Title:
MEDICINAL CONTAINERS
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
The present invention is an improved medicinal container providing a safety closure and at least one rib for aligning a label, said container providing increased surface area for prescribing instructions.



Inventors:
Kaufman, Stacy (Sunrise, FL, US)
Application Number:
11/672733
Publication Date:
08/09/2007
Filing Date:
02/08/2007
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
215/217, 215/230
International Classes:
B65D41/00; B65D39/00; B65D55/02
View Patent Images:



Primary Examiner:
HYLTON, ROBIN ANNETTE
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Robert, Schwartz M. P. A. (P.O. BOX 221470, HOLLYWOOD, FL, 33022, US)
Claims:
I claim:

1. A medicinal container comprising: (a) at least one rib protruding outward from an outer surface of said container; and (b) a closure for said container.

2. The medicinal container of claim 1 further comprising an adhesive label having an edge placed adjacent to said rib.

3. The medicinal container of claim 2, wherein placement of said adhesive label commences at said edge placed adjacent to said rib.

4. The medicinal container of claim 3 wherein said placement of said adhesive label extends about the perimeter of said container

5. The medicinal container of claim 1 further comprising a closure.

6. The medicinal container of claim 4 wherein said closure is a standard screw on threaded cap.

7. The medicinal container of claim 4 wherein said closure is a pharmaceutical safety cap.

8. The medicinal container of claim 4 wherein said closure comprises: (a) a first locking mechanism whereby said closure is secured into a closed and locked position; and (b) a second locking mechanism; wherein said first locking mechanism is disengaged prior to disengagement of said second locking mechanism.

9. A medicinal container comprising: (a) three substantially flat planer surfaces; (b) a fourth surface encompassing a curvature.

10. The medicinal container of claim 9 comprising at least one rib protruding outward from an outer surface of said container.

11. The medicinal container of claim 10 wherein said rib extends vertically substantially along a vertical surface of one of said flat planer surfaces.

12. The medicinal container of claim 9 wherein said curvature is the surface formed of a circular portion having a central angle measure of 90°-270°.

13. The medicinal container of claim 9 wherein said curvature is the surface formed of a circular portion having a central angle measure of 90°-180°.

14. The medicinal container of claim 9 wherein said surface is configured to receive an adhesive label having an edge placed adjacent to said rib, said label extends about at least some portion of the perimeter of said container.

15. The medicinal container of claim 9 wherein said container has a pharmaceutical screw type closure with an engaged safety tab.

16. A medicinal container comprising: (a) four substantially flat planer surfaces; (b) at least one rib protruding outward from an outer surface of said container.

17. The medicinal container of claim 16 wherein said rib extends vertically substantially along a vertical surface of one of said flat planer surfaces.

18. The medicinal container of claim 16 wherein said surface is configured to receive an adhesive label having an edge placed adjacent to said rib, said label extends about at least some portion of the perimeter of said container.

19. The medicinal container of claim 15 wherein said container comprises a closure comprising: (a) a frame interacting with an open end of said container through a snap close type arrangement; (b) an opening on the upper surface of said frame; (c) a first locking mechanism whereby said closure is secured into a closed and locked position; and (d) a second locking mechanism; wherein said first locking mechanism is disengaged prior to disengagement of said second locking mechanism.

Description:

INDEX TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application claims benefit of U.S. Provisional Patent Application Ser. No. 60/771,273 filed Feb. 8, 2006 the disclosure of which is incorporated herein by reference in its entirety.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

The present invention pertains to medicinal containers.

Medicinal containers in general and prescription drug containers particularly are typically cylindrical containers that have a removable cap. The cap typically has some type of child-proofing mechanism for preventing a child from opening the container.

One disadvantage of typical medicinal containers as described above is that there is a small amount of surface area for displaying information about the prescribed drug (i.e. drug name, doctor and patient name, dosage requirements, etc.). Accordingly, when the prescription is filled by the pharmacy, certain information must be left off the label, simply because of the fact that there is a limited amount of surface area available on the container for the information. Furthermore, because the containers are small, the containers tend to be of a size that is difficult for a user with arthritic hands or other motility disorders, to handle with ease. It is also difficult for the pharmacist and or technician to affix the prescription drug label onto the medicinal vial straight and often has to be removed and put back onto the container creating a delay in the prescription fulfillment process. Also there are increased costs if the label is removed from the container since it is unable to be reused once the label is taken off.

