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Publication numberUS3923180 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateDec 2, 1975
Filing dateFeb 26, 1975
Priority dateFeb 26, 1975
Publication numberUS 3923180 A, US 3923180A, US-A-3923180, US3923180 A, US3923180A
InventorsFields Mack Robert
Original AssigneeFields Mack Robert
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Safety closure
US 3923180 A
Abstract
An irregularly shaped container is provided with a safety closure that is laterally slidable for release. The container is substantially child-proof in that a child's thumb or finger is not large enough to span the distance between a pair of abutments so that most children will not be able to laterally slide the closure toward an unlatching position against a resilient retaining force. An adult thumb or finger spans the purchase areas and is able to slide the closure as far as possible whereupon an upward force on a remote portion of the closure will unlatch the closure from the container whereupon access to the contents of the container is made possible. In a modification, after the closure is slid laterally as far as possible, it will unlatch from the container thereby providing access to the contents of the container.
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent Fields 1 1 Dec. 2, 1975 1 SAFETY CLOSURE 57 ABSTRACT 1 1 lnventofl Mack Robert Fields, 1624-2 Lake An irregularly shaped container is provided with a Drive Clearwater, 33516 safety closure that is laterally slidable for release. The [22] Filed: 26, 1975 container is substantially child-proof in that a childs thumb or finger is not large enough to span the disl l PP 553,136 tance between a pair of abutments so that most children will not be able to laterally slide the closure 52 11.5. C1. 215/216; 215/225; 215/322; toward matching Position against a resilient 220/331; 220/337; 220/264 taining force. An adult thumb or finger spans the pur- [51] Int. Cl. B65D 55/02 chase areas and is able to Slide closure as far as [58] Field of Search 215/9, 201, 216, 322, 224, Possible whereupw Llp-ward a remote tlOn Of the closure unlatch the closure from the container whereupon access to the contents of the [56] References Cited cpntainer is (rjniade pplssible In a modibflicatiomnaftelr thke1 c osure is s i atera y as ar as possi e, it wi un atc 8 O T Q S S i PATENTS 215/216 from the container thereby providing access to the 3,85 ,74 1,1 estaeve 3,860,133 1/1975 Boxer et al. 215/224 contents of the contamer Primary Examiner-George T. Hall Attorney, Agent, or FirmWegner, Stellman, McCord, Wiles & Wood 19 Claims, 25 Drawing Figures US. Patent Dec. 2, 1975 Sheet 1 of3 3,923,180

IIIIIIIIIIIIII;

SAFETY CLOSURE BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION 1. Field of the Invention This invention relates to the closure field and, more particularly, to an irregularly shaped container having a closure that is released from the container by a laterally slidable motion and an upward unlatching motion.

2. Description of the Prior Art Currently the majority of the bottles or containers used for dispensing pharmaceuticals, such as pills and the like, are cylindrically-shaped containers which traditionally have the closure either threaded thereon or, as is the case with the current plastic materials, snapped thereon. Children, and in particular the better coordinated children, have been able to open these medicine bottles or containers and have eaten the contents with the ensuing potentially disastrous results.

Various government agencies have legislated that containers or bottles containing medicines or other dangerous substances be provided with closures or covers that are substantially child-proof. That is, the closures are built in such a way that only by chance is a child able to open the container.

Unfortunately, adults and, in particular, adults needing medication must be able to gain ready access to the contents of the child-proof containers, but due to the complicated systems presently in existence, it is necessary to align certain indicators before a second maneuver is performed which releases the closure from the container. In the dark, or with poor eyesight or with arthritic hands, it is almost impossible to accomplish the steps required to get to the contents of the container.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION A specially designed irregularly shaped container or container neck is provided with one semicircular or round end portion spaced from a straight or square opposite end portion. Access to the inside of the container is gained by means of a closure that is laterally shifted or slid prior to being unlatched and pivoted upwardly or removed upwardly from the container. The semicircular portion of the container and lid have interlocking pawl-like members with the opposite or square end of the container and lid having connecting means with spring or resiliently urged portions engaging between the container and the closure in such a way that the pawl-like members on the semicircular portionof the container are kept latched together. The central portion of the squared off end of the closure is designed so that there is no purchase for sliding the closure laterally relative to the container. Near the outer edges of the squared off end of the closure, abutments or thumb ridges are provided for engagement simultaneously by an adult thumb or finger which permits the adult to slide the closure relative to the container. The spacing between the hinge members and the stop member on the closure is such that even when the resiliently biased means are completely collapsed, the stop member on the closure will engage the inside of the container and the paul-like members will not be disengaged, but in order to disengage the pawl-like members, it is necessary to push up or raise the closure away from the container to unsnap the pawl-like members.

