Title:
Bottle With A Secure Cap
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A bottle (1) with a secure cap (7), comprising a bottle having an open neck (2) and a first retaining flange (3) around at least a portion of the neck; and a push-on cap (7) fitted over the neck (2), the cap having an outlet with a valve (32) for controlling flow through the outlet and a second retaining flange (9) positioned so that, upon placement of the cap (7) on the bottle (1), the first and second retaining flanges (3,9) deflect relatively to one another as they pass and snap back into place once they have passed with a shoulder (41) of the first retaining flange engaging a shoulder (131) on the second retaining flange to hold the cap securely on the bottle.


Inventors:
Zhou, Xianzhi (Guangzhou, CN)
Padain, Christopher Leonard (Hoboken, NJ, US)
Application Number:
13/382285
Publication Date:
01/24/2013
Filing Date:
07/12/2010
Assignee:
Reckitt & Colman (Overseas) Limited (Berkshire, GB)
Primary Class:
International Classes:
B65D41/47; A47K5/12
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:
20040035817Sealing device for drink packagesFebruary, 2004Lagler
20070267379REVERSIBLE TWO-FUNCTION CAP FOR VIALNovember, 2007Creasap
20070068895Bottle skirtsMarch, 2007Landstreet
20070045213Stackable plastic containerMarch, 2007Voss et al.
20080083693Pressure equalization cap and bottle for use therewithApril, 2008Gottlieb et al.
20100032402Tamper Evident Closure Cap, Container and Combination ThereofFebruary, 2010Widmer et al.
20020079320Beverage container with a pop-up straw and method of making the sameJune, 2002Mccarthy et al.
20090289025CHILD RESISTANT CONCENTRATE CARTRIDGE AND ASSOCIATED DILUTING AND DISPENSING CONTAINERNovember, 2009Mueller et al.
20050000930Nursing bottle with attached toy figureJanuary, 2005Weissberg
20090101621STOPPER FOR A CONTAINERApril, 2009Kneer et al.
20090127221Baby Bottle to goMay, 2009Nasrallah
Foreign References:
GB2306454A
Primary Examiner:
STEVENS, ALLAN D
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
TROUTMAN SANDERS LLP (600 Peachtree Street Suite 5200 Atlanta GA 30308)
Claims:
1. A bottle with a secure cap comprising: a bottle, having an open neck and a first retaining flange around at least a portion of the neck; and a push-on cap fitted over the neck, the cap having an outlet and a second retaining flange positioned so that, upon placement of the cap on the bottle, the first and second retaining flanges deflect relatively to one another as they pass and snap bad into place once they have passed with a shoulder of the first retaining flange engaging a shoulder on the second retaining flange to hold the cap securely on the bottle; one of the bottle neck and cap having a protrusion Which fits into a complimentary recess on the other of the bottle neck and cap to substantially prevent rotation of the cap and bottle.

2. A bottle according to claim 1, wherein the first and second flanges are configured so that one or both of them is arranged to be damaged if the cap is removed from the bottle thereby compromising the functionality of the cap.

3. A bottle according to claim 1, wherein the cap is provided with an auxiliary flange which is positioned so that, with the cap on the bottle, the first retaining flange is retained between the second retaining flange and the auxiliary flange,

4. A bottle according to claim 1, wherein there is more than one protrusion and corresponding complimentary recess.

5. A bottle according to claim 1, wherein the recess is defined by a pair of ribs which extend between an outer skirt of the cap and an inner circumferential element which defines the second retaining flange.

6. A bottle, according to claim 1, the outlet having a valve for controlling flow through the outlet.

7. A bottle according to claim 1, wherein the outlet is closed by a closure which is operable by a non-rotational movement.

8. A bottle with a secure cap comprising: a bottle having an open neck and a first retaining flange around at least a portion of the neck; and a push-on cap fitted over the neck, the cap having an outlet which is closed by a closure which is openable by a non-rotational movement and a second retaining flange positioned so that, upon placement of the cap on the bottle, the first and second retaining flanges deflect relatively to one another as they pass and snap back into place once they have passed with a shoulder of the first retaining flange engaging a shoulder on the second retaining flange to hold the cap securely on the bottle; one of the bottle neck and cap having a protrusion which fits into a complimentary recess on the other of the bottle neck and cap to limit or prevent rotation of the cap and bottle.

