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Publication numberUS3889847 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJun 17, 1975
Filing dateNov 1, 1973
Priority dateNov 1, 1973
Publication numberUS 3889847 A, US 3889847A, US-A-3889847, US3889847 A, US3889847A
InventorsPowers Richard T, Sperber Raymond L, Uroshevich Miroslav
Original AssigneeAfa Corp
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Child-resistant pill dispenser
US 3889847 A
Abstract
A pill or tablet dispensing container is presented which includes a closure which dispenses only one tablet at a time and is very difficult for an uninstructed child to operate while simple for an adult to use. The container is first inverted and held in that position to allow a tablet to enter a chamber in the rotary member in the cap which is then rotated against a torsion spring until the tablet-containing chamber becomes aligned with an outlet in the cap and the tablet falls out. The cap, however, is free to turn all of the way around with respect to the container and must be held with the hand and fingers along with the container to prevent any rotation between them while the rotor is moved into position with the thumb.
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United States Patent 1 Uroshevich et a1.

1 1 CHILD-RESISTANT PILL DISPENSER [75] Inventors: Miroslav Uroshevich; Richard T.

Powers; Raymond L. Sperber, all of Cincinnati, Ohio [73] Assignee: The AFA Corporation, Miami Lakes, Fla.

[22] Filed: Nov. 1, 1973 [21] Appl. No.: 411,946

152] U.S. CI 221/265; 221/276; 221/312 R [51] Int. Cl B65h 3/36 [58] Field of Search 221/265, 263, 264, 237,

2,886,209 5/1959 Lermer..... 222/452 X 2,923,436 211960 Koehn 221/197 X 3,241,712 3/1966 Sacchetti et a1. 221/265 1 June 17, 1975 Fadden 206/42 X Medicks et a1. 267/154 X [57] ABSTRACT A pill or tablet dispensing container is presented which includes a closure which dispenses only one table! at a time and is very difficult for an uninstructed child to operate while simple for an adult to use. The container is first inverted and held in that position to allow a tablet to enter a chamber in the rotary member in the cap which is then rotated against a torsion spring until the tablet-containing chamber becomes aligned with an outlet in the cap and the tablet falls out. The cap, however, is free to turn all of the way around with respect to the container and must be held with the hand and fingers along with the container to prevent any rotation between them while the rotor is moved into position with the thumb.

1 Claim, 6 Drawing Figures PATENTEDJUN 17 ms 13g {3 89 47 SHEET 1 PATENTEDJUN 1 7 1975 SHEET CHILD-RESISTANT PILL DISPENSER BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION AND DISCUSSION OF THE PRIOR ART Along with the wide spread use of drugs in pill or tablet form has come the problem of keeping them from small children who may open the container and swallow the contents with harmful, dangerous and some times fatal results to the child. It is, therefore, important that the closure for the container be of a type which is ordinarily too difficult for a child to open without instruction but yet is easy and convenient for an adult to operate. In view of the importance of this problem, a number of closures have been presented in the art which purport to solve it but have various shortcomings which prevent them from performing completely effectively in this respect.

In addition, to the above, it is desirable that the closure for the container provide for the dispensing of one or more tablets at a time depending upon the quantity required for a single dose. A number of dispensing closures have been presented in the art which dispense tablets according to dose but yet lack the feature of a childproof" closure as well. Applicants invention, on the other hand, has improved on this art and presents a dispensing closure which is at the same time very resistant to opening by small children principally because of the freely turning cap which must be held still with respect to the container while a thumbpiece is moved to permit passage of a tablet from the container, all of this being done while the container is inverted. Such a combination of actions is not likely to be tried by a small child.

OBJECTS OF THE INVENTION It is, therefore, an object of the present invention to provide a dispensing closure for a pill or tablet container which dispenses a single dose of one or more tablets and is very resistant to opening by a child yet is easily operated by an adult.