The location of the spaced apart abutments or thumb ridges on the closure is such that unless both abutments are simultaneously pushed laterally with respect to the container, it will not be possible to disengage the pawllike members from each other. Therefore, even if a child uses two fingers to push against the abutments, unless he pushes with equal force on both abutments and then pushes up on the other end of the closure, he will not be able to spring the pawl-like members apart to gain access to the container.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS The details of construction and operation of the invention are more fully described with reference to the accompanying drawings which form a part hereof and in which like reference numerals refer to like parts throughout.

In the drawings:

FIG. 1 is a top view of a preferred form of my invention shown to scale;

FIG. 2 is an enlarged top view of the invention of FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a rear view of the invention looking toward the spring leaves on the right side of FIG. 2;

FIG. 4 is a cross-sectional view taken along the lines 44 of FIG. 2;

FIG. 5 is a top view, similar to FIG. 2, only with the closure shifted to the left with respect to the container and in position ready to be opened;

FIG. 6 is a cross-sectional view taken along the lines 66 of FIG. 5;

FIG. 7 is a top view of a modified form of the invention;

FIG. 8 is a cross-sectional view taken along the lines 8-8 of FIG. 8;

FIG. 9 is a cross-sectional view taken along the lines 99 of FIG. 7;

FIG. 10 is a cross-sectional view taken along the lines l010 of FIG. 7;

FIG. 11 is a top view, similar to FIG. 7, only with the closure shifted to the left with respect to the container and in position ready to be opened;

FIG. 12 is a top view of another modified form of the invention;

FIG. 13 is a cross-sectional view taken along the lines l3-l3 of FIG. 12;

FIG. 14 is a partial top view of the modification of FIG. 12 only with the closure shifted to the left with respect to the container and in position ready to be opened;

FIG. 15 is a partial cross-sectional view taken along the lines 15-15 of FIG. 13;

FIG. 16 is a top view of still another modified form of the invention;

FIG. 17 is a cross-sectional view taken along the lines 1717 of FIG. 16;

FIG. 18 is a cross-sectional view taken along the lines l8-18 of FIG. 16;

FIG. 19 is a cross-sectional view taken along the lines 1919 of FIG. 16;

FIG. 20 is a top view, similar to FIG. 16, only with the closure shifted to the left with respect to the container and in position ready to be opened; 4

FIG. 21 is a cross-sectional view taken along the lines 2121 of FIG. 20;

FIG. 22 is still another modified form of the invention;

FIG. 23 is a cross-sectional view taken along the lines 2323 of FIG. 22;

FIG. 24 is a top view of the form of the invention shown in FIG. 22 only with the closure shifted to the left and with the resilient biasing 1r ZEUS collapsed; and

FIG. 25 is a cross-sectional view taken along the lines 2525 of FIG. 24.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT Referring to the drawings and, in particular, to FIGS. 1 through 6, a closed vessel includes an open top container 12 and a closure or cover 14 which closure or cover is transversely movable relative to the container to unlatch the cover so as to gain access to the contents of the container. FIG. 1 is a view made to scale of the closed vessel 10 showing the cover 14. In FIGS. 2-6, the vessel and cover are shown enlarged for .illustration purposes.

From the top views of FIGS. 1, 2 and 5, it can be seen that the container 12 has an irregular shape which comprises a straight rear wall 16 which is joined on each edge with a pair of parallel side walls 18, 20 which join with a semicircular front wall 22. As can be seen in cross section in FIGS. 4 and 6, a rib 24 extends outwardly from the side walls 18, 20, the front wall 22 and part of the rear wall 16 of said container. The rib 24 has a planar upwardly facing surface 25 spaced downwardly from the open top of said container and has a flared or tapered lower surface 26 extending upwardly and outwardly from the walls of the container for a purpose to be described hereinafter. The central portion of the rear wall 16 and the central portion of front wall 22 have oppositely and outwardly projecting pawl-like elements 27, 28, respectively. Element 28 is located close to the top edge of the container and has a tapered top surface 30 and a planar lower surface 32. The element 27 has a tapered top surface 34 and a planar lower surface 36. The planar lower surfaces 32, 36 are substantially parallel to the plane of the top edge of the container. The material found most suitable for the containers is a Styrene compound that is non-resilient and rather brittle.