9. A bottle according to claim 8, wherein the closure is a resiliently deformable member.

10. A bottle according to claim 8, wherein the first and second flanges are configured so that one or both of them is arranged to be damaged if the cap is removed from the bottle thereby compromising the functionality of the cap.

11. A bottle according to claim 8, wherein the cap is provided with an auxiliary flange which is positioned so that, with the cap on the bottle, the first retaining flange is retained between the second retaining flange and the auxiliary flange.

12. A bottle according to claim 1, wherein there is more than one protrusion and corresponding complimentary recess.

13. A bottle according to claim 1, wherein the recess is defined by a pair of ribs which extend between an outer skirt of the cap and an inner circumferential element which defines the second retaining flange.

14. A bottle according to claim 1, the outlet having a valve for controlling flow through the outlet.

Description:

The present invention relates to a bottle with a secure cap.

Caps are known in the art which are designed so that, once they have been attached to a bottle, they are difficult, in practice, to remove. Such caps are designed so that they cannot be removed by an average person using just their hands. It may, however, be possible for the cap to be removed by the use of tools or in some other way applying an unusually high force, but any such removal will often result in destruction of the bottle.

Screw-on caps are known which have ratchet teeth which bias the lid in such a way as to prevent engagement of the complimentary screw threads as the lid is rotated in a direction opposite to the direction in which it was screwed onto the lid. Whilst such mechanisms are effective, the requirement for a screw thread and the ratchet teeth results in a lid which is reasonably thick to accommodate the mechanism. Also, the shape of a cap does not always lend itself to a screw thread engagement, for example if the lower edge or outer skirt of the cap has a non-planer profile.

A number of documents are known in the art (for example, U.S. Pat. No. 4,022,464, U.S. Pat. No. 3,237,819, EP 1 847 472, GB 1 107 605 and U.S. Pat. No. 3,295,730) which disclosed snap-on lids, in which a limited amount of rotation of the cap is specifically provided for in order to open up dispensing orifices. Such containers are generally used for fine powdery material, such as talcum powder and the like. These closures have nothing to do with the secure closure contemplated by the present invention.

The present invention is specifically designed for a bottle which provides a refill for soap and the like which is then dispensed by an automatic dispenser. Once the refill is empty, if the user could remove the cap and refill the bottle, there is a danger that they would fill the bottle with a product which was incompatible with the dispensing device, or would fail to replace the cap properly resulting in leakage into a dispenser which would at best be messy and at worst would damage the device.

One way of addressing this problem is disclosed in our earlier application GB 0820984.3. In this, we disclose a bottle with a tamper-proof cap. This is designed with a retaining member for the lid which is held in place by a frangible member. The frangible member is broken when the cap is removed so that the cap cannot subsequently be retained on the bottle.

While this is effective in achieving the purpose of preventing re-use of the bottle, because it allows the lid to be readily removed, if a consumer inadvertently removes the lid, for example, if they wish to smell the contents of the bottle, they will render the bottle unusable.

According to a first aspect of the present invention, there is provided a bottle with a secure cap, comprising:

a bottle having an open neck and a first retaining flange around at least a portion of the neck; and

a push-on cap fitted over the neck, the cap having an outlet with a valve for controlling flow through the outlet and a second retaining flange positioned so that, upon placement of the cap on the bottle, the first and second retaining flanges deflect relatively to one another as they pass and snap back into place once they have passed with a shoulder of the first retaining flange engaging a shoulder on the second retaining flange to hold the cap securely on the bottle;

one of the bottle neck and cap having a protrusion which fits into a complimentary recess on the other of the bottle neck and cap to substantially prevent relative rotation of the cap and bottle.

The present invention therefore takes a fundamentally different approach from that of GB 0820984.3 in that, rather than preventing re-attachment of the cap, it aims to prevent the cap from being removed at all.

The combination of the engaging shoulders of the first and second retaining flanges, together with the means to prevent relative rotation of the cap and lid makes it very difficult for an average person to gain sufficient purchase on the cap to remove it readily. The mechanism could, of course, be defeated by a determined effort, for example a person inserting a knife or some other implement between the cap and bottle. However, the mechanism can be made robust enough to resist all but the most determined efforts to remove it.