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention is a medicinal container that is more versatile and easier to use and overcomes the disadvantages disclosed above. Medicinal containers of the present invention provide increased labeling area without substantially increasing the dimensions of the container. Furthermore, the subject containers are easier to use for those with motility issues. One feature of the containers is they provide a child-resistant closure for preventing a child from accessing the contents of the subject medicinal containers. The medicinal containers of the present invention have flat surfaces to which the label is adhered. The flat label surfaces provide a surface on the label that is easy for a user to handwrite additional information on the label.

In one embodiment, the present invention is a medicinal container comprising:

    • (a) a rib extending vertically substantially along a vertical surface and protruding outward from an outer surface of said container; and
    • (b) a closure for said container.

In a preferred embodiment, the rib protrudes from the surface of the container from any of the surfaces or corners. The rib is large enough to guide the placement of a label edge and small enough such that is does not interfere with the handling of the container.

The medicinal container of the present invention comprises a surface for placement of an adhesive label having an edge placed adjacent to a rib. The placement of the adhesive label commences by placing an edge of the label adjacent to the rib and wrapping the label along the surface such that the label application extends about the perimeter of the container. The label may extend about some part or all of the perimeter of the container.

The medicinal container further comprises a closure which may be a standard screw on threaded cap or a pharmaceutical safety cap. In one embodiment, the container has a pharmaceutical screw type closure with an engaged safety tab.

In another embodiment the closure comprises:

    • (a) a first locking mechanism whereby said closure is secured into a closed and locked position; and
    • (b) a second locking mechanism;
    • wherein said first locking mechanism is disengaged prior to disengagement of said second locking mechanism.

The closure may further comprise an internal ridge for creating an air tight seal.

In another embodiment, the medicinal container of the present invention may comprise:

    • a. three substantially flat planer surfaces;
    • b. a fourth surface encompassing a curvature surface; and
    • c. a rib extending vertically substantially along a vertical surface of one of said flat planer surfaces, and said rib protruding outward from an outer surface of said container.

The medicinal container as a curvature on one surface formed of a circular portion having a central angle measure of 90°-270°. In a preferred embodiment, the central angle measure is 90°-180°.

In another embodiment, the medicinal container comprises:

    • a. four substantially flat planer surfaces;
    • b. a rib extending vertically substantially along a vertical surface of one of said flat planer surfaces, and said rib protruding outward from an outer surface of said container;
    • c. a rib extending vertically substantially along a vertical surface of one of said flat planer surfaces, and said rib protruding outward from an outer surface of said container.

The medicinal container may comprise a closure comprising:

    • (i) a frame interacting with an open end of said container through a snap close type arrangement;
    • (ii) an opening on the upper surface of said frame;
    • (iii) a first locking mechanism whereby said closure is secured into a closed and locked position; and
    • (iv) a second locking mechanism;
      • wherein said first locking mechanism is disengaged prior to disengagement of said second locking mechanism.

In any configuration an adhesive label may be placed on the container having an edge placed adjacent to a rib, said label extends about at least some portion of the perimeter of the container. The label may extend about the entire outer perimeter of the container.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The embodiments of the invention are illustrated by way of example, and not by way of limitation, in the figures of the accompanying drawings in which like reference numerals refer to similar elements. In the drawings:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a medicinal container according to the invention.

FIG. 1A is a perspective view of the medicinal container according to the invention with the lid of the medicinal container shown removed above the body of the container.

FIG. 1B is a front perspective view of the medicinal container according to the invention.

FIG. 2 is a bottom view of medicinal container according to the invention.

FIG. 2A is a bottom view of the medicinal container according to the invention without the lid and showing the curvature surface.

FIGS. 2B, 2C, and 2D illustrate a top view of the perimeters of a standard round container (2B), a square container with edge lengths equal to the diameter of a standard round container (2C) and a container with three flat sides and one rounded side whereby edge length of each flat size is equal to the diameter of the semicircular surface of the rounded side (2D).

FIG. 3 is a partial side view illustrating the closure cap of the medicinal container according to the invention.

FIG. 3A is a partial side view illustrating the closure cap the medicinal container according to the invention further showing placement of the cap above the container.

FIG. 3B is a partial side view of the lid placed onto the container without engaging the lid closure interlock.

FIG. 3C is a partial side view showing the lid secured to the container and engaging the interlock but not in locked position.