The cover 14 has a planar body portion 40 with an outer edge generally conforming to the shape of the container 12 and has a depending skirt portion 42 extending downwardly from said outer edge portion forming the parallel sides 43, 44 and a semicircular portion 45. The skirt portion 42 extends inwardly a short distance from each side 43, 44 forming partial rear walls 46, 47. As shown best in FIG. 3, the skirt 42 has a bottom edge 48 which is of a size to substantially match the outward projection of the planar surface 25 on the rib 24 on the container. Approximately in the middle of the semicircular portion of said cover is formed an outwardly projecting tab 50 which has, on a depending portion thereof, an inwardly directed pawl-like projection 51 as best shown in FIGS. 4 and 6. The pawl-like projection 51 has a tapered lower surface 52 and a substantially planar top surface 53 lying substantially parallel to the plane of the body portion 40 of the cover or closure 14. A lug 54 is molded integrally with body portion 40 of the cover 14 and extends downwardly within the confines of the skirt 42. The forward wall of the lug is spaced from the inner surface of the tab 50 a predetermined amount that will be described hereinafter.

The closure 14 is longer between the skirt 42 of the rear walls 46, 47 and the skirt 42 of the semicircular portion 45 so that there is a gap 55 between the skirt 42 and the rear wall 16 of the container as shown in FIGS. 2 and 4. The cover 14 has a section 56 cutout of the body portion 40 along the straight side of said cover. Resilient members or arms 57 are formed integrally with the facing ends of said rear walls 46, 47 of the skirt 42 and project toward, but do not join, each other. The arms 57 are formed or shaped to project inwardly toward the center of the cover 14 and have pressure pads 58 formed on the inner ends thereof. When the cover is assembled with the container, the pads 58 are adapted to bear against the straight rear wall 16 of the container 12. The top edges 59 of the pads 58 nest under the overhanging planar surfaces 36 of the pawl-like element 27. The arms 57 are formed in such a way and are provided with a memory such that with the cover 14 positioned on the container 12, the pads 58 are urged against the rear wall 16 of the container to force the cover 14 and pawl-like projection 51 into latched relationship beneath the pawl-like element 28.

The spacing between the inside of the skirt 42 at the rear walls 46, 47 of the cover and the forward wall of the lug 54 is such that the junction between the planar surface 53 and tapered surface 52 of the pawl-like projection 51 is slightly less than the spacing between the outside of the rear wall 16 of the container and the junction between the tapered surface 30 and the planar surface 32 of the pawl-like element 28. Due to the just described differences in spacing, it is necessary to forcibly assemble and forcibly disassemble the cover to and from the container. Specifically, to assemble the cover to the containerfthe edges 59 of the pads 58 are engaged below the pawl-like element 27 and the tab end 50 of the cover is pivoted about said pads 58 until the tapered edge 52 of the tab engages with the tapered edge 30 of the pawl-like element 28, whereupon downward pressure on the cover will deform the skirt 42 and projection 51 on the tab 50 until the projection 51 on the tab snaps past the element 28. The resiliency of the arms 57 will urge the projection 51 below the element 28 to latch the cover on the container. Due to the tapered ribs 24 which protect the bottom edge 48 of the skirt 42, it is not possible to get an upward purchase on the skirt of the cover to pry the cover off the container. The tab 50, even though it projects forward slightly, is shaped in such a way that any attempt to push upon the projection in the normal closed condition of the cover, only tends to seat the cover more securely on the pawllike element 28. At the center portion of the rear straight wall, any upward push on the arms 57 only seats the pads 58 more securely under the pawl-like element 27. The cover is molded of a resilient material such as a Polyolefin compound having a relatively high density so that the skirt will deform for assembly and disassembly and the members 57 will provide the requisite amount of loading to hold the cover on the container.

