked against movement and a childresistant release means is provided to free the outlet member.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent 1 3,870,192
Haley Mar. 11, 1975 SELF-LOCKING DISPENSER 3,393,795 7/1968 Covert 206/42 3,450,252 6/1969 Hi11erbach.. 1. 206/42  Haley, Waukegan, 3,450,306 6/1969 Gill 206/42  Asslgnee: $532352??? Pmducts FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS 1,187,060 4/1970 Great Britain 221/4  F11ed: June 29, 1973 1 1 pp 375,098 Primary ExaminerRobert B. Reeves Related Us Application Data Assistant Examiner-11. Grant Skaggs, Jr.  Continuation of Ser. N0. 206,841, Dec. '10, 1971, Attorney Agen" or F "1*Kmzen P lyer Dom McEachran abandoned.
52 11.5.01 221/86, 206/42, 221/154  ABSTRACT  Km. C1. G071 11/00  Field 01 Search 221/2, 4, 5, 7, 8, 86, A dispenser for pills and the i in a m able 221/152, 82, 83, 154; 206/42 outlet member is normally locked against movement and a childresistant re1ease means is provided to free  References Cited the outlet member.
I UNITED STATES PATENTS 5'C1ain1s, 6Drawing Figures 3,085,679 4/1963 Bun-ell 221/2 PATENTEI] MARI 1 IQYS SHLU 2 [IF 2 OBJECTS OF THE INVENTION This invention relates to containers for objects such as pills, capsules and the like'and particularly to a dispensing container for such objects.
One purpose of the invention is to provide a dispensing container of such economy in manufacture and use as to permit the employment of the container as a package for the objects to be dispensed and the disposal of the container when emptied.
Another purpose is to provide a dispensing container normally locked against operation by young children and including means for releasing the locked condition.
Another purpose is to provide a dispensing container having means enabling the user to readily determine which objects have been dispensed therefrom.
Another purpose is to provide a dispensing container including means for utilization in relation to a prescribed schedule of medicant administration.
Another purpose is to provide a dispensing container for medicants and the like including means automatically, yieldingly locking the same against operation.
Another purpose is to provide a self-locking dispensing container comprised of a minimum number of parts and of maximum simplicity.
Other purposes may appear from time to time during the course of the specification and claims.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DISCLOSURE The invention is illustrated more or less diagrammatically in the accompanying drawings wherein:
FIG. 1 is a top plan view;
FIG. 2 is a view in cross section taken on the line 33 of FIG. 1; I
FIG. 3 is an exploded view of the structure illustrated in FIG. 2;
FIG. 4 is a top plan view illustrating the base member of the invention; i
FIG. 5 is a top plan view illustrating the outlet member of the invention; and
FIG. 6 is a plan view of the lock setting and release means of the invention.
Like parts are indicated by like numerals throughout 7 the specification and drawings.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT Referring now to the drawings, and particularly to FIG. 1, a base member is indicated generally by the numeral 1. While the base member 1 may take a variety of planar configurations, the circular form illustrated and provided with circumferentially spaced grooves 2 in its outer circumferential wall is preferred for ease in manual handling and operation. Rotatable on the upper surface of base member 1 is an outlet member or dispensing disc 3. A dispensing outlet or aperture 4 is radially disposed adjacent the periphery of disc 3. An operating handle segment 5 rises at the axis of disc 3 and is radially disposed in alignment with the outlet aperture 4. Appropriate indicia 6 is provided on the upper surface of base member 1 about the periphery of disc 3, the indicia illustrated comprising indication of the days of the week for example. While it will be understood that the size of the dispenser of the invention may be varied, a convenient size provides for a three-week supply of objects such as pills 7 for example. While medical pills are illustrated and referred to herein, it will be understood that the dispensing container of the invention may be employed as a disposable package and dispenser for a wide variety of objects without departing from the nature and scope of the invention.
Referring now to FIGS. 2 and 3, it will be observed that the base member 1 includes an axially positioned central well 10 formed and dimensioned to rotatably receive a circular skirt 11 depending from the outlet member 3. The member 3 has depending therefrom and adjacent its periphery a locking tab or finger 12. Member 3 also has a depending axial segment 13 counterbored as indicated at 14, an annular groove 15 being positioned just inwardly of the bore 14. While the member 3 is shown as having the area between skirt l1 and segment 13 removed, as well as the area above groove 15, it will be realized that such areas could be solid without departing from the nature and scope of the invention, the mouth of bore 14 being, however, sufficiently flexible inassembly of the device of the invention to permit entry of a cooperating extension as described below. i
A plurality of circumferentially positioned and spaced pockets 20 are formed in the base member 1 to underlie the peripheral portion of member 3, the pockets 20 being upwardly open as the parts are shown and formed and dimensioned for underlying the outlet 4 as the latter is sequentially positioned thereover.
Base member 1 has a solid segment 21 of its upper surface positioned among the pockets 20, it being understood that the outlet 4 is positioned over the solid segment 21 when the dispensing container of the invention is shipped and sold. A locking slot 22 is formed in the upper surface of segment 21 and dimensioned to just receive the locking element 12 of member 3. It will be observed that the side walls of each pocket 20 are spaced similarly tojust receive the forward and rear edges of locking tab 12.
A central web 30 forms the bottom wall of well 10 in base member 1 and has therein an axial aperture 31. It will be observed that the web 30 is preferably positioned intermediate the upper and lower surfaces of base member 1, thus defining'a lower, downwardly open well 35, as the parts are shown.
