Title:
Screw on dispensing closure with structure for preventing removal
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A screw on plastic dispensing closure for a container includes a closure main body that is adapted to be screwed on to a container and that has a top portion in which an orifice is defined for dispensing a substance from the container and a downwardly depending skirt portion having an inner surface on which at least one interior thread is defined for engaging threading on the container. The closure further includes a lid member that is hingedly mounted to the closure main body for movement between a first closed position in which the lid member covers the orifice and an open position wherein the orifice is uncovered by the lid member. Advantageously, retention structure is provided on the closure main body for engaging the container in such a manner as to frustrate efforts that may be made to unscrew the closure from the container after the closure has been first screwed on to the container.



Inventors:
Ziegenhorn, David (Grayslake, IL, US)
Application Number:
11/063056
Publication Date:
08/24/2006
Filing Date:
02/22/2005
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
215/253, 220/259.1, 220/259.3, 220/266, 222/153.07
International Classes:
B65D47/08
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:
20080257852TAMPER-INDICATING DISPENSING CLOSUREOctober, 2008Herald et al.
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20060113270Apparatus and method for mounting baby nipple on, and in fluid communication with, valved bottle capJune, 2006Rea
20100025351Inter-locking stacking segment jarFebruary, 2010Fowler
20070102390Closure with deformed wall retention of lid hinge shaftMay, 2007Hoepner et al.
20110100947Anti-Backoff ClosureMay, 2011Long
20140131230Drinking VesselMay, 2014Steininger
20030135194Cartridge with an excentric puncturing areaJuly, 2003Klint et al.
20120234788Bottle DeviceSeptember, 2012Livingston
20080110929Fluid dispensing cap & bottle assemblyMay, 2008Stanley Traasdahl et al.
20140246394ADAPTER FOR CONNECTING A NIPPLE TO A BOTTLESeptember, 2014Truong



Primary Examiner:
SMALLEY, JAMES N
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
THE PATENTWISE GROUP, LLC (Wallingford, PA, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A screw on plastic dispensing closure for a container, comprising: a closure main body that is adapted to be screwed on to a container, said closure main body having a top portion in which an orifice is defined for dispensing a substance from the container and a downwardly depending skirt portion having an inner surface on which at least one interior thread is defined for engaging threading on the container; a lid member that is hingedly mounted to said closure main body for movement between a first closed position wherein said lid member covers said orifice and an open position wherein said orifice is uncovered by said lid member; and retention means on said closure main body for engaging the container in such a manner as to frustrate efforts that may be made to unscrew the closure from the container after the closure has been screwed on to the container.

2. A screw on plastic dispensing closure according to claim 1, wherein said retention means is constructed and arranged to engage a generally annular transfer ring that is positioned adjacent to a threaded finish portion of a container.

3. A screw on plastic dispensing closure according to claim 2, wherein said retention means is constructed and arranged to engage a notch that is defined in the transfer ring of the container.

4. A screw on plastic dispensing closure according to claim 3, wherein said retention means comprises an inwardly extending projection that is defined on said inner surface of said downwardly depending skirt portion, said inwardly extending projection being constructed and arranged to engage said notch when said closure has been screwed onto the container.

5. A screw on plastic dispensing closure according to claim 4, wherein said inwardly extending projection is tapered at a lower end thereof, whereby said lower end of said projection will ride outwardly over the transfer ring of the container just prior to becoming seated within said notch when the closure is being screwed onto the container.

6. A screw on plastic dispensing closure according to claim 4, wherein said inwardly extending projection includes a lateral engagement surface for engaging a side of the notch when efforts are made to unscrew the closure from the container.

7. A screw on plastic dispensing closure according to claim 4, wherein said inwardly extending projection extends in a generally longitudinal orientation on said inner surface of said downwardly depending skirt portion.

8. A screw on plastic dispensing closure according to claim 4, wherein said retention means comprises at least two of said inwardly extending projections, and wherein said projections are constructed and arranged to engage corresponding notches that are defined in the transfer ring of the container.

9. A screw on plastic dispensing closure according to claim 1, wherein said closure is fabricated from a polypropylene material.

10. A screw on plastic dispensing closure according to claim 2, wherein said retention means is constructed and arranged to engage an underside of said generally annular transfer ring.

11. A screw on plastic dispensing closure according to claim 10, wherein said retention means comprises at least one inwardly projecting lug member that extends inwardly from said inner surface of said downwardly depending skirt portion, said lug member being constructed and arranged to slip over the generally annular transfer ring when the closure is being screwed onto the container and become seated against an underside of the annular transfer ring, thereby making it difficult to unscrew the closure from the container.