The first and second retaining flanges may be configured so that one or both of them is arranged to be damaged if the cap is removed from the bottle thereby compromising the functionality of the cap.

Preferably, the cap is provided with an auxiliary flange which is positioned so that, with the cap on the bottle, the first retaining flange is retained between the second retaining flange and the auxiliary flange. The auxiliary flange acts to prevent inward deflection of the first retaining flange, thereby making it more difficult for the user to disengage the two shoulders.

Preferably, there is more than one protrusion and corresponding complimentary recess. The protrusion is preferably provided on the bottle while the recess is preferably provided on the lid. The recess is preferably defined by a pair of ribs which extend between an outer skirt of the cap and an inner circumferential element which defines the second retaining flange. This provides structural rigidity for the ribs.

Preferably, at least one of the protrusions, recesses first and second shoulders are provided with bevelled edges to provide guide surfaces as the cap is placed onto the bottle.

According to a second aspect of the invention, there is provided a bottle with a secure cap, comprising a bottle having an open neck and a first retaining flange around at least a portion of the neck; and a push-on cap fitted over the neck, the cap having an outlet which is closed by a closure which is openable by a non-rotational movement and a second retaining flange positioned so that, upon placement of the cap on the bottle, the first and second retaining flanges deflect relatively to one another as they pass and snap back into place once they have passed with a shoulder of the first retaining flange engaging a shoulder on the second retaining flange to hold the cap securely on the bottle; one of the bottle neck and cap having a protrusion which fits into a complimentary recess on the other of the bottle neck and cap to limit or prevent rotation of the cap and bottle.

The closure may be any element which does not rely on rotational movement of the cap in order to open. It could, for example, be a piercable foil but is preferably a resiliently deformable member such as a zel/slit valve or a valve member biased onto its seat by resiliently deformable members.

An example of a secure cap will now be described with reference to the accompanying drawings, in which:

FIG. 1 is a plan view of the bottle;

FIG. 2 is a side view of the bottle;

FIG. 3 is a perspective view of the bottle;

FIG. 4 is an underneath plan of the cap;

FIG. 5 is an underneath perspective of the cap;

FIG. 6 is a cross-section showing the cap on the bottle;

FIG. 7A is the partial cross-section of the cap and bottle just prior to insertion of the bottle into the cap;

FIG. 7B is a similar view with the bottle fully inserted;

FIG. 7C is a similar view showing a slight rotation of the bottle with respect to the cap;

FIG. 8 is an underneath perspective of a second example of the cap;

FIG. 9 is an underneath plan of a second example of the cap; and

FIG. 10 is a cross-section through the cap of FIGS. 8 and 9 and the lower end of the second bottle.

The bottle 1 is a generally rigid plastics container containing liquid soap and the like. It is generally elliptical in cross-section as shown in FIG. 2. It may also be used to dispense other liquid or semi-liquid products (ideally with a viscosity greater than water), such as hand cream, body lotion, moisturiser, face cream, shampoo, shower gel, foaming hand wash, shaving cream, washing-up liquid, toothpaste, or a sanitising agent such as alcohol gel. The bottle is specifically designed to be used in an inverted configuration on an automatic dispenser. However, this does not form part of the present invention and will not be described here.

The bottle has a neck 2 which is surrounded by a first retaining flange 3. This may either be continuous around the circumference of the neck, or may be intermittent. As shown in FIG. 6, the retaining flange 3 is provided with a projection having a tapered surface 4 on one side and a shoulder 4′ on the other for the reasons described below.

At diametrically opposed locations on the upper portion of the neck, there are a pair of protrusions 5 which have a tapered upper surface 6 as shown in FIG. 3. There could equally be only one or more than two of these protrusions.

The cap 7 is best shown in FIGS. 4 and 5. The cap has a generally elliptical shape corresponding to that of the bottle and is provided, from the inside out, with a circular auxiliary flange 8 which may or not be continuous, a second retaining flange 9 described in more detail below and an outer skirt 10 having the elliptical shape of the lid and being provided with a pair of lugs 11 to locate on the dispenser (not shown). The auxiliary flange 8 also serves to seal against the inner wall of the neck 2.

