Title:
FLUID DISPENSER
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A fluid dispenser including a reservoir forming a neck presenting a thread, a dispenser member, and a fastener system including a fastener ring provided with assembly means for assembling on the thread of the neck in such a manner that the ring is unscrewable from the neck over an axial unscrewing stroke. The outer wall of the neck is provided with a shoulder, and the fastener system includes a security band engaged on the fastener ring. The band axially abuts the shoulder and is secured to the fastener ring at the end of the unscrewing stroke, so as to prevent the fastener system from being removed from the neck immediately after the fastener ring has been unscrewed. The security band includes an unblocking mechanism for disengaging the band from its axial abutment with the shoulder of the neck.



Inventors:
Beranger, Stephane (Surtauville, FR)
Muller, Patrick (Saint Aubin Sur Gaillon, FR)
Application Number:
13/581958
Publication Date:
12/20/2012
Filing Date:
03/22/2011
Assignee:
APTAR FRANCE SAS (Le Neubourg, FR)
Primary Class:
International Classes:
B65D88/54
View Patent Images:
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20080035638Cap with actuation protection for a pressurized containerFebruary, 2008Burghaus et al.
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20080006651DRIVING SUPPORT SYSTEM USING FRAGRANCE EMITTINGJanuary, 2008Arakawa et al.
20110108568SYSTEM AND METHOD OF COMPARING TWO MATERIALS WITHIN A MATERIAL DISTRIBUTION SYSTEMMay, 2011Hogan
20060043052Bottle closureMarch, 2006Lin
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20030136783Plug of a container for holding beverageJuly, 2003Hatsumoto et al.



Primary Examiner:
BUECHNER, PATRICK M
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
SUGHRUE MION, PLLC (WASHINGTON, DC, US)
Claims:
1. A fluid dispenser comprising: a fluid reservoir forming a neck presenting an outer wall provided with a thread; a dispenser member, such as a pump; and a fastener system for fastening the dispenser member on the neck of the reservoir, the system including a fastener ring provided with reception means for receiving the dispenser member, and with assembly means for assembling on the thread of the neck in such a manner that the ring is unscrewable from the neck over an axial unscrewing stroke; wherein the outer wall of the neck is provided with a shoulder; and the fastener system further including a security band that is engaged on the fastener ring, the band coming into axial abutment with the shoulder of the neck, the band being secured to the fastener ring at the end of the axial unscrewing stroke, so as to prevent the fastener system from being removed from the neck of the reservoir after the fastener ring has been unscrewed; said dispenser being characterized in that the security band includes unblocking means for disengaging the band from its axial abutment with the shoulder of the neck.

2. A dispenser according to claim 1, wherein the unblocking means comprise two diametrally-opposite actuation zones that can be pressed so as to deform the band, the band including at least one abutment element for coming into abutment below the shoulder of the neck, the deformation of the band by pressing on the actuation zones disengaging said at least one abutment element from below the shoulder.

3. A dispenser according to claim 1, wherein the unblocking means comprise a tear-off strip that, after being torn off, makes it possible to disengage the band from the shoulder.

4. A dispenser according to claim 3, wherein the tear-off strip extends over a fraction of the periphery of the band , the band including at least one abutment element for coming into abutment below the shoulder of the neck, the abutment element being formed at the tear-off strip.

5. A dispenser according to claim 1, wherein the fastener ring comes to bear against the band so as to engage said at least one abutment element around the neck , to below its shoulder.

6. A dispenser according to claim 1, wherein the fastener system further includes a covering hoop that extends around the fastener ring and the security band when the fastener system is assembled on the neck, the band being released from the hoop at the end of the unscrewing stroke.

7. A dispenser according to claim 6, wherein the covering hoop comes into engagement with the actuation zones of the security band, so as to block said at least one abutment element below the shoulder of the neck when the fastener system is assembled on the neck.

8. A dispenser according to claim 6, wherein the covering hoop includes an outer casing and an inner sleeve that is engaged in the outer casing, the sleeve coming into clamping engagement around the fastener ring, the band advantageously being arranged axially below the inner sleeve.

9. A dispenser according to claim 6, wherein the fastener profile is formed by the covering hoop.

10. A dispenser according to claim 1, wherein the band is axially movable relative to the ring over a distance that is not less than the axial unscrewing stroke.