12. A screw on plastic dispensing closure according to claim 11, wherein said lug member has a tapered lower surface, thereby easing travel of the lug member over the annular transfer ring when the closure is being screwed onto the container.

13. A screw on plastic dispensing closure according to claim 11, wherein said retention means comprises a plurality of said lug members.

14. A screw on plastic dispensing closure according to claim 1, further comprising tamper evident locking structure for retaining said lid member on said closure main body until the closure is first opened by the consumer.

15. A container assembly, comprising: a container having a threaded finish portion; and a plastic dispensing closure mounted on said container, said closure comprising a closure main body that is screwed on to said container, said closure main body having an orifice for dispensing a substance from said container and a downwardly depending skirt portion having an inner surface on which at least one interior thread is defined that is engaged with said threaded finish portion of said container; and flow control means for opening and closing said orifice; and retention means on said closure main body that is engaged with the container in such a manner as to frustrate efforts that may be made to unscrew the closure from the container.

16. A container assembly according to claim 15, wherein said container includes a generally annular transfer ring that is positioned adjacent to said threaded finish portion, and wherein said retention means is constructed and arranged to engage said generally annular transfer ring of said container.

17. A container assembly according to claim 16, wherein said retention means is constructed and arranged to engage a notch that is defined in the transfer ring of the container.

18. A container assembly according to claim 17, wherein said retention means comprises an inwardly extending projection that is defined on said inner surface of said downwardly depending skirt portion, said inwardly extending projection being engaged with said notch.

19. A container assembly according to claim 18, wherein said inwardly extending projection is tapered at a lower end thereof, whereby said lower end of said projection will ride outwardly over the transfer ring of the container just prior to becoming seated within said notch when the closure is being screwed onto the container.

20. A container assembly according to claim 18, wherein said inwardly extending projection includes a lateral engagement surface for engaging a side of the notch when efforts are made to unscrew the closure from the container.

21. A container assembly according to claim 18, wherein said inwardly extending projection extends in a generally longitudinal orientation on said inner surface of said downwardly depending skirt portion.

22. A container assembly according to claim 18, wherein said retention means comprises at least two of said inwardly extending projections, and wherein said projections are engaged with corresponding notches that are defined in the transfer ring of the container.

23. A container assembly according to claim 15, wherein said closure is fabricated from a polypropylene material.

24. A container assembly according to claim 15, wherein said container is fabricated from polyethylene terephthalate.

25. A container assembly according to claim 16, wherein said retention means is constructed and arranged to engage an underside of said generally annular transfer ring.

26. A container assembly according to claim 25, wherein said retention means comprises at least one inwardly projecting lug member that extends inwardly from said inner surface of said downwardly depending skirt portion, said lug member being constructed and arranged to slip over the generally annular transfer ring when the closure is being screwed onto the container and become seated against an underside of the annular transfer ring, thereby making it difficult to unscrew the closure from the container.

27. A container assembly according to claim 26, wherein said lug member has a tapered lower surface, thereby easing travel of the lug member over the annular transfer ring when the closure is being screwed onto the container.

28. A container assembly according to claim 26, wherein said retention means comprises a plurality of said lug members.

29. A container assembly according to claim 15, wherein said closure further comprises tamper evident locking structure for retaining said lid member on said closure main body until the closure is first opened by the consumer.

30. A container, comprising: a main body portion; a threaded finish portion; and an annular transfer ring positioned adjacent to said threaded finish portion, and wherein said annular transfer ring has a notched defined therein for engaging a screw on type closure.

31. A container according to claim 30, wherein said notch is oriented substantially longitudinally.

32. A screw on plastic dispensing closure for a container, comprising: a closure main body that is adapted to be screwed on to a container, said closure main body having an orifice for dispensing a substance from the container and a downwardly depending skirt portion having an inner surface on which at least one interior thread is defined for engaging threading on the container; flow control means for opening and closing said orifice; and retention means on said closure main body for engaging the container in such a manner as to frustrate efforts that may be made to unscrew the closure from the container after the closure has been screwed on to the container.

33. A screw on plastic dispensing closure according to claim 32, wherein said retention means is constructed and arranged to engage a generally annular transfer ring that is positioned adjacent to a threaded finish portion of a container.

34. A screw on plastic dispensing closure according to claim 33, wherein said retention means is constructed and arranged to engage a notch that is defined in the transfer ring of the container.