The rear walls 46, 47 on either side of the cutout center portion 56 of the cover, serve as abutments which project rearward from the body portion of said cover. The inner surface of the skirt 42 of the rear walls 46, 47 are spaced from the rear wall 16 of the container to provide clearance therebetween for movement of the cover laterally relative to the container. The sides of the cutout portion 56 are spaced apart a measured amount designated by the numeral A in FIG. 1. FIG. 1

is an actual size view of the vessel and shows the abutments or rear walls 46, 47 spaced apart approximately 9/16 of an inch. The dimension A is sufficient to be readily spanned by the flat part of an adults thumb or finger, but is too large to be spanned by the average sized thumb or finger of a child. In practice, it has been found that a spacing of approximately 9/16 of an inch between the abutments 46, 47 will meet the above requirements in a sufficiently high percentage of cases to meet current government standards as childproof.

The resiliency of the arms 57 urge the pads 58 against the back wall 16 of the container and urge the cover relative to the container so as to latch the pawl-like elements 28 and the pawl-like abutments 51 together for securing the cover to the container. To open the container, whether in the daylight or in the dark, the person can orient the vessel in the hand due to the containers irregular shape, whereupon a thumb is placed against the rear side of the container spanning the abutments 46, 47. Pressure on the abutments 46, 47 will move the cover relative to the container until the arms 57 and skirt 42 forming the rear walls 46, 47 are flat against the wall 16 as shown in FIG. 5. The lug 54 will at that point abut the inner portion of the wall 22 whereupon the pawl-like abutment 51 will be still engaged below the pawl-like element 28 as shown in FIG. 6. Upward pressure on the tab 50 will pop the abutment 51 past the element 28 to release the'cover and to open the container.

The modification of my invention shown in FIGS. 7 through 11 incorporates an irregularly shaped vessel 110, a container 112 and a cover 114, all substantially as described with respect to FIGS. 1 through 6. The container has a continuous tapered rib 124 around the circumference thereof with the only break being in the vicinity of the hinge on the rear side 1 16. The container has a pawl-like element 128 interfitting with a pawl-like abutment 151 on the cover. The principal difference in this modification lies in the mounting and connection between the cover and the container on the rear side of the container.

The cover has a depending skirt 142 downwardly extending therefrom, continuously around three sides of the cover and projects inwardly toward each other on the rear side. The skirt 142, on the rear side, is spaced from the rear wall 116 of the container and the top edge is separated from and spaced from the body portion 140 of the cover leaving an open gap 155 between the rear skirt 142 of the cover and the rear wall 116 of the container. The rear edge 123 of the body portion 140 of the cover aligns substantially with the rear wall 116 of the container and has spaced apart, upwardly projecting abutments 160, 161 aligned with the rear edge of said body portion and extending above the plane of the body portion. A lug 54 is formed on the body portion 140 and is spaced from the wall of the tab 150.

The container 112 has a hinge member 162 rearwardly and upwardly extending therefrom with an open U-shaped channel 164 formed integrally with the central portion of the rear wall 116 of the container. The walls of the hinge member 162 converge inwardly near the open end thereof so as to form a constricted opening 165 into the channel 164. Extending between the inwardly facing ends of the skirts 142 on the cover is a bar or rod member 166 which has an axis lying in a plane spaced below and rearward of the body portion of the cover 114. The bar or rod member 166 may be formed integral with the skirts 142 or may be secured thereto in one of the well-known manners such as staking, pinning, gluing or the like. Projecting rearwardly from the upper edge portion of the rear wall of the container 114 and in alignment with the opposite edges of the hinge member 162, are a pair of lugs 168 which project outwardly and in overlaping relation with the surface of the rear wall of the container.

To assemble the cover 114 with the container 112, the rod member 166 is aligned with the opening 165 in the hinge member 162 and is forced down into the opening to deflect the outer wall of the member 162 until the rod 166 snaps past the outer ends of the lugs 168. The rod 166 then nests beneath the overhanging lugs 168 and is cradled in the bottom of the opening 165 in the hinge member 162. The cover is now free to hinge up and down about the axis of the rod 166. To close the container, the forward tab of the cover is forced down so that the abutment 151 spreads and moves past the element 128 on the container 112 until the abutment 151 snaps beneath the overhanging portion of the pawl-like element 128. The cover is now in a child-safe closed condition. The rib 124 does not permit an upward purchase on the lower edges of the skirt 142 and the shape of the lower surface of the hinge member 162 likewise does not permit an upward purchase on the rod 166 of the cover.