11. A dispenser according to claim 1, wherein the band includes fastener means that come into axial abutment with a fastener profile of the fastener system at the end of the axial unscrewing stroke, the band thus coming into abutment against the shoulder of the neck, in such a manner that the fastener ring cannot be released from the neck.

12. A dispenser according to claim 11, wherein the fastener profile is formed by the fastener ring.

13. A dispenser according to claim 1, wherein the assembly means of the fastener ring comprise deformable regions in which the thread of the neck becomes embedded while the ring is being assembled on the neck.

Description:

The present invention relates to a fluid dispenser comprising a fluid reservoir, a dispenser member such as a pump, and a fastener system for fastening the dispenser member on the reservoir. This type of dispenser is frequently used in numerous fields, and in particular the fields of perfumery, cosmetics, and even pharmacy.

A particular type of fluid reservoir defines a neck presenting an outer wall provided with a thread that may include one or more screw threads. In addition, the fastener system may comprise a fastener ring provided with reception means for receiving the dispenser member, and with assembly means for assembling on the thread of the neck in such a manner that the fastener ring is unscrewable from the neck over an axial unscrewing stroke. This design is entirely conventional for a fluid dispenser in the fields of perfumery, cosmetics, and even pharmacy. In general, the assembly means of the fastener ring are in the form of an internal thread that is complementary to the external thread of the neck. The two threads present pitches that are identical or substantially identical. Thus, when the reservoir is filled with fluid, it is possible to assemble the dispenser member on the reservoir by screw-fastening the fastener ring on the threaded neck. In addition, it is possible to unscrew the fastener ring from the threaded neck, in particular when the reservoir is empty or almost empty. While the fastener ring is being turned to screw it on or off, it moves relative to the neck over an axial stroke.

The drawback with that type of screw-fastener system is that it is very easy to unscrew the fastener ring so as to reach the content of the reservoir. The fastener system thus provides the user with little guarantee of first use. This is why use is made of other types of fastener systems that make it possible to provide permanent assembly. However, in some applications, the user prefers to be able to disassemble the fastener system, in particular so as to be able to recover the left-over fluid inside the reservoir when said reservoir is almost empty.

An object of the present invention is to define a fastener system that does indeed make unscrewing possible, but that does not lead directly to the fluid reservoir being accessed. In other words, it does not suffice to unscrew the fastener ring from the threaded neck of the reservoir in order to be able to remove the fastener system from the reservoir. Another object is to avoid, or at least delay, any intentional, malevolent, and/or inadvertent disassembly of the fastener system.

In the prior art, document U.S. Pat. No. 3,547,295 is known which describes a fastener system including a security band that retains a cap that was screwed on a threaded neck of a bottle, after the cap has been fully unscrewed. The band is split, thereby making it possible to separate it from the cap so as to remove said cap from the neck completely. However, the band remains in place on the neck, which is neither practical nor attractive.

The object of the present invention is to remedy the drawbacks of that prior art.

In order to achieve these objects, the present invention proposes a fluid dispenser comprising: a fluid reservoir forming a neck presenting an outer wall provided with a thread; a dispenser member, such as a pump; and a fastener system for fastening the dispenser member on the neck of the reservoir, the system including a fastener ring provided with reception means for receiving the dispenser member, and with assembly means for assembling on the thread of the neck in such a manner that the ring is unscrewable from the neck over an axial unscrewing stroke; wherein the outer wall of the neck is provided with a shoulder; and the fastener system further includes a security band that is engaged on the fastener ring, the band coming into axial abutment with the shoulder of the neck, the band being secured to the fastener ring at the end of the axial unscrewing stroke, so as to prevent the fastener system from being removed from the neck of the reservoir after the fastener ring has been unscrewed; said dispenser being characterized in that the security band includes unblocking means for disengaging the band from its axial abutment with the shoulder of the neck.

Thus, in order to have access to the content of the fluid reservoir, it does not suffice to unscrew the fastener ring from the threaded neck. It is also necessary to disengage the security band from below the shoulder of the reservoir. The security band in abutment below the shoulder of the neck forms a block that acts after the fastener ring has been unscrewed from the threaded neck. Thus, an ill-intentioned user believing the fastener system can be unscrewed in conventional manner, will be surprised to see that the fastener system remains blocked on the neck after unscrewing. It is necessary to put more thought into quickly solving the problem of blocking at the end of the axial unscrewing stroke. Not finding an immediate solution, such a user will often tend to give up trying to remove the fastener system from the reservoir completely, and will finally screw the fastener ring back on the threaded neck, thereby terminating the fraudulent operation. In contrast, the legitimate user of the dispenser, who has acquired it legally, can take the time to think, so as to understand where the blocking has occurred, and find the solution that makes it possible to overcome the blocking and gain access to the content of the reservoir. As its name indicates, the security band thus performs a first-use security function, dissuading ill-intentioned users, while nevertheless enabling the legitimate user to remove the fastener system from the reservoir completely.