35. A screw on plastic dispensing closure according to claim 34, wherein said retention means comprises an inwardly extending projection that is defined on said inner surface of said downwardly depending skirt portion, said inwardly extending projection being constructed and arranged to engage said notch when said closure has been screwed onto the container.

36. A screw on plastic dispensing closure according to claim 35, wherein said inwardly extending projection is tapered at a lower end thereof, whereby said lower end of said projection will ride outwardly over the transfer ring of the container just prior to becoming seated within said notch when the closure is being screwed onto the container.

37. A screw on plastic dispensing closure according to claim 35, wherein said inwardly extending projection includes a lateral engagement surface for engaging a side of the notch when efforts are made to unscrew the closure from the container.

38. A screw on plastic dispensing closure according to claim 35, wherein said inwardly extending projection extends in a generally longitudinal orientation on said inner surface of said downwardly depending skirt portion.

39. A screw on plastic dispensing closure according to claim 35, wherein said retention means comprises at least two of said inwardly extending projections, and wherein said projections are constructed and arranged to engage corresponding notches that are defined in the transfer ring of the container.

40. A screw on plastic dispensing closure according to claim 32, wherein said closure is fabricated from a polypropylene material.

41. A screw on plastic dispensing closure according to claim 33, wherein said retention means is constructed and arranged to engage an underside of said generally annular transfer ring.

42. A screw on plastic dispensing closure according to claim 41, wherein said retention means comprises at least one inwardly projecting lug member that extends inwardly from said inner surface of said downwardly depending skirt portion, said lug member being constructed and arranged to slip over the generally annular transfer ring when the closure is being screwed onto the container and become seated against an underside of the annular transfer ring, thereby making it difficult to unscrew the closure from the container.

43. A screw on plastic dispensing closure according to claim 42, wherein said lug member has a tapered lower surface, thereby easing travel of the lug member over the annular transfer ring when the closure is being screwed onto the container.

44. A screw on plastic dispensing closure according to claim 42, wherein said retention means comprises a plurality of said lug members.

45. A screw on plastic dispensing closure according to claim 32, further comprising tamper evident locking structure for retaining said lid member on said closure main body until the closure is first opened by the consumer.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

This invention generally relates to a dispensing closure of the type that has a hinged reclosable lid that may be swung open to reveal a dispensing orifice for the closure. More specifically, this invention relates to a dispensing closure that is provided with integral retention structure that resists or prevents the closure from being unscrewed from a container after it is first screwed onto the container.

2. Description of the Related Technology

Dispensing closures are in wide use for dispensing materials, particularly liquids, throughout the world. A dispensing closure is simply an article that is mountable onto a container that is designed to permit closure of an orifice of the container and, when the closure is opened, to permit material to be dispensed from the container through the orifice and the dispensing closure. Dispensing closures are quite common in the packaging of certain beverages, such as sports drinks, other flowable food material such as salad dressings as well as materials, such as oils and liquid detergents that are unsuitable for human consumption.

One type of dispensing closure that is increasingly popular is the flip-top variety, which is characterized by a main body portion that is securable to a container and a lid portion that is hingedly mounted to the main body portion. The main body portion typically includes a dispensing orifice that is sealed by closure of the lid and uncovered when the lid is opened. When a consumer desires to dispense liquid from this type of dispensing closure, he or she will flip the lid open and squeeze or invert the container.

Dispensing closures are typically mounted to the container are there by snapping the closure onto the container or screwing the closure on to a threaded finish portion of the container. With a snap-on connection, removal of the closure from the container by the consumer is effectively discouraged. However, with a screw on connection, it is generally relatively easy for a consumer to remove the closure from the container by unscrewing it.

A need exists for a screw on type plastic dispensing closure that is constructed so as to be able to resist or prevent removal from a container by a consumer.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

Accordingly, it is an object of the invention to provide a screw on type plastic dispensing closure that is constructed so as to be able to resist or prevent removal from a container by a consumer.

In order to achieve the above and other objects of the invention, a screw on plastic dispensing closure for a container according to a first aspect of the invention includes a closure main body that is adapted to be screwed on to a container, the closure main body having a top portion in which an orifice is defined for dispensing a substance from the container and a downwardly depending skirt portion having an inner surface on which at least one interior thread is defined for engaging threading on the container and; a lid member that is hingedly mounted to the closure main body for movement between a first closed position wherein the lid member covers the orifice and an open position wherein the orifice is uncovered by the lid member; and retention structure on the closure main body for engaging the container in such a manner as to frustrate efforts that may be made to unscrew the closure from the container after the closure has been screwed on to the container.