The second retaining flange 9 is best shown in FIG. 6. This may be intermittent or circumferentially continuous and projects upwardly from the lower surface of the cap. The free end of the flange 9 is an enlarged portion 12 defining an upper tapered surface 13 and a downwardly facing shoulder 13′.

At diametrically opposed locations which correspond to the locations of the protrusion 5, the second retaining flange 9 is provided with a number of notches 15 which allow the second retaining flange 9 to deflect as the bottle is inserted into the cap. Between each pair of notches 15 are a pair of radial ribs 16 which extend outwardly to the outer skirt 10. Between the ribs 16, the second retaining flange is interrupted and this defines recesses 17 which accommodate the protrusions 5. Circumferentially outwardly of the ribs 16 is a tapered surface 18.

The manner in which the bottle 1 is inserted into the cap will now be described with reference to FIG. 7A. This shows the bottle partially inserted into the cap. In this case, the bottle is slightly out of alignment with the cap and the tapered surfaces 6 on the protrusions co-operates with the surfaces 18 in the cap to guide the bottle to the correct alignment. As the bottle is inserted, the tapered surface 4 on the first retaining flange 3, co-operates with the tapered surface 13 on the second retaining flange 9 to deflect it outwardly aided by the notches 15 until the shoulders 4′, 13′ pass one another at which point the second flange 9 snaps back into place thereby securely locating the shoulders as shown in FIG. 6 retain the first flange 3 between the second flange 9 and auxiliary flange 8.

As shown in FIG. 7B, the protrusions 5 are within recesses 17. The cap can rotate to a small degree (less than 25°, more preferably less than 20° and most preferably less than 15°) until the protrusions 5 abut one of the ribs 16 (as shown in FIG. 7C) to prevent further rotation.

In this position, the cap is securely retained on the neck of the bottle and it is very difficult for a user to gain any purchase on the cap, particularly as they are unable to rotate it to any significant extent. In practice, the cap and neck are designed so that the cap cannot be removed by force of less than 15 kg, preferably less than 20 kg, and more preferably 30 kg. When such a force is applied, one of the first three and second flanges is designed to be broken or plastically deformed to such an extent that the cap can no longer be retained on the bottle.

It will also be noted from FIGS. 7A to 7C that, as well as having a generally elliptical configuration, the upper edge 21 of the skirt 10 and the facing surface 22 of the bottle 1 have a curved profile. Under these circumstances, any significant relative rotation of the cap and bottle 1 would re-generate a significant force tending to separate the cap from the bottle. By preventing or significantly limiting relative rotation of the two components, this force cannot be applied. Also, if the cap could be rotated relatively to the bottle, because of the substantially elliptical shape, there would be a large overhang between the bottle and cap which would allow the user to gain significant purchase on the lid. Again, this is prevented by preventing or significantly limiting the relative rotation of the lid on the bottle.

Also shown in FIG. 6 is the valve mechanism. The lower surface of the cap has an outlet orifice 30 surrounded by an annular wall 31. The valve element 32 sits on top of the wall 31 and is biased in place by the plurality of resilient members 33. An air inlet opening 34 shown schematically and is closed by a valve member 35. In use, the bottle is placed into a base in the orientation shown in FIG. 6. The base is provided with a spigot (not shown) the top of which is provided with castellations. The spigot opens the valve element 32 against the action of the resilient members 33 thereby creating a flow path beneath the valve element 32 and through the castellations in the spigot. As liquid leaves the bottle 1, pressure drops and the lowering in pressure causes the air inlet valve element 35 to open to allow air into the bottle.

The second example of a cap end bottle is shown in FIGS. 8 to 10. This is similar in most respect in the first example. The same reference numerous have been used as appropriate. The same valve 32 and outlet 30 shown in FIG. 6 will also be present although this is not shown in FIG. 10.

The only difference relates to the configuration of the second retaining flange 9′. In this case, the continuous flange of the first example has been replaced by a component with supported on a plurality of support members 36 separated by gaps 37. Above each gap is a tapered surface 13′ with a similar cross-section to the surface 13 on the first example. As shown in FIG. 10, the engagement is similar to that of FIG. 6, although the intermittent nature of the second retaining flange 9′ enables greater overlap between the two parts in the assemble state. Also, the provision of a number of discrete sections engaging with the first flange 3 increases the likelihood that one or more of these will be broken as the cap is removed.