Positionable in the well 35 is a lock setting and release member 40. A body portion 41, preferably of disclike configuration, has an axial extension or projection 42 rising, as the parts are shown, from the body portion 41 and including at its upper end an annular enlargement or bead 43. It will be observed that the bead 43 and groove 15 are dimensioned for locking engagement therebetween. In assembly, as above indicated, projection 42 is moved through aperture 31 and pressed into bore 14 for engagement of bead 43 and groove 15. Upstanding, as the parts are shown, from the upper surface of body portion 41, is a plurality of circumferentially spaced spring elements 44.
The use and operation of the invention are as follows:
The dispensing container of the invention is of maximum simplicity, being formed of three elements or parts as shown in exploded view in FIG. 3. The container is charged or filled prior to assembly by placing the objects to be dispensed in the pockets 20. Thereafter the member 3 is set in place with the skirt 1 1 in well 10 and with the outlet 4 overlying the solid segment 21 of the base member 1, thus enclosing all of the objects within the pockets against escape from the dispenser. It will be realized that pockets 20 may be open radially of member 1 and member 3 be provided with a circumferential depending skirt carrying outlet4 and overlying such pocket openings without departing from the nature and scope of the invention. The member 40 is positioned in well 35, the extension 42 passing through aperture 31 and entering counterbore 14. Thereupon, by finger pressure alone, the members 3 and 40 are simply pressed together, bead 43 being forced into engagement with the groove 15, the spring elements 44 engaging the undersurface, as the parts are shown, of web and the member 3 being drawn downwardly into the position shown in FIG. 2, the locking finger 12 engaging the slot 22. Projection 42 thus serves the additional function of an axle about which member 3 rotates in operation.
Member 3 may be entirely or partially transparent to disclose the number of objects'dispensed and remaining to be dispensed. Spring elements 44 are conveniently formed integrally with member 40. A variety of known plastic materials may be employed in forming members 3 and 1, all of which materials are known to be usable without deleterious effect upon the medical or similar objects to be dispensed.
In use, the operator holds the base member 1 and presses inwardly on member 40 against the action of spring elements 44. Inward movement of member 40, through the engagement of bead 43 and groove 15, causes the member 3 to rise slightly from its engagement with the base member 1, as shown by phamtom lines in FIG. 2, thus releasing locking element 12 from engagement with slot 22 and enabling the operator, through the mediacy of handle 5, to rotate the outlet member 3 and thus to index or position the outlet 4 above the pocket 20 adjacent, in clockwise direction, the solid segment 21. Thereupon a tablet, or other object to be dispensed, is exposed and may be dispensed from the container of the invention. With the outlet 4 positioned over the desired pocket 20, the operator releases inward pressure on member 40 which, in response to the action of elements 44, draws the member 3 again downwardly onto base member 1 and positions the locking element 12 within the next adjacent pocket 20. While the dispenser illustrated is designed for clockwise rotation, it will be understood that rotation or movement in another direction may be employed without departing from the nature and scope of the invention.
If member 3 be overrotated beyond the desired pocket, the operation may simply continue inward pressure on member 40 while rotating member 3 back to the desired pocket, there being no rachet effect between element 12 and pockets 20. At the same time member 3 is normally locked against rotation in either direction.
Thus the member 12 is normally held in locking engagement with either the slot 22 or one of the pockets 20 by means of the member 40. It will be understood that more than one element 12 may be employed and that indexing of outlet 4 over any pocket 20 automatically positions element 12 over another pocket 20 or over slot 22. A young child attempting to rotate the member 3 and thus to obtain one of the objects to be dispensed, would be unable to do so without knowledge of the function and means of operating the member 40. It will be observed that the member 40 is preferably flush with the undersurface of base member 1 and its presence and operation would not be readily indicated to a very young child.
The embodiments of the invention in which an exclusive property or privilege is claimed are defined as follows:
1. A dispensing container comprising, a base member having a plurality of pockets posi tioned thereon to contain objects to be dispensed,
an outlet member rotatably connected to said base member and having an outlet opening sequentially positionable over said pockets to permit escape of said objects from said container,
cooperating locking configurations carried by said outlet and base members,
said locking configurations, when engaged, preventing relative rotational movement of said outlet and base members,
means biasing said locking configurations into engagement one with the other,
and a connection between said biasing means and said outlet member which allows rotation of the outlet member relative to said biasing means and by which a digital force applied directly to the baising means in the direction of the outlet member lifts the outlet member to disengage said locking configurations permitting relative rotation of said outlet and base members.
2. The dispensing container of claim 1 in which said locking configurations include said pockets.
3. The dispensing container of claim 1 in which said base member includes a solid portion positioned to underlie said outlet opening when said outlet member is at one position of rotation relative to said base member.
4. A dispensing container of claim 1 in which said locking configurations are positioned for engagement whenever said outlet opening overlies any of said pockets.
5. The dispensing container of claim 1 in which:
said base member includes a central web portion having an axial aperture therein, and
said means biasing said locking configurations into engagement one with the other includes:
a disc like element having an axial projection extending through said aperture and engaging said outlet member,
a spring element engaging said disc like element and the undersurface of said web to draw said outlet member toward said base member,
said disc like element being manually movable against the action of said spring element and towards said web, the engagement of said axial projection and said outlet member being effective to move said outlet member away from said base member in response to movement of the disc like element.