Title:
Controlled Collapse Bottle
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
This invention is a squeeze bottle that forces all of the liquid toward the nozzle and then collapses in a controlled way to hold the liquid compressed toward the nozzle. Air is not allowed to enter the bottle to contact the liquid at all. The invention is comprised of a cap and a bottle. The cap has a nozzle with a one-way valve that lets the liquid out but no air in. The bottle is molded with variations in the thickness of the walls of the bottle. These variations cause the bottle to collapse in a controlled way so that the liquid is held against the cap at all times.



Inventors:
Bakhos, Joseph Wadih (Big Bear City, CA, US)
Application Number:
12/573143
Publication Date:
04/08/2010
Filing Date:
10/04/2009
Primary Class:
International Classes:
B65D35/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
NGO, LIEN M
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Joseph W. Bakhos (Big Bear City, CA, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A squeezable container for dispensing liquids that automatically takes on a controlled shape after dispensing, the container comprising: An outlet nozzle with a one-way valve that allows the liquid to escape while forbidding the entry of air, and a bottle whose walls are designed with a pattern of varying thicknesses so that ambient air pressure will collapse the bottle in a controlled and designed way.

2. A container according to claim one wherein the thickness of the bottle walls are thinner further away from the nozzle and thicker nearer the nozzle so that the bottle collapses in a controlled way starting from the remote region and working its way toward the nozzle, thus keeping the liquid pressed against the nozzle.

3. A container according to claim one wherein the liquid is forced toward the nozzle as the bottle collapses in a controlled way while simultaneously taking on a shape capable of standing in an upright position on its base.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

Provisional application No. 61/195,347 filed on Oct. 7, 2008

REFERENCES CITED

U.S. Patent Documents

Ser. No. 12/110,370 Apr. 28, 2008 Squeezable Partition Bottle and Bag Bakhos

U.S. Pat. No. 3,921,630 Nov. 25, 1975 Thermoplastic Bottle with Controlled . . . Mcphee

U.S. Pat. No. 5,209,372 May 11, 1993 Collapsible Spiral Container Norwood

U.S. Pat. No. 5,333,761 Aug. 2, 1994 Collapsible Bottle Davis

U.S. Pat. No. 6,158,620 Dec. 12, 2000 Collapsible Container Polan

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

This invention relates to a squeezable container that forces the liquid to be dispensed toward the cap at all times. The container also prohibits the exposure of the liquid in the container to air. The container also collapses in a controlled way to accomplish this. Sometimes the container can also be designed to collapse in a way that the liquid is forced toward the nozzle and yet the container retains a shape capable of standing upright.

Most squeeze bottles necessarily allow air into the bottle as the liquid is dispensed out of the bottle. This exposes the liquid to contamination. When exposed to air some liquids can cure (glue for example), causing the nozzle of the container to become clogged. Also, because of contamination or curing, the shelf life of the liquid is reduced by the entry of air to mix with it. Also, if the bottle is set upon its base the liquid falls to the bottom of the bottle. This means that the bottle must be lifted and shaken in order to force the liquid towards the nozzle before being dispensed. Lastly, liquid clinging to the sides of the bottle is unsightly. For this reason many bottles are opaque.

U.S. patent application Ser. No. 12/110,370 filed by myself (Bakhos) dealt with this problem by installing a one-way valve in the top nozzle connected to a liquid bag. This top valve lets liquid out but no air in. The bottom cap has a one-way valve connected to an air bag. This bottom valve lets air in to fill the airbag, but it lets no air out. As the bottle is squeezed the liquid is forced out of the top liquid bag while air is let in to the bottom air bag. Thus, the liquid is held constantly at the top of the bottle and the liquid is kept constantly airtight. This addresses and solves all of the problems mentioned in the paragraph above. The only remaining problem is the cost required to manufacture and fill this design with liquid. While not prohibitive, the costs are higher than with an ordinary bottle. The new controlled collapse bottle would be very little different in cost than existing plastic bottles.

U.S. Pat. No. 3,921,630 by Mcphee and U.S. Pat. No. 6,158,620 by Polan both control the collapse of the bottle both by the shape of the bottle and also by the fact that the bottle hangs up-side down so the liquid is at the bottom. Because the liquid is at the bottom and the liquid goes out the nozzle, the bottle collapses in a controlled way. If this method is to be adapted to a squeeze bottle it would have to have a one-way valve at the nozzle and the bottle would have to be constantly stored and used up-side down. If the bottle were inadvertently put topside up—then some of the liquid contents would migrate to the bottom area of the bottle and become difficult or inconvenient to dislodge. Because of these things this type of bottle design would not be convenient for a wide variety of liquids.

U.S. Pat. No. 5,209,372 by Norwood is a plastic bottle with spiraling indentations along the side walls. These indentations allow the bottle to be collapsed manually as the liquid is used up. This design cannot be used as a one-handed squeeze bottle because the collapse does not happen automatically. In order to collapse automatically there would need to be a one-way valve at the top. It also would have to be redesigned in such a way that ambient air pressure combined with the proper shape and thickness of the walls would cause automatic collapse as the bottle is squeezed.