It is also an object of the present invention to provide a single dose dispensing closure for a pill or tablet con tainer which requires inversion of the container, holding of the container and its cap together to prevent rotation and concurrent movement of a thumbpiece from a first position to a second position and back again before a tablet is dispensed thus making it difficult for a child to obtain a tablet from it.

It is also an object of the present invention to provide a closure of the foregoing type which, once installed, is not removed from the container and cannot, therefore, be inadvertently left off to expose the contents to children.

It is also an object of the present invention to provide a container closure of the foregoing type wherein the container can be inverted, dropped or shaken without loss of its contents.

Other objects and advantages of the invention will be apparent from the detailed description of the preferred embodiment of the invention and the claims which follow.

In the drawings:

FIG. I is a longitudinal cross-sectional view of the closure and its associated container with the closure in its unopened or closed position and with the cap in place on the container;

FIG. 2 is a view taken on section 22 looking downward on the rotor with the rotor in its normal or unopened position;

FIG. 3 is a partially cutaway view looking down on the top of the cap and showing its port and the slot in its skirt;

FIG. 4 is a partial cross-sectional view of the upper portion of the container and closure taken on section 44;

FIG. 5 is an external view of a portion of the closure and container showing the slot in the cap and the plug lug and thumbpiece therein;

FIG. 6 is an exploded view of the various parts in their relative positions before assembly.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION AND OPERATION OF THE INVENTION With reference to FIG. 1 of the drawings, a cylindrical container 10 containing medicinal pills or tablets 11 is fitted with a closure cap 12 which includes a flat circular top and an annular skirt 12a having an annular lip 12b on its inner periphery. As will be seen from FIG. 1 of the drawings, lip 12b fits within an annular groove 13 on container 10 and is free to slide in it in an annular direction so that the whole cap 12 can be rotated freely with respect to container 10. Disposed between cap 12 and the rim of container 10 are two separate members comprising a rotor 14 and a tablet guide or plug 15. Guide or plug 15 is substantially dome-shaped with the dome extended into the container in the manner shown in FIG. 1 with the widest diameter of the dome being so dimensioned that an annular space sufficient to loosely accomodate one row of tablets stood on edge exists between the dome and the wall with the dome supported by an annular flange which bears upon the containers rim. In flange 15a there is a tablet port or slot 16 which extends through flange 15a, and is sized so as to allow just one tablet to pass easily through it at a time. It is located at the lower end of a helical ramp 17 which is wound or formed upon the dome of plug 15 and leads downwardly to slot 16 in the manner shown in the drawings particularly in FIG. 6. Atop the flange 15a of plug 15 and between it and cap 12, is interposed rotor 14 which is free to rotate by sliding in rotary fashion upon both flange 15a and the inner face of cap 12 and is restrained only from lateral movement by the annular skirt of cap 12. Rotor 14 has a cut out portion or chamber 21 in its periphery as shown in FIG. 1 which serves in cooperation with flange l5 and cap 12 as a tablet receiving chamber, and a tab or thumbpiece 18 extends outwardly from rotor 15 through a slot 19 in the annular skirt of cap 12 as shown in FIG. 3 and is provided with grooves or knurlings 18a on its exterior end to serve as a non-skid surface. Cap 12 has a tablet dispensing port or opening 20 in its upper face adjacent to its annular side and which is adapted to be brought into register with tablet chamber 21 upon rotation of rotor 14 to that location as will be explained later.

Flange 15a of plug 15 includes an integral projection or lug 22 which extends outwardly in FIG. 4 into the lower part of slot 19 in the skirt of the rim of the cap 12 between rotor 14 and the upper rim of container 10. Lug 22 is substantially co-extensive in length with the slot 19 and fits in it closely to prevent rotation of plug 15 with respect to cap 12. Plug 22 is unattached to con- 3 tainer and will rotate freely with respect to it with any rotational movement of cap 12.