The security band is engaged on the fastener ring: this means that the security band may be engaged around the fastener ring or even inside the fastener ring.

By means of the unblocking means, the user may act in guided manner on the band so as to unblock it. This avoids the user acting on the band in any manner that comes to mind, destroying it so as to be able to remove it from below the shoulder. By means of the unblocking means, the user knows how to act on the security band so as to release it from the shoulder of the neck.

In a practical embodiment, the unblocking means comprise two diametrally-opposite actuation zones that can be pressed so as to deform the band, the band including at least one abutment element for coming into abutment below the shoulder of the neck, the deformation of the band by pressing on the actuation zones disengaging said at least one abutment element from below the shoulder. Thus, in order to remove the fastener system from the reservoir, the user must perform two operations, namely a first operation of conventional unscrewing, then an operation of deforming the band. Naturally, The user must keep the band deformed while pulling it axially so as to disengage it from around the neck.

In another practical embodiment, the unblocking means comprise a tear-off strip that, after being torn off, makes it possible to disengage the band from the shoulder. Advantageously, the tear-off strip extends over a fraction of the periphery of the band, the band including at least one abutment element for coming into abutment below the shoulder of the neck, the abutment element being formed at the tear-off strip. Thus, by removing the strip over at least half of the periphery of the band, it is possible to disengage said band from below the shoulder.

In another aspect of the invention, the fastener ring comes to bear against the band so as to engage said at least one abutment element around the neck, to below its shoulder. The fastener ring is thus used to push against the security band so as to engage it around the neck, to below the shoulder.

According to another advantageous characteristic of the invention, the fastener system further includes a covering hoop that extends around the fastener ring and the security band when the fastener system is assembled on the neck, the band being released from the hoop at the end of the unscrewing stroke. In other words, the covering hoop also moves axially relative to the security band during the axial unscrewing stroke. When the fastener system is assembled on the neck, the hoop preferably masks the security band completely so that it is not visible. In contrast, after unscrewing the ring, the band is visible, and it is even advantageous to make the band in a bright color so that the user notices it immediately. The user will thus understand that it is necessary to act on this part, either intuitively, or by means of indications provided in accompanying instructions or even written directly on the band, in order to remove the fastener system from the reservoir completely.

In an advantageous aspect of the invention, the covering hoop comes into engagement with the actuation zones of the security band, so as to block said at least one abutment element below the shoulder of the neck when the fastener system is assembled on the neck. The stiffness of the covering hoop is thus used to stabilize the security band dimensionally, so as to ensure the positioning of the abutment element(s) below the shoulder of the neck. Once the covering hoop has been removed from the security band, said security band fully recovers its capacity for deformation that makes it possible to disengage it from below the shoulder.

In a particular embodiment, the covering hoop includes an outer casing and an inner sleeve that is engaged in the outer casing, the sleeve coming into clamping engagement around the fastener ring, the band advantageously being arranged axially below the inner sleeve. In particular, this happens when the security band is engaged around the fastener ring, thereby creating extra thickness that is compensated at the covering hoop by the inner sleeve. When an inner sleeve is omitted, it is practically essential to make the hoop with a rim or a step level with the security band.

Above, and for practical reasons, the fastener profile is described as being made on the fastener ring. In a variant, it is also possible to make the fastener profile on the covering hoop. This means that the fastener profile may be situated anywhere on the fastener system, in so far as it makes it possible to provide axial abutment with the security band that in turn is also in axial abutment below the shoulder of the neck.

