Title:
Dispenser with a Spout
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A dispenser with a spout holds a plurality of objects, such as pharmaceutical dosage forms. The dispenser has a housing defining an interior space that holds the pharmaceutical products and an opening leading to the interior space. A movable spout is disposed in the opening and is able to pivot between a closed position wherein the opening is occluded, or sufficiently occluded, by the spout thereby preventing objects disposed within the interior space from exiting the housing through the opening and an open position wherein the opening is not occluded, or sufficiently unoccluded, by the spout thereby permitting objects disposed within the interior space to exit the housing through the opening. The dispenser also has an opener with a push button for moving the spout from the closed position to the open position about the pivot axis when pressure is applied to the opener wherein the opener engages one end of the spout below the pivot axis to push another end of the spout outward from the housing.



Inventors:
Croft, Robert (Jersey City, NJ, US)
Short, Martin (Jersey City, NJ, US)
Application Number:
11/772778
Publication Date:
01/08/2009
Filing Date:
07/02/2007
Assignee:
Purdue Pharma L.P. (Stamford, CT, US)
Primary Class:
International Classes:
B65D83/04
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:
20030034254Plastic container compacting deviceFebruary, 2003Ugon
20070241026Frame and door for a lockerOctober, 2007Green
20080210582INHIBITION OF PAINT-PRODUCT SKIN FORMATIONSeptember, 2008Betz et al.
20080169209Devices and methods for skin surface preparationJuly, 2008House
20080220909GOLF BALL MARKER HOLDERSeptember, 2008Yamashita
20070090012COVER FOR WRAPPING AT LEAST ONE ARTICLE, THE COVER BEING OF THE TYPE CONSTITUTED BY A SLEEVE OF HEAT-SHRINKABLE PLASTICS MATERIALApril, 2007Fresnel
20080156684Stackable modular container systemJuly, 2008Xzomenia
20100012545Socket loop wrench holderJanuary, 2010Bottoms
20050126940Hydrating case for moisture-containing lens and hydrating method using itJune, 2005Nakagawa
20030052035Storage pillowMarch, 2003Dickinson
20070295618Hydrogen Storage CompositionDecember, 2007Boyd et al.



Primary Examiner:
PRANGE, SHARON M
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
STERNE, KESSLER, GOLDSTEIN & FOX P.L.L.C. (1100 NEW YORK AVENUE, N.W., WASHINGTON, DC, 20005, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A dispenser comprising: a housing defining an interior space and an opening providing access to said interior space, said housing comprising: a top surface; a base; and a plurality of walls that extend between and connect said top surface and said base and which enclose said interior space, wherein one of said plurality of walls has said opening formed therein; a movable spout disposed in said opening; a pivot axis located along a length of said movable spout between a first end and a second end of said movable spout, wherein said spout is able to pivot about said pivot axis within said opening between a closed position wherein said opening is at least partially occluded by said spout thereby preventing objects disposed within said interior space from exiting said housing through said opening, and an open position wherein said opening is sufficiently unoccluded by said spout so as to permit objects disposed within said interior space to exit said housing through said opening; and an opener for moving said spout from said closed position to said open position about said pivot axis when pressure is applied to said opener, wherein said opener engages said second end of said spout below said pivot axis so as to push said first end of said spout outwardly from said housing into said open position.

2. The dispenser of claim 1, further comprising a living hinge connecting said opener to said housing.

3. The dispenser of claim 1, wherein said spout is sized to only allow single objects to exit one at a time therefrom.

4. The dispenser of claim 1, wherein said object is a pharmaceutical product.

5. The dispenser of claim 1, wherein said base is removable to permit access to said interior space for filling said interior space with objects.

6. The dispenser of claim 1, wherein said base has a flat surface so said dispenser is able to stand upright on a surface.

7. The dispenser of claim 1, wherein said opener comprises a push button.

8. The dispenser of claim 1, wherein said movable spout comprises: a front panel; and first and second side walls which are connected to said front panel on opposing sides.

9. The dispenser of claim 8, wherein said front panel is flush with said housing when said movable spout is in said closed position and wherein said front panel is extended outward from said housing when said movable spout is in said open position.

10. The dispenser of claim 8, wherein said first and second walls are located inside said interior of said housing when said movable spout is in said closed position and wherein said first and second side walls extend outward from said housing when said movable spout is in said open position.

11. The dispenser of claim 1, wherein dispenser further comprises: first and second shafts extending from said housing across opposite sides of said opening at a location corresponding to the pivot axis, wherein said movable spout is attached to said first and second shafts.

12. The dispenser of claim 1, wherein said base is wider than said top surface.

13. The dispenser of claim 1, wherein said top surface is slanted.

Description:

CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application is related to co-pending U.S. patent application Ser. No. ______ filed on ______.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The present invention is directed to a dispenser.

2. Background Art

Dispensers with a hinged cover are generally known for dispensing items, such as pharmaceutical products (e.g., pills), mints or candy. When the cover is in the open position the dispenser may be inverted and shaken so as to dispense one or more of the items held therein. The items simply exit through an opening and, depending upon the force of the shaking, may exit the opening at a variety of angles such that the items fall in an unintended location, rather than in the user's waiting hand.