The spacing of the abutments 160, 161 are such that an adults thumb will span the distance therebetween and upon movement toward the tab 150, the skirt portions 142 will deflect as the cover is slid relative to the container. When the corner edges of the skirt 142 engage the rear corners of the container, as shown in FIG. 11, the lug 154 will engage with the curved wall 122 and the pawl-like abutment 151 will still be in overlaping relationship with the pawl-like element 128. At that point, upward pressure on the tab 150 will pop the pawl-like abutment 151 past the pawl-like element 128 permitting the cover to be pivoted about the axis of the rod 166 so as to open the container.

To close the container, the lid is pivoted shut and downward pressure on the tab 150 of the cover will snap the pawl-like abutment 151 past the pawl-like element 128 into the latched condition. A childs thumb or finger will not be able to span the distance between the abutments and 161 so as to provide the necessary forward movement of the cover relative to the container. Even assuming that the child is clever enough to use the palm of his hand to move the cover relative to the container, he is not likely to be coordinated enough to also realize that he must push up on the tab 150 to physically unlatch the abutment 151 from the element 128 in order to open the container. Since the container is irregularly shaped, it is possible even for a person with restricted eyesight to hold the container in the hand and to perform the necessary manipulation to open the container and to remove the medication therefrom. In circular-type containers, it is not possible to identify the exact location of the releases and, therefore, in the dark or a person with limited vision is not able to manipulate the safety closure.

FIGS. 12 through 15 illustrate still another modification of my invention wherein the elements of the container and cover are the same as described above with respect to FIGS. 1 through 6, except for the hinge and resilient retaining elements on the rear side of the cover and the container. Specifically, the skirt portions 242 at the rear side of the cover 214 are spaced from the rear edge 270 of the body portion 240 of the cover and project inwardly toward each other. The inner ends of the skirt portions 242 have enlarged planar portions 271 with circular lugs 272 projecting inwardly toward each other. The container 212 has an anchor abutment 274 projecting outwardly, away from the upper central portion of the rear wall 216 of the container and has a pair of inwardly extending apertures 276 formed in the opposite surfaces thereof. The apertures 276 are circular in configuration and are shaped to conform to the diameters of the lugs 272 on the inwardly projecting skirt portions 242 of the cover.

The skirt portions 242 of the cover with the lugs 272 seated in the apertures 276 in the anchor abutment 274 are urged into seating position by the resilience of the material forming the skirt portion 242 of said cover. The skirt portions 242, being spaced from the rear edge 270 of the body portion of the cover, are also spaced from the rear wall 216 of the container in their assembled condition. A pair of upwardly projecting abutments 278, 280 are formed on the top surface of the cover near the outer edges thereof.

To open the irregular container of this modification, an adults thumb is placed along the rear edge of the cover so as to bridge between the abutments 278, 280 on the top surface thereof. Forward pressure on the abutments 278, 280 will shift the cover relative to the container until the outer edges of the skirt portion 242 engage with the corners of the container as shown in FIG. 14 and the lug 254 engages with the inside of the container wall 222. At this point, the pawl-like abutment 251 on the tab 250 of the cover is still latched below the pawl-like element 228 on the container. Upward pressure on the tab 250 will pop the pawl-like abutment 251 past the pawl-like element 228 so as to release the cover from the container. The cover then can be pivoted about the axis of the lugs 272 and apertures 276 on the rear of the container.