FIG. 3D is a partial side view whereby the interlock is shown in an angle offset from perpendicular to the side of the container whereby the interlock is engaged but the lid is not secured into a locked position.

FIG. 3E is a partial side view showing the engagement of the interlock.

FIG. 3F is a partial side view also showing engagement of the interlock at a different position.

FIG. 3G is a partial side view showing the closure cap with an interior interlock of the medicinal container according to the invention further showing placement of the cap above the container.

FIG. 3H is a partial side view showing placement of the cap with the interior interlock on the container.

FIG. 4 is a perspective view of a second embodiment of a medicinal container according to the invention.

FIGS. 5A, 5B, 5C are partial side views from FIG. 4, of the insertion of the closure according to the invention.

FIGS. 6A, 6B, 6C are partial side views of the rear securing arrangement of the embodiment shown in FIG. 4.

FIGS. 7A, 7B, and 7C are partial top perspective views of the closure of the medicinal container from FIG. 4.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

In the following description, numerous specific details are set forth. However, it is understood that embodiments of the invention may be practiced without these specific details. In other instances, well-known structures and techniques have not been shown in detail in order not to obscure the understanding of this description.

FIGS. 1-3 illustrate a first embodiment of a medicinal container for holding prescribed drugs therein. Container 10 is substantially rectangular with a rounded face 11d. Container 10 has three flat faces 11a, 11b, and 11c, on which a user can hand write on. The three flat faces also provide for an increased surface area over conventional round prescription bottles. By way of example, a round prescription bottle with a diameter of 2 inches and a height 2 inches has a surface area along the side of 2 Πrh or 12.56 in2. (See FIG. 2B) A prescription container according to the first embodiment whereby there are 3 equal, flat sides of for example 2 inches×2 inches and a fourth side encompassing a circular surface being a semicircle, having a height of 2 inches. The surface area being that of the 3 square faces (3) s2 plus the curved surface area of a semicircle surface ½ (2)Πrh for a total of 18.28 in2. (See FIG. 2D) This represents a 45% increase in surface area available for printing a label. This significant increase in surface area would allow for a printed label providing for larger fonts and providing more information to the user. The increase in surface area would be as significant if all four surfaces were rectangular. For example, a rectangular container of length 2″ width 2″ and height 2″ would have a surface area equal to 2(l)(h)+2(w)(h) or 16 in2. (See FIG. 2C)

Container 10 includes a round opening lie formed therein on the upper portion for inserting and removing the contents of the container, covered with a round screw-type cap 14.

Container 10 has locking ring 15 that keeps screw-type cap 14 from being removed. Container 10 has a rib 12 that extends outward from flat planer surface 11a. In one embodiment, rib 12 runs along the vertical plane of said surface (as shown in FIG. 1.) for substantially the height of the container. The rib may protrude up to ¼ inch or more if desired. The rib may be discontiguous along the surface, of the container. As shown in FIG. 1A, rib 12 has two portions 12a and 12b.

In one embodiment, ribs 12a and 12b are separate and individually provide guidance for placement of label 13 (see FIG. 1A). Rib 12 provides a standardized starting point for affixing a label 13 to container 10. The standardized placement of label 13 is helpful in that a preprinted label, typically a medicinal label may be configured for affixation to container 10. Rib 12 may be placed on any of the planer surfaces, or any corner where the surfaces meet, and would not be limited to flat planer surface 11a as shown in FIGS. 1-3. Rib 12 is configured such that when one wishes to affix an adhesive label (shown as 13 in FIG. 1) to container 10, label 13 placement may be standardized by commencing placement of terminal edge 13a of label 13 along the planer surface 11a immediately adjacent rib 12. Thus providing for straight label placement. Cap 14, is internally threaded with threads 14c, and has a lower annular ring 14b with a locking node 14a depending therefrom. Container 10 has a threaded neck 16 with threads 15c, a locking ring 15 for radial engagement with locking node 14. Locking ring 15 is flexible so it can either be pressed downward by a user or bent downward by the interacting force of node 14a. In use to close cap 14 on container 10, cap 14 is rotated on neck 16 such that node 14a engages ring 15. Once engaged as shown in FIGS. 3E and 3F, gap 14 can no longer be rotated without additional releasing forces. To release cap 14, locking ring 15 is pressed downward to release locking node 14a allowing lid 14 to rotate and be unscrewed.