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

Disclosed herein is a dispenser having a housing defining an interior space and an opening in the housing providing access to the interior space. The housing has a top surface, a base, and a plurality of walls that extend between and connect the top surface and the base and which enclose the interior space, wherein one of the plurality of walls has the opening in the housing formed therein. A movable spout is disposed in the opening, and a pivot axis is located along a length of the movable spout between a first end and a second end of the movable spout. The spout is able to pivot about the pivot axis within said opening between a first, or closed, position wherein the opening is occluded by the spout, thereby preventing items disposed within the interior space from exiting the housing through the opening, and a second, or open, position wherein the opening is not occluded, or sufficiently unoccluded, by the spout, so as to permit items disposed within the interior space to exit the housing through the opening. The dispenser also has a mechanism for moving the spout from the closed position to the open position. This mechanism, or opener, serves to pivot the spout about the pivot axis when pressure is applied to the opener so that the opener engages the second end of the spout below the pivot axis to push the first end of the spout outwardly away from the opening in the housing into the open position. The spout may subsequently be moved back into the closed position by simple finger pressure against the first end of the spout.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS/FIGURES

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of an exemplary dispenser in a closed position.

FIG. 2 is a perspective view of an exemplary dispenser in an open position.

FIG. 3 is a perspective view of an exemplary dispenser with the spout removed, thereby revealing the opening leading into the interior space.

FIG. 4 is a cut-away of a side view of an exemplary dispenser in a closed position, with an item ready to be dispensed when the spout is moved from the closed position to the open position.

FIG. 5 is a cut-away of a side view of an exemplary dispenser in an open position, with a dispensed item situated in the open spout.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

Disclosed is a dispenser 100, which will be described herein with reference to FIGS. 1-5. Dispenser 100 has a housing 102, which has a base 104, a top surface 106, and four walls 108 (two of which are shown). Each of walls 108 is connected to two of the other walls 108, base 104, and top surface 106. One of walls 108 has an opening 110 therein (see FIG. 3) that leads to an interior space enclosed by housing 102 of dispenser 100 and may also have an opener 112 attached adjacent to opening 110. A plurality of objects 114 may be stored in the interior space of housing 102 until each is dispensed. Objects 114 may include, but are not limited to, pharmaceutical dosage forms, candies, or vitamins.

A movable spout 116 is disposed in opening 110 and may pivot about a pivot axis P (see FIG. 3) between a closed position, as shown in FIGS. 1 and 4, wherein spout 116 occludes, or sufficiently occludes, opening 110, thereby preventing objects 114 disposed within the interior space of housing 102 from exiting housing 102 through opening 110, and an open position, as shown in FIGS. 2 and 5, wherein spout 116 does not occlude, or sufficiently unoccludes, opening 110, thereby permitting objects 114 disposed within the interior space of housing 102 to exit housing 102 through opening 110. Movable spout 116 can have a front panel 118 and two side walls 120 attached to opposite sides of front panel 118 (see FIG. 2). When spout 116 is in the closed position, front panel 118 may be flush with wall 108, and side walls 120 can be located within the interior space of housing 102. When spout 116 is in the open position, side walls 120 can extend out from opening 110.

Movable spout 116 can be attached to the housing through two shafts 122 that extend from wall 108 across opening 110. Shafts 122 are aligned to form the pivot axis P about which movable spout 116 pivots. Movable spout 116 can be attached to shafts 122 at a point along front panel 118 that is between a first end 124 of front panel 118 and a second end 126 of front panel 118.

Opener 112 may be a push button 128 that extends over a portion of front panel 118 of movable spout 116 below the pivot axis P. Push button 128 may be part of a flap 130 that is connected to wall 108 having opening 110. Flap 130 may be connected to wall 108 having opening 110 through a living hinge, i.e. a thin portion of plastic that provides the ability to flex repeatedly without the use of a mechanical hinge. Opener 112 may move spout 116 from its closed position to its open position when pressure is applied to push button 128. A portion of flap 130 engages second end 126 of front panel 118 of spout 116 below the pivot axis P, thereby pushing second end 126 into the interior space of housing 102 as flap 130 moves into the interior space of housing 102. At the same time, first end 124 of front panel 118 of spout 116 moves outward from housing 102 and side walls 120 extend out from opening 110. When the pressure applied to push button 128 is released, spout 116 and flap 130 may pivot back to their closed positions. Alternatively, spout 116 may subsequently be moved back into the closed position by simple finger pressure against first end 124 of front panel 118 of spout 116.

Housing 102 including push button 128, flap 130, and shafts 122 may be integrally molded from a suitable polymeric material such as, e.g., polypropylene, polyethylene terephthalate (PET), or high density polyethylene (HDPE). Movable spout 116 may be separately molded from a suitable polymeric material such as, e.g., polypropylene, PET, or HDPE.

Dispenser 100 may be sized and shaped to hold a particular number of desired objects 114. Opening 110 and movable spout 116 can be sized and shaped to allow one object 114 to exit dispenser 100 when dispenser 100 is shaken while movable spout 116 is in its open position. Base 104 can be molded as a separate component that is attached to the other parts of the dispenser after the interior of housing 102 has been filled with objects 114. Base 104 preferably has a flat surface so that dispenser 100 can stand upright on a surface. In one embodiment, base 104 is wider than top surface 106. In another embodiment, top surface 106 can be slanted (see FIGS. 1-5). One or more of walls 108 can include parallel horizontal ridges 132 to aid in gripping dispenser 100.

The foregoing description of the specific embodiments will so fully reveal the general nature of the invention that others can, by applying knowledge within the skill of the art, readily modify and/or adapt for various applications such specific embodiments, without undue experimentation, without departing from the general concept of the present invention. Therefore, such adaptations and modifications are intended to be within the meaning and range of equivalents of the disclosed embodiments, based on the teaching and guidance presented herein. It is to be understood that the phraseology or terminology herein is for the purpose of description and not of limitation, such that the terminology or phraseology of the present specification is to be interpreted by the skilled artisan in light of the teachings and guidance.

The breadth and scope of the present invention should not be limited by any of the above-described exemplary embodiments, but should be defined only in accordance with the following claims and their equivalents.