A torsion bar spring 23 is provided which extends from a fixed position push fit in the center of rotor 14 to a fixed position push fit inside the center of dome piece as shown in FIG. 1. It is intended that bar spring 23 be made of plastic having resilient qualities which will cause it to return to its original shape after it has been twisted as much as a quarter of a turn but other materials such as various spring metals including, but not limited to, stainless steel could be used so long as they are compatible with the material of the cap and other parts and the container and its contents. It is possible, however, in another embodiment to eliminate the spring 23 entirely by careful dimensioning of the clear' ance between the upper and lower faces of rotor 14 and the plug 15 and cap 12 so that friction is produced as the rotor is moved which is of sufficient magnitude to keep rotor 14 in place during handling, dropping or shaking but yet permits it to be easily rotated by pushing on thumbpiece l8. Rotor 14 will not return to its original position with this arrangement but must be manually pushed in both directions. Such an arrangement can be used if desired for some reason, but orindarily a spring return of rotor 14 is used since it is ordinarily more convenient since the rotor is then always in the original or starting position.

The cap 12, rotor 14, spring 23 and domed guide plug 15 are first assembled by placement of the rotor 14 in cap 12 with the thumbpiece 18 extended outward through slot 19. it should be noted that the opening or port 20 of cap 12 becomes aligned with chamber of rotor 14 when thumbpiece 18 is as far as it will go in one direction to assume a first or open position and is completely blocked by cap 12 when the thumbpiece 18 is moved as far as it will go in the opposite direction to a second or closed position, Spring 23 is then pushed into place in rotor 14 and will stay in place therein becuase of the push fit. Tablet guide plug 15 is then centered over rotor 14 and the free end of spring 23 is located in position in its receiving slot inside the dome and is pushed into place therein. At this point, guide 15 is rotated sufficiently with respect to cap 12 to bring thumbpiece 18 as far as it will travel in slot 19 to its original position against its stop i.e., the end of slot 19, and then is rotated slightly more to twist spring 23 sufficiently to force thumbpiece 18 lightly against its stop so that it will remain there unless moved by the thumb in the opposite direction. When this is achieved, lug 22 of plug 22 will fit into slot 19 to prevent relative rotation between cap 12 and plug 22 as previously de scribed herein.

At this point, container 10 is filled with pills or tablets 11 along with a moisture absorber such as a cotton wad at the bottom of container 10, and the entire assembly just described above is then placed on its open top and pushed down upon it until lip 12b of cap 12 snaps in place in its mating groove 13 in container 10 and thus retains the whole assembly to container 10 but leaves it free to rotate thereon. The skirt 12a of cap 12 can be slit longitudinally in one or more locations to facilitate this installation by allowing the skirt 12a to spread sufficiently to allow it to be forced over the rim of container 10 until it reaches groove 13. It will be seen that cap 12 is now almost impossible to remove without considerable prying and possible breakage yet is entirely free to rotate with respect to container 10 and cannot be removed by ordinary rotary unscrewing, pulling or lifting motions. Also, no pill or tablet can fall out or be removed by any such motions without a further combination of motions as described below. Since these are not the motions which an uninstructed child would be likely to make in attempting to open the container or to get a pill out of it, it is apparent that this is a very child resistant feature.

In order for a pill or tablet to be released from the container 10, the container is first inverted upon which action a tablet falls on the dome of guide piece 15, is guided into the space between it and rolls or slides down helical guide track 17 which leads it directly to port 16 in flange 15a. The tablet cannot pass through port 16 since it is blocked by the solid portion of rotor 14. The user, however, keeping the container in the inverted position, grasps the container 10 and the cap 12 with the hand and fingers to prevent their relative rotation then moves thumbpiece or knob 18 as far as it can go in slot 19 in the only direction in which it can go (its second position). This action further twists spring 23 and brings chamber 21 of rotor 14 into register or alignment with port 16 and the tablet falls into chamber 21, its other side being blocked by cap 12. Thumbpiecc 18 is then released rotor 14 is returned under the biasing action of spring 23 to its original or first position carrying the tablet around with it and bringing chamber 21 and dispensing port 20 into the users hand. The operation must be repeated by full movement ofthe rotor 14 through another complete cycle in order for the user to obtain another tablet.

it is possible to size the ports and receiving chamber so that more than one tablet will be dispensed per cycle if desired but this must be done at the time of manufac ture and is not within the control of the user.