According to a second aspect of the invention, a container assembly includes a container having a threaded finish portion; and a plastic dispensing closure mounted on the container, the closure comprising a closure main body that is screwed on to the container, the closure main body having an orifice for dispensing a substance from the container and a downwardly depending skirt portion having an inner surface on which at least one interior thread is defined that is engaged with the threaded finish portion of said container; and flow control structure for opening and closing the orifice; and retention structure on the closure main body that is engaged with the container in such a manner as to frustrate efforts that may be made to unscrew the closure from the container.

A container according to a third aspect of the invention includes a main body portion; a threaded finish portion; and an annular transfer ring positioned adjacent to the threaded finish portion, and wherein the annular transfer ring has a notched defined therein for engaging a screw on type closure.

A screw on plastic dispensing closure for a container according to a fourth embodiment of the invention includes a closure main body that is adapted to be screwed on to a container, the closure main body having an orifice for dispensing a substance from the container and a downwardly depending skirt portion having an inner surface on which at least one interior thread is defined for engaging threading on the container; flow control structure for opening and closing the orifice; and retention structure on the closure main body for engaging the container in such a manner as to frustrate efforts that may be made to unscrew the closure from the container after the closure has been screwed on to the container.

These and various other advantages and features of novelty that characterize the invention are pointed out with particularity in the claims annexed hereto and forming a part hereof. However, for a better understanding of the invention, its advantages, and the objects obtained by its use, reference should be made to the drawings which form a further part hereof, and to the accompanying descriptive matter, in which there is illustrated and described a preferred embodiment of the invention.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of the container assembly that is constructed according to a first embodiment of the invention;

FIG. 2 is another perspective view of the container assembly shown in FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a third perspective view of the container assembly shown in FIG. 1;

FIG. 4 is a perspective view of the container according to the first embodiment of the invention;

FIG. 5 is a perspective view of the container according to the second embodiment of the invention;

FIG. 6 is a perspective view of the container assembly according to the second embodiment of the invention; and

FIG. 7 is another perspective view of the container assembly according to the second embodiment of the invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT(S)

Referring now to the drawings, wherein like reference numerals designate corresponding structure throughout the views, and referring in particular to FIG. 1, a container assembly 10 according to a first preferred embodiment of the invention includes a closure 12 and a container 14, which is best shown in FIG. 4. As is shown in FIG. 4, container 14 includes a main body portion 16, an upstanding generally cylindrical finish portion 18 having at least one external thread 20 thereon and an outwardly extending annular transfer ring 22 that is positioned adjacent to the finish portion 18. Although the term transfer ring is generally used specific to plastic containers that are formed from a preform by blowmolding, such as those that are generally fabricated from polyethylene terephthalate, it is to be understood that the term transfer ring as it is being used herein could refer to any structure that is functionally equivalent to the transfer rings described herein with respect to the invention as it is disclosed, including structure on containers that are not formed by using a preform.

Referring again to FIG. 4, transfer ring 22 includes a slightly tapered upper surface 24, a tapered lower surface 26 and an outer surface 28 that forms the outer periphery of the transfer ring 22. A radiused transition surface 30 connects the slightly tapered upper surface 24 and the outer surface 28, for reasons that will be described in greater detail below. According to one particularly advantageous feature of this embodiment of the invention, a pair of generally longitudinally extending notches, only one of which is shown in FIG. 4, are defined in the transfer ring 22. Each notch 32 includes a first side stop surface 34, a second side stop surface 36 and a bottom surface 38 that defines the bottom of the notch 32. The first and second side stop surfaces 34, 36 are preferably located in planes that are substantially radial to the central axis of the generally cylindrical finish portion 18.

Referring again to FIG. 1, closure 12 preferably includes a main body portion 40 that is constructed and arranged to be screwed onto the threaded finish portion 18 of the container 14. Main body portion 40 includes a top portion or deck 42 in which a dispensing orifice 44 is defined within a dispensing spout 46 for dispensing a substance from the container 14 when the dispensing closure 12 is in the open position shown in FIG. 1. Main body portion 40 further includes a downwardly depending skirt portion 48, and a lid member 50 having an integral internal seal member 54. Lid member 50 is hingedly mounted to the main body portion 40 by a hinge member 52 for movement between a first closed position wherein the internal plug 54 covers the dispensing orifice 44 and an open position wherein the dispensing orifice 44 is uncovered by the internal plug 54 and the lid member 50.