An alternative means to lock lid 14 shown in FIGS. 3G, 3H, and 3I, includes an interior locking node 14b placed within the interior circumferal edge of lid 14, node 14b does not extend below horizontal plane A-A formed by the open lower edge of lid 14.

Safety ring 15 has a protruding shoulder interlock 15b on the upper surface of ring 15 that interacts with node 14b and secures in a locked arrangement lid 14 and container 10 (see FIGS. 3G and 3H).

A second embodiment (see FIGS. 4-7) of the present invention is rectangular medicinal container 30. Container 30 has four flat planer surface faces 31a, 31b, 31c, and 31d, on which can be handwritten or may receive label 32. Container 30 has a rib 33 that extends outward from face 31a and runs along the vertical plane of said face 31a (as shown in FIG. 4). As described in the first embodiment and shown in FIG. 1A, rib 33 may be placed as one or more portions (i.e. multiple ribs) and may be discontiguous along the surface but in a both in a vertical line. Rib 33 provides a standardized starting point for affixing a label 32 to container 30.

The standardized placement of label 32 is helpful in that a preprinted label may be configured for affixation to container 30. Rib 33 may be placed on any of the planer surfaces and would not be limited to flat planer surface 31a. Rib 33 is configured such that when one wishes to affix adhesive label 32 to the side of container 30, label 32 placement may be standardized by commencing placement of a terminal edge 32a of label 32 along the planer surface immediately adjacent to rib 33 so label 32 will not be skewed.

Container 30 includes a child resistant cap assembly 38, a rear locking ring 37, a hinged lid 39 and a forward interlock 40, the latter depending from the front portion of hinged lid 39. Lid 39 has living hinge 39a at the interface of lid 39 with assembly 38.

Shoulder 34 on the upper portion of flat planer surface 31b has an assembly interlock 36 extending upward from shoulder 34 flexes and rear container interlock ring 35. Interlock 36 (as will be shown below in the description on FIGS. 6A, 6B, and 6C) to interacts with ring 37 to secure assembly 38 onto upper portion of container 30. Surface 31d has a lid interlock tab 41 that engages a lid interlock 42, for securing into a closed position tab 40 and opening lid 39. The edges of lid 39 closely fit adjoining edges of assembly 38. Further assembly 38 tightly fits on the upper edges of surfaces 31a, 31b, 31c, and 31d to form at least an air tight closure.

In a closed position, lid 39 has incorporated within the lower planer surface, a front internal ridge 45 that seals against upper portion of surface 31d when lid 39 is closed. Ridge 45 may extend along the entire interior perimeter of assembly 38. Interlock 42 has an outward bias, and interacts with a lid tab 40 to secure lid 39 in a closed position. A user exerts opening of lid 39 requires two separate steps. First downward pressure on lid interlock tab 41, which subsequently disengages lid interlock 42 from lid tab 40. Upward pressure is then applied on lid tab 40 that raises lid 39 from a closed and secured position (see FIGS. 5A, 5B, and 5C).

Container 30 also includes a securing arrangement by which lid assembly 38 is secured to the upper portion of flat planer surface 31b. Downward pressure is applied on lid assembly 38 such that assembly interlock 36, biased inward, interacts and engages locking ring 37 to secure lid assembly 38 into position on upper portion of container 30 at the upper portion of surface 31b. Rear interior ridge 44 secures the position of assembly 38 and also provides an additional amount of sealing for assembly 38. Disengagement of assembly 38 is the reverse process requiring downward pressure on shoulder 34 to disengage assembly interlock 36 from locking ring 37, followed by application of upward pressure on lid assembly 38 (see FIGS. 6A, 6B, and 6C).

Lid 39 is opened by applying, downward pressure on lid interlock tab 41. As shown in FIGS. 7A and 7B when pressure is applied incorrectly on pressure lid tab 40 (FIG. 7A) or on both lid tab 40 and lid interlock tab 41, lid interlock 42 will not release and disengage and the user will be unable to open lid 39. FIG. 7C shows that downward pressure must be applied only to lid interlock tab 41 to disengage lid interlock 42 and open lid 39.

While the invention has been described in its preferred form or embodiment with some degree of particularity, it is understood that this description has been given only by way of example and that numerous changes in the details of construction, fabrication, and use, including the combination and arrangement of parts, may be made without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention.





 
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