While it is possible to make the various parts of the present invention of many different materials, it is expected that some of the plastic materials such as a fairly stiff polyethylene, for one stance would be used in its manufacture. Any material used should be compatible with the contents and with each other and not of a type which could contaminate the contents or adversely affect the user.

While there have been shown and described and pointed out the fundamental novel features of the invention as applied to a preferred embodiment, it will be understood that various emissions and substitutions and changes in the form and details of the device illustrated and in its operation may be made by those skilled in the art, Without departing from the spirit of the invention. it is the intention, therefore to be limited only as indicated by the scope of the following claim.

What is claimed is:

l. A dispenser container for tablets comprising, in combination, a container having a circular open end and a closed end, a guide plug freely rotatable in said open end and closing said open end except for a port extending through said plug and sized to permit passage therethrough of one tablet at a time, a dome on said plug extended into the interior of said container, a helical ramp on said dome leading to the port in the plug, a rotor rotatably mounted in juxtaposition to said plug and including a chamber adapted to receive a tablet, means including a thumbpiece for rotating said rotor from a first position with respect to the plug where said chamber and said port are sufficiently in register to permit passage of a tablet therebetween to a second posicome into register with the chamber in the rotor only when the rotor is moved to the second position and sufficiently in register to allow passage of a tablet therebetween, and a torsion bar spring extended between the rotor and the plug and non-rotatably mounted in each of them with the spring biasing the rotor so that it returns to the said first position but allows easy rotor movement to the second position.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2299403 *Dec 18, 1940Oct 20, 1942Joe MozelGolf ball hopper and dispensing device
US2851191 *Jun 22, 1955Sep 9, 1958Semsch Robert DPill dispenser
US2886209 *Jan 16, 1956May 12, 1959Circle Plastics CoClosure unit
US2923436 *Jul 17, 1958Feb 2, 1960Koehn Franklin MCombination container cap and tablet dispenser
US3241712 *Jun 17, 1964Mar 22, 1966Sacchetti John APill dispensing bottle closure
US3313441 *Feb 17, 1966Apr 11, 1967Fadden Jerome HSafety combination cap
US3411375 *Feb 3, 1967Nov 19, 1968Shallcross Mfg CompanyRotary switch having torsion bar type return spring
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4412625 *Feb 16, 1982Nov 1, 1983Zander Patricia JChild-proof pill container for handicapped
US4460106 *Nov 2, 1981Jul 17, 1984Moulding Jr Thomas SPill dispenser
US4611727 *Feb 20, 1985Sep 16, 1986Graff James CSolid oral dosage dispenser with safety, tamper-proof and sanitation features
US4782981 *Sep 25, 1987Nov 8, 1988Knoll AgDispenser for tablets and pills
US4848593 *Mar 24, 1986Jul 18, 1989Jeandaud Jean ClaudeGranule dispensing apparatus, particularly designed for a tube of homoepathic drugs, and method for the utilization thereof
US5123574 *Aug 15, 1991Jun 23, 1992Poulos James FDispensing lid or cap
US5489024 *Aug 8, 1994Feb 6, 1996Merck & Co., Inc.Child resistant medication container