FIGS. 17 through 21 illustrate still another modification of my invention wherein a closed vessel 310 includes an open top container 312 and a closure or cover 314. Once again, all elements of the container and cover are the same as that described with respect to the modifications of FIGS. 1 through 6 with the exception of the hinge element on the rear side of the cover and of the container. The body portion 340 of the cover 314 is slightly longer between the skirt 342 on a semicircular portion 322 and the skirt 342 at the straight rear portion of the closure so that there is a gap 355, as shown in FIG. 19, between the skirt 342 and the rear wall 316 of the container. On the side of the closure 314 opposite to the tab 350, a slit 382 is formed through the body portion 340 and extends substantially across the width of the closure. Slit 382 severs the rear skirt part 384 of the depending skirt portion 342 from the body portion 340 of the closure. The slit 382 stops short of the depending skirt portion 342 on the opposite sides of the closure so that the part 384 is hinged or connected at each end to the side portions of the skirt 342. The top wall 386 of the skirt part 384 lies substantially in the plane of the bottom surface of the body portion 340 of the cover and has an exposed edge 388 rounded. An inwardly projecting pawl-like member 390 is formed integrally with the central portion of the skirt part 384 and has a substantially planar upwardly facing surface 392 lying substantially parallel to the plane of the body portion 340. A gradually tapered planar portion 393 is formed at the rear center of the body portion 340 of the closure 314 and tapers to an edge with the plane of the bottom of said body portion gradually merges into the plane of the top surface of the body portion. The angle of the tapered planar portion 393 is such that it is not possible to get a firm transverse purchase on said tapered portion sufficient to move the cover transversely relative to the container. The combined effect of the rounded edge 388 of the top surface of the skirt part 384 and the tapered portion 393 of the body portion of the closure provides no purchase in the central portion of the closure for moving the closure transversely relative to the container.

The central portion of the rear wall 316 of the container has an outwardly projecting pawl-like element 327 located close to the top edge of the container and includes a tapered top surface 334 and a planar lower surface 336 which planar lower surface is substantially parallel to the plane of the top edge of the container. The pawl-like member 390 on the skirt part 384 engages beneath the pawl-like element 327 on the container.

A pair of abutments 346, 347 are formed on the closure 314 on the opposite sides of the tapered planar portion 393 and have vertical rearwardly facing surfaces. The abutments 346, 347 are spaced apart an amount sufficient to be readily spanned by the flat part of an adults thumb or finger as described hereinabove with respect to FIG. 1. The rear skirt part 384 of the closure forms a leaf spring-like structure which resiliently urges the pawl-like projection 351 on the tab 350 against the pawl-like element 328 on the semicircular part of the container and holds the pawl-like member 390 against the pawl-like element 327 on the rear wall of the container. The distance between the pawl-like projection 351 and the pawl-like member 390 is slightly less than the spacing between the base or root of the pawl-like elements 327, 328 on the container so that the leaf spring-like part resiliently holds the pawl-like projection 351 and the pawl-like member 390 seated beneath the pawl-like elements 327, 328 on the container.

With the closure in place on the container, it is not possible to lift the closure by sliding the finger up the side walls or up the round front wall of the container since the tapered rib 324 prevents one from getting a purchase against the bottom edge of the closure. Upward pressure on the leaf spring-like skirt part 384 of the closure only seats the pawl-like member 390 more firmly against the pawl-like element 327 on the container. To release the closure, pressure must be applied simultaneously against the spaced abutments 346, 347 on the rear side of the closure to move the closure transversely relative to the container until the pawl-like projection 351 disengages from the pawl-like element 328 on the container. At this point, the closure can be removed from the container by shifting the closure in the opposite direction to disconnect the pawl-like member from the pawl-like element on the rear of the container.

A child trying to open the container will put his thumb or finger between the abutments on the closure and will repeatedly slide his finger up the ramp of the tapered center part 393 of the closure and since the angle of the tapered portion is such as to prevent a ready purchase, it is not possible to obtain sufficient force to shift the closure transverse to the container. Pressure against one or the other of the abutments 346 or 347 does not shift the closure a sufficient amount to disconnect the pawl-like projection 351 from the pawllike elements.

FIGS. 22 through 25 show a further modified form of my invention wherein the container and closure have many of the same features as the FIGS. 1 through 6 version. In this modified version, the closure or cover 414 is hinged to the container by a living hinge 494. As viewed from above, in FIGS. 22 and 24, a pair of resilient spring-like members 495 and 496 are formed as extensions to the depending shirt portion 442. The resilient members 495, 496 have finger portions 497, 498 which are spring urged against portions of the rear wall 416 of the container to urge the cover to the right with respect to the container thereby holding the pawl-like projection 451 on the tab 450 of the cover in latching position with respect to the pawl-like element 428 on the container. A lug or stop 454 is formed on the inside of the body portion 440 and is spaced from the curved wall 422 of the container.