U.S. Pat. No. 5,333,761 by Davis achieves a controlled collapse by an accordion shape to the bottle. There are two disadvantages to this bottle. First, the controlled collapse does not occur automatically by using the bottle with one hand. A person would have to use two hands in order to have it collapse properly. Second, a person would have to immediately cap the bottle after using in order to stop air from coming in and re-inflating the bottle. This is because there is no one-way valve at the top.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The object of the present invention is to provide a container that alleviates the drawbacks discussed in regards to the existing inventions. This new type of bottle will be inexpensive to manufacture and package in. This bottle will prohibit outside air from contacting the packaged liquid during dispensing and also during the life of the bottle. This will increase shelf life and sanitation as well as eliminating the problems associated with air-cured liquids such as clogged nozzles. This bottle will also be easy to use; it will not be necessary to shake the bottle or to store the bottle upside-down in order to use it.

All embodiments have a cap with a nozzle that has a one-way valve in it. This valve allows liquid to escape when the bottle is squeezed, but does not allow air to enter the bottle. All embodiments have a bottle whose walls are of varying thickness. The varying thickness of the walls causes the bottle to collapse in a controlled way. The bottle is designed to collapse first where the walls are thinnest. The bottle will collapse last where the walls are thickest. The thicknesses of the walls of the bottle are adjusted so that collapse will occur first at the place most remote from the nozzle. The bottle will collapse last near the nozzle. Because of this, the liquid is always held firmly toward the nozzle until the liquid is all used up.

According to at least one embodiment of the invention the bottle would be a plastic tube like a toothpaste tube. The nozzle would have a one-way valve so that liquid would get out but no air could get in. The walls of the tube would be thin further away from the nozzle. The walls would be thick nearer the nozzle. As the liquid in the tube is used up, the tube would automatically collapse from the back toward the front.

According to at least one embodiment of the invention the bottle would retain the ability to stand in an upright position throughout its life. The bottle would have a nozzle with a one-way valve so that liquid would get out but no air could get in. The walls of the bottle would be thin further away from the nozzle. The walls would be thick nearer the nozzle. The bottle would also have a thick non-collapsible base, but the walls would be thin near the base so they would start collapsing near the base first, and the collapse would work its way up the bottle. The last part to collapse would be near the nozzle. All during collapse and even when the liquid is fully used up the bottle is shaped in such a way that it is able to stand upright.

Many other embodiments of this invention might be imagined. The salient features are first that the one-way valve forbids the entry of air, which causes the bottle to collapse. Second, the walls of the bottle have varying thicknesses. This variation in thickness gives the designer complete control over how the bottle collapses. The specially designed collapse may be into whatever shape desired, and serve whatever purpose is desired. In the present embodiments the purpose desired is to keep the liquid firmly trapped near the nozzle, and/or to simultaneously achieve a shape capable of standing. Other embodiments of this invention might be imagined where different types of variation of wall thickness achieve other purposes besides these.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 shows a section view of the embodiment employing a full tube similar to a toothpaste tube.

FIG. 2 shows a section view of the embodiment similar to a toothpaste tube mostly dispensed.

FIG. 3 shows a section view of the “standing upright” embodiment while it is full of liquid.

FIG. 4 shows a section view of the “standing upright” embodiment after the liquid has been squeezed out. The other squeezed out side walls are not shown for clarity.

FIG. 5 shows the top view of the “standing upright” embodiment while it is full of liquid.

FIG. 6 shows the top view of the “standing upright” embodiment after the liquid has been dispensed. The top surface of the bottle has not been shown for clarity.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF PREF. EMBODIMENTS

The invention is a container that has a nozzle (1) with a one-way valve (2). This nozzle allows liquid to be dispensed from the bottle but forbids the entry of air into the bottle (3).

The walls of the bottle (3) are of varying thickness. Walls that are thicker (4) are closer to the nozzle. Walls that are thinner (5) are more remote from the nozzle. Since no air can enter the bottle, it will collapse when liquid is dispensed (see FIGS. 2, 4, and 6). The area more remote from the nozzle (6) will collapse first because the walls of that area are thinner (5). The area nearer the nozzle (7) will collapse last because the walls of that area are thicker (4).

FIGS. 3, 4, 5, and 6 show an embodiment that is capable of standing upright throughout the life of the bottle. This embodiment has a top cap (10) wherein the nozzle is set. This embodiment also incorporates the nozzle (1), one-way valve (2), thin walls remote from the nozzle (5), and thick walls near the nozzle (4). This embodiment also employs a thick base (8). The central area (9) of this bottle collapses, but the base does not collapse. The collapsed sides (11) of the bottle also press together to form a wall-like structure that helps the bottle to stand. These facts allow the bottle to always be set down in an upright position throughout the life of the bottle.

The present invention is not limited to the described embodiments but can be modified in many different ways without departing from the scope of the appended claims.