US5850919 *Jun 11, 1997Dec 22, 1998Freed; Anna B.Compliance closure
US5971154 *Jan 20, 1999Oct 26, 1999Toren Consulting Pty, . Ltd.Dispensing containers
US7137527 *Nov 3, 2003Nov 21, 2006Kotobuki & Co., Ltd.Container
US7404500 *May 13, 2004Jul 29, 2008Owen Mumford LimitedPill dispensing device
US8123037Jun 25, 2010Feb 28, 2012Juno Technologies, LlcChild-resistant medicate container
US8281930Feb 14, 2012Oct 9, 2012Juno Technologies, LlcChild-resistant medicate container
US8359816May 24, 2011Jan 29, 2013Juno Technologies, LlcApparatus for and method of shipping a child-resistant medicate container
US8458994Sep 14, 2012Jun 11, 2013Juno Technologies, LlcMethod of shipping a child-resistant medicate container
US8469194 *Nov 2, 2010Jun 25, 2013Larry JohnsonContainer apparatus with single-pill dispensing and related methods
US8757382Jun 20, 2013Jun 24, 2014Robert J. CrawfordContainer apparatus with single-pill dispensing and related method
US20110155757 *Jun 4, 2009Jun 30, 2011Schering CorporationPackages and inserts thereof with guide wall for dispensing medicinal units
US20130220870 *Mar 15, 2013Aug 29, 2013Colbert Packaging CorporationDispensing package
DE3143953A1 *Nov 5, 1981May 11, 1983Henkel KgaaDispenser for tablet-shaped products
WO1983001606A1 *Oct 27, 1982May 11, 1983Thomas S Moulding JrPill dispenser
Classifications
U.S. Classification221/265, 215/217, 221/276, 221/312.00R, 206/540
International ClassificationB65D83/04
Cooperative ClassificationB65D83/0409, B65D2583/0495, B65D2215/02
European ClassificationB65D83/04A
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
May 16, 1988ASAssignment
Owner name: AFA CONSOLIDATED CORPORATION, THE
Free format text: MERGER;ASSIGNOR:AFA CORPORATION, THE;REEL/FRAME:004891/0692
Effective date: 19810428
Apr 18, 1988ASAssignment
Owner name: AFA PRODUCTS, INC., ONE PINE STREET, FOREST CITY,
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST.;ASSIGNOR:WAYNESBORO TEXTILES, INC.;REEL/FRAME:004854/0923
Effective date: 19880203
Owner name: WAYNESBORO TEXTILES, INC.
Free format text: MERGER;ASSIGNOR:AFA CONSOLIDATED CORPORATION; ARCHIVES FOR ADVANCED FOR ADVANCED MEDIA, INC., WAYN-TEX INC., AND MHA, INC., (MERGED INTO);REEL/FRAME:004863/0715
Effective date: 19821202
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:WAYNESBORO TEXTILES, INC.;REEL/FRAME:4854/923
Owner name: AFA PRODUCTS, INC., A CORP. OF DE,NORTH CAROLINA
Owner name: WAYNESBORO TEXTILES, INC.,NORTH CAROLINA
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:WAYNESBORO TEXTILES, INC.;REEL/FRAME:004854/0923
Apr 18, 1988AS03Merger
Owner name: AFA CONSOLIDATED CORPORATION
Owner name: ARCHIVES FOR ADVANCED FOR ADVANCED MEDIA, INC., WA
Owner name: WAYNESBORO TEXTILES, INC.
Effective date: 19821202
Feb 8, 1988ASAssignment
Owner name: FIRST NATIONAL BANK OF BOSTON, THE, 100 FEDERAL ST
Free format text: SECURITY INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:AFA PRODUCTS, INC.;REEL/FRAME:004845/0316
Effective date: 19880203
Owner name: FIRST NATIONAL BANK OF BOSTON, THE,MASSACHUSETTS
Mar 18, 1985ASAssignment
Owner name: WALTER E. HELLER AND COMPANY, INC., 101 PARK AVENU
Free format text: SECURITY INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:WAYNESBORO TEXTILES, INC., A CORP. OF VA.;REEL/FRAME:004377/0941
Effective date: 19850227
Mar 18, 1985AS06Security interest
Owner name: WALTER E. HELLER AND COMPANY, INC., 101 PARK AVENU
Owner name: WAYNESBORO TEXTILES, INC., A CORP. OF VA.
Effective date: 19850227