To open the container, it is necessary to move the cover to the left by pressure against the squared off portion of the cover which pressure will collapse the spring-like members 495, 496 against the container. In the position of FIG. 24, the spring-like members 495, 496 are completely collapsed and the lug or stop 454 engages with the inner surface of wall 422, with the pawl-like projection 451 still connected beneath the pawl-like element 428 as can be seen in FIG. 25. At this point, it is necessary to apply upward pressure against the tab 450 on the cover to resiliently distort the pawllike projection 451 until it disconnects from the pawllike element 428 whereupon the cover can be pivoted into the open condition with respect to the container. It has been found that a child may learn to shift the cover back and forth relative to the container, but he is so occupied in the movement of the cover relative to the container that he does not realize that it is necessary to perform a separate operation, namely the physical moving of the cover upwardly relative to the container, to forcibly distort the pawl-like projection 451 to disconnect the pawl-like projection 451 from the pawl-like element 428 so that the cover can be pivoted relative to the container about the living hinge 494.

It has been found that different elements of the different embodiments hereinabove described, may be intermixed to arrive at a useful and practical safety closure for a container. That is, the living hinge concept of the modification of FIGS. 22 through 25, may be substituted in lieu of the pawl-like member 390 and pawl-like element 327 connection of FIGS. 16 through 21. When such a substitution has been made, the top surface of the hinge 494 aligns with the bottom surface of the body portion of the closure and the central portion of the body portion of the closure is tapered inwardly as described with respect to FIGS. 16 through 21. In this way, the hinge is too pliable to affect movement of the cover in the event pressure is applied just against the hinge and the central part of the top surface, in alignment with the hinge, is tapered so that a transverse purchase is not readily possible thereon. Under these circumstances, the only way the cover can be opened is to bridge the tapered portion 393 and to apply simultaneous pressure against the two abutments 346 and 347 so as to shift the closure or cover transverse to the container for opening the container.

The container can be molded from an appropriate plastic material that is capable of meeting the varied requirements of the container. To provide for the repeated flexing of the elements of the cover and the container, the plastic material most likely would be a Polyolefin of an appropriate density, a high density being preferred. However, this material may not provide the best physical properties for the prescription dispensing container. Although it is recognized that a prescription container need not be crystal clear for visibility of the contents, a certain degree of clarity is needed. Some pharmacists curl the direction label against the inner wall of the container after which the tablets are dropped in to hold the label in place. Other pharmacists stick the label to the outside surface of the container which calls for a plastic surface that will hold a water soluble adhesive. Polyolefins generally are not the best suited for holding water soluble adhesives. Poly compounds also cost more than the styrene compounds that are commonly used to mold prescription containers. The container in the present disclosure, in addition to being irregular in shape for orientation purposes, also has the semicircular shape to meet the requirements of that group of pharmacists that like to drop the label in the container and since the outer surface is circular, it also meets the needs of that group of pharmacists that like to paste their labels on the outer surface of the container.

It is contempalted that the container 12 may be round or cylindrical and the slide closure principle still functions effectively. The chief difference being that the feel orientation feature is sacrificed. It is, therefore, within the context of my invention to apply the various slide closure principles of FIGS. 1-25 to a round or cylindrically-shaped container.

I claim:

l. A safety closure for a container having an open top, said closure having a body portion and a depending skirt portion around three sides thereof which sides overlap the edge of said container surrounding said top portion, a pawl-like projection on said skirt portion projecting parallel to said body portion, a mating pawllike element on said container projected outwardly therefrom and into alignment with said pawl-like projection on said closure, connecting means on the fourth side of said closure and on said container for connecting said closure to said container at least in the closed position of said closure, and resilient means on said closure acting on said connecting means for urging said pawl-like projection on said closure into latching engagement with said pawl-like element on said container.

2. In a safety closure as claimed in claim 1 wherein said connecting means is an interfitting pawl-like member and pawl-like element which are disconnected after the pawl-like projection and pawl-like element are disconnected. 4

3. In a safety closure as claimed in claim 1 wherein said connecting means is a hinge between said closure and said container.

4. In a safety closure as claimed in claim 1 wherein said resilient means is a band of material bridging the fourth side of said closure and carrying said pawl-like member.

5. In a safety closure as claimed in claim 1 wherein said connecting means and said resilient means are a pair of inwardly directed arms carried by said closure and engaging beneath a second overhanging pawl-like element on said container.