In an advantageous embodiment of the invention, the band is axially movable relative to the ring over a distance that is not less than the axial unscrewing stroke. Advantageously, the band includes fastener means that come into axial abutment with a fastener profile of the fastener system at the end of the axial unscrewing stroke, the band thus being in, or coming into, abutment against the shoulder of the neck, in such a manner that the fastener ring cannot be released from the neck. Preferably, the fastener profile is formed by the fastener ring. In this practical embodiment, the security band is a component element that is distinct from the fastener ring. They are made separately and fitted together. However, without going beyond the ambit of the invention, it is possible to envisage making the fastener ring and the security band as a single part, with the ring and the band being interconnected via a rupture zone. When the fastener ring is unscrewed, the security band normally remains secured to the ring over an initial stroke, until the security band comes into abutment against the shoulder of the neck. From that moment on, the fastener ring continues its axial unscrewing stroke, while the security band remains axially stationary relative to the neck of the reservoir. In this way, the security band moves relative to the ring over an axial distance that is not less than the axial unscrewing stroke.

According to another characteristic of the invention, the assembly means of the fastener ring comprise deformable regions in which the thread of the neck becomes embedded while the ring is being assembled on the neck. This makes it possible to assemble the fastener ring on the threaded neck, not by screw-fastening the fastener ring, but by pushing it axially into its final position. The thread of the neck thus becomes embedded in the deformable regions of the ring by the phenomenon of material creep. After a certain length of time, the imprint of the thread in the deformable regions becomes permanent, thereby making it possible to unscrew the ring. Naturally, in a variant, it is possible to use a fastener ring that includes a conventional internal thread.

The spirit of the invention resides in providing an extra disassembly step in addition to the conventional unscrewing step. The security band does not prevent unscrewing, but provides a connection between the fastener system and the neck of the reservoir at the end of unscrewing. The user is capable of undoing the connection by means of the unblocking means for disengaging the band from the shoulder of the neck.

The invention is described more fully below with reference to the accompanying drawings, which show several embodiments of the invention by way of non-limiting example.

In the figures:

FIG. 1a is a vertical section view through a dispenser made in accordance with a first embodiment of the invention, the dispenser being shown in the non-assembled state just before assembly;

FIG. 1b is a vertical section view of the Figure la dispenser turned through 90°;

FIGS. 2a and 2b are exploded perspective views of the fastener ring and of the security band of the first embodiment of the invention in FIGS. 1a and 1b;

FIGS. 3a and 3b are views similar to FIGS. 1a and 1b respectively of the dispenser of the first embodiment of the invention, in the assembled state;

FIGS. 4a and 4b are views similar to FIGS. 3a and 3b respectively of the dispenser of the first embodiment, during disassembly;

FIGS. 5a and 5b are views similar to FIGS. 4a and 4b respectively of the dispenser of the first embodiment of the invention, at the end of disassembly;

FIGS. 6a and 6b are views partially in section and partially in perspective of the dispenser of the first embodiment of the invention, at the end of the disassembly operation corresponding to FIGS. 5a and 5b;

FIGS. 7a and 7b are views similar to FIGS. 3a and 3b respectively for a variant embodiment of the invention;

FIGS. 8a and 8b are views similar to Figures la and lb respectively for another variant embodiment of the invention;

FIG. 9 is a view partially in vertical section and partially in perspective of a fluid dispenser of a second embodiment of the invention, the dispenser being during assembly;

FIG. 10 is a view similar to FIG. 9 of the fluid dispenser of the second embodiment of the invention, in the assembled state;

FIG. 11 is a very greatly enlarged perspective and section view showing the interactions between the security band, the fastener ring, and the neck of the reservoir;

FIG. 12 is a view partially in section and partially in perspective of the dispenser in FIGS. 9 to 11, during disassembly; and

FIG. 13 is a view similar to the view in FIG. 12 of the dispenser of the second embodiment of the invention, at the end of disassembly.

In all of the embodiments and variant embodiments shown in the various FIGS. 1a to 13, the fluid dispensers of the invention comprise: a fluid reservoir 1 (shown in part); a dispenser member 2, such as a pump or a valve; and a fastener system F for fastening the pump or the valve on the reservoir 1.

In the various figures, the fluid reservoir 1 is shown only in part, with only its top portion being visible. The top portion is essentially constituted by a neck 11 that projects from a peripheral area 15 that already forms a portion of the reservoir body (not shown). The neck 11 includes an inner wall defining an opening that puts the inside of the reservoir into communication with the outside. The neck 11 also defines an outer wall on which there is formed a thread 12 and an annular peripheral shoulder 13. Below the shoulder 13, the neck 11 joins the peripheral area 15. Above the thread 12, the neck defines a top annular edge 14 that forms the junction between the outer wall and the inner wall. The thread 12 is in the form of one or more screw threads that project in helical manner over the outer periphery of the neck 11. The thread 12 may be constituted by a single continuous thread that extends over the periphery of the neck, or, in a variant, the thread 12 may be in the form of a plurality of thread segments that are distributed over the outer periphery of the neck 11. The reservoir also includes an annular peripheral shoulder 13. This is an entirely conventional reservoir with a conventional threaded neck. The shoulder may be continuous over the entire periphery of the neck, or, on the contrary, it may be discontinuous.