In the illustrated embodiment, closure 12 further has tamper evident locking structure 56, which includes a removable tamper evident band 58 that is frangibly mounted to the main body portion 40 by a number of integrally molded frangible bridges. Lid member 50 includes a pair of locking teeth 61 that engage the removable tamper evident band 58 when the closure is closed during the manufacturing process. In order to remove the tamper-evident band 58 to open the closure 12, a consumer will grasp a pull tab 60 in order to tear the removable tamper evident band 58 away from the main body portion 40 by fracturing the frangible bridges.

Referring now to FIG. 2, it will be seen that the downwardly depending skirt portion 48 has an inner surface 62 on which at least one raised internal thread 64 is defined. According to one particularly advantageous feature of the invention, retention structure 66 is provided on the closure 12 that will engage with the container 14 in such a manner as to frustrate efforts that may be made by the consumer or by potential wrongdoers to remove the closure 12 from the container 14. In this first embodiment of the invention, retention structure 66 is embodied as a pair of inwardly extending projections 68, each of which is unitary with the inner surface 62 of the skirt portion 48 of the main body portion 40 of the closure 12. Each inwardly extending projection 68 is oriented substantially as to be generally parallel with a longitudinal axis of the substantially cylindrical skirt portion 48 of the closure 12, and includes first and second lateral engagement surfaces 70 and a tapered lower end 72. Tapered lower end 72 is preferably given a convex radius, but it could alternatively be configured as a linear taper. FIG. 3 provides an alternative view of the underside of the closure 12 and illustrates the second inwardly extending projection 68. The two inwardly extending projection 68 are preferably diametrically opposed from each other, corresponding to the diametrical opposition of the notches 32 that are defined in the transfer ring 22 of the container 14.

When the closure 12 is being screwed on to the container 14 during the packaging process, the inwardly extending projections 68 will as the closure 12 is nearly fully screwed on to the container 14 begin to contact the upper surface 24 of the transfer ring 22, with the tapered lower end 72 of the inwardly extending projections 68 camming against the upper surface 24 and eventually the radiused transition surface 30 of the transfer ring 22. This will cause a temporary distortion of the generally cylindrical shape of the skirt portion 48 as the inwardly extending projections 68 ride on the outside of the transfer ring 22. At the point at which the closure 12 is fully screwed onto the container 14, the inwardly extending projections 68 will become seated within the notches 32 that are defined within the transfer ring 22. When this happens, skirt portion 48 will reassume its cylindrical shape, with the elasticity of the skirt portion 48 biasing the inwardly extending projections 68 to remain seated within the notches 32. If an effort is made by the consumer or a potential wrongdoer to unscrew the closure 12 from the container 14, the lateral engagement surface 70 of the inwardly extending projections 68 will engage the second side surface 36 of the notch 32, thereby impeding or preventing unscrewing of the closure 12 from the container 14.

A container assembly 78 that is constructed according to a second embodiment of the invention is depicted in FIGS. 5-7. A container 74 according to the second embodiment of the invention is identical to the container described above with reference to the first embodiment of the invention, except that the transfer ring 76 has no notch or other irregularity defined therein. Referring to FIG. 6, a closure 79 according to the second embodiment of the invention is identical to the closure described above with reference to the first embodiment except with regard to the retention structure for engaging with the container in such a manner to frustrate efforts that may be made to unscrew the closure from the container.

Closure 79 includes retention structure 80 that is constructed and arranged to engage the lower surface 26 or the underside of the transfer ring 76. In the illustrated embodiment, retention structure 80 is embodied as a plurality of lug members 82, each of which extends inwardly from the inner surface 62 of the downwardly depending skirt portion 48 of the closure 79. The lug members 82 are constructed and arranged to slip over the generally annular transfer ring 76 when the closure 79 is being screwed onto to the container 74 at the packaging facility. In the illustrated embodiment, a plurality of lug members 82 are utilized. It should be understood, however, that fewer or more lug members could be used according to the invention, including one lid member that would effectively be an annular ring about the inner periphery of the skirt portion 48 of the closure 79.

It is to be understood, however, that even though numerous characteristics and advantages of the present invention have been set forth in the foregoing description, together with details of the structure and function of the invention, the disclosure is illustrative only, and changes may be made in detail, especially in matters of shape, size and arrangement of parts within the principles of the invention to the full extent indicated by the broad general meaning of the terms in which the appended claims are expressed.