6. In a safety closure as claimed in claim 1 wherein said pawl-like projection has a longer planar overhanging portion than there is lateral movement of said closure so that said pawl-like projection must be forced past said pawl-like element after said closure is moved as far as possible toward an unlatching position.

7. In a safety closure as claimed in claim 1 wherein said resilient means is a pair of inwardly projecting portions of said skirt portion, rod means connected to said projecting portions and said connecting means is a hinge means mounted on said container engaging with said rod means for hingingly connecting said closure to said container.

8. In a safety closure as claimed in claim 1 wherein said resilient means is a pair of inwardly projecting portions of said skirt portion with lug members formed on the facing ends thereof, and said connecting means is an abutment on said container with apertures formed in the opposite sides thereof, said lugs on said projecting portions seat in said apertures in said abutment for hingingly connecting said closure to said container.

9. In a safety closure as claimed in claim 4 wherein the top central portion of said closure extending from the edge along said fourth side is tapered from a thin edge into said top surface of said closure so as to present no square surface for urging said closure in a transverse direction against the resilience of said band of material.

10. In a safety closure as claimed in claim 5 wherein a pair of abutments are formed on said closure near the corners of said fourth side, said abutments being spaced apart an amount sufficient to permit a childs thumb to pass therebetween and sufficient to permit an adults thumb to bridge therebetween whereby simultaneous pressure against both abutments moves said closure transverse to the container to facilitate disengagement of said pawl-like projection from said pawl-like element.

11. In a safety closure as claimed in claim 1 wherein a rib is formed around the walls of said container, said rib having a tapered lower surface and a flat top surface, said flat top surface aligning with and protecting a bottom edge of said depending skirt portion to prevent force from being applied against said bottom edge.

12. A vessel having a container with an open top and a closure covering said open top, said closure having a body portion and a depending skirt portion on at least two opposite sides thereof which sides overlap the edge of said container surrounding said open top portion, a pawl-like projection on said closure having a portion projecting parallel to said body portion, a mating pawllike element on said container in alignment with said pawl-like projection on said closure, means on said closure and on said container for connecting said closure with said container at least in the closed position of said closure, and resilient means on said closure for urging said pawl-like projection on said closure into latching engagement with said pawl-like element on said container.

13. A safety closure for a container having an open top, said closure having a top surface and a pawl-like projection depending therefrom, said projection having a portion extending parallel to said body portion, a mating pawl-like element on said container aligned with, and removably connected to, said pawl-like projection on said closure, means on said closure and on said container for connecting said closure with said container in the closed position of said closure, and resilient means on said closure bearing against said container to restrain transverse movement of said closure relative to said container to hold said pawl-like projection and said pawl-like element latched together whereby transverse movement of the closure relative to the container serves to facilitate disengagement of the cover from the container.

14. A safety closure for a container as claimed in claim 13 wherein the central part of the rear edge portion of said closure has a tapered section and wherein a pair of abutments are located on the closure on opposite sides of said tapered section, whereby pressure on the tapered portion will not create transverse movement of said closure and whereby simultaneous pressure on the abutments will create transverse movement of said closure.

15. A safety closure for a container as claimed in claim 13 wherein said means is a pawl-like member on said resilient means which engages with a second pawllike element on said container.

16. A safety closure for a container as claimed in claim 15 wherein a skirt depends from the outer edges of said closure and wherein said resilient means is a portion of said skirt that is disconnected from the body portion of the closure and is connected at each end to the balance of said depending skirt.

17. A safety closure for a container as claimed in claim 16 wherein rib means are provided on said container for shielding the lower edge of said skirt to prevent upward pressure on said skirt.

18. A safety closure for a container as claimed in claim 13 wherein said means is a living hinge connecting said closure to said container and wherein said resilient means is a pair of spring-urged fingers on said closure bearing against said container on opposite sides of said hinge.

19. A safety closure for a container as claimed in claim 13 wherein said container is irregularly shaped so that the container can be oriented by feel prior to applying the transverse movement to the closure.

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Classifications
U.S. Classification215/216, 215/225, 215/322, 220/264
International ClassificationB65D50/04, B65D50/00
Cooperative ClassificationB65D50/045
European ClassificationB65D50/04F