In the various figures, the shoulder 13 is continuous and directed downwards. It is separated from the annular top edge 14 by the thread 12. It can also be said that the shoulder 13 is situated between the thread 12 and the peripheral area 15.

The dispenser member 2 may be a pump or a valve, or even some other type of dispenser member that makes it possible to dispense the fluid contained in the reservoir 1. The dispenser member 2 includes a body 21 that defines a fluid inlet 22 and a snap-fastener band 23. For a pump or a valve, the dispenser member 2 also includes an actuator rod or valve 24 that is axially movable down and up inside the body 21 against a spring (not shown). Such a dispenser member is often associated with a pusher or dispenser head (not shown) that is assembled on the free end of the actuator rod 24. Thus, the user may press by means of one or more fingers on the pusher, so as to drive the actuator rod 24 into the body 21 and thus dispense fluid from the reservoir in optionally-metered form. The fluid may be dispensed in the form of spray, a bead, a glob, etc. This is an entirely conventional design for a dispenser member in the fields of cosmetics, perfumery, and even pharmacy.

In the invention, the fastener system F comprises a plurality of component elements, namely: a fastener ring 3; a security band 4; and a covering hoop 5. However, the covering hoop 5 is optional.

The fastener ring 3 may be made up of a plurality of pieces, but it is preferably made as a single piece by injection-molding plastics material. The fastener ring 3 is generally circularly symmetrical. The fastener ring includes reception means 31 in the form of a snap-fastener housing for snapping onto the snap-fastener band 23 of the body 21 of the dispenser member 2. The reception means 31 define a central axial opening through which the actuator rod 24 of the dispenser member 2 passes. The fastener ring also includes an annulus 32 that extends radially outwards from the outer periphery of the snap-fastener housing of the reception means 31. The annulus 32 is associated with an annular neck gasket G for compressing against the top edge 14 of the neck 11. Over its outer periphery, the annulus 32 is upwardly connected to a guide bushing. The annulus 32 is also downwardly connected to a skirt 33 for engaging around the threaded neck 11 of the reservoir 1. As with the skirt 33, the bushing presents a configuration that is substantially cylindrical. The skirt 33 internally defines assembly means 34 that are for co-operating with the thread 12 of the neck. More precisely, in this first embodiment of the invention, the assembly means are in the form of deformable regions 34 in which the thread 12 of the neck becomes embedded. In other words, the deformable regions are deformed by the thread 12 of the neck by a phenomenon of material creep. After a certain length of time, the material stops creeping and stabilizes dimensionally. As can be seen in FIGS. 4a, 4b, 5a, 5b, and 6a, hollow imprints 37 are thus formed in the inside of the skirt 33. The deformable regions 34 are in the form of plates that project from the inner wall of the skirt 33. Instead of the plates, it is possible to imagine other shapes, such as ribs, spikes, or a continuous bead, for example. This particular type of assembly means makes it possible to assemble the fastener ring 3 on the threaded neck of the reservoir without the need to screw-fasten the ring. On the contrary, the ring is merely pushed axially onto the neck, deforming the deformable regions 34. Once the fastener ring has reached its final assembled position on the neck, permanent imprints 37 are formed in the inside of the skirt, making it possible subsequently to unscrew the ring from the threaded neck. This technique is already described in the prior art.

In the invention, the fastener ring 3 further includes one or more fastener profiles 35 that may be formed on the outer wall of the skirt 33 in the proximity of its bottom end, as can be seen in FIG. 1a. Without going beyond the ambit of the invention, the fastener profiles 35 may be provided at another location of the skirt 33, e.g. inside the skirt. However, in the embodiment shown in the figures, and in particular in FIGS. 2a and 2b, the fastener profiles 35 are made in the form of rib segments that extend over a fraction of the periphery of the skirt 33 at its outer bottom end. Each segment of fastener profiles 35 may extend over 60° , for example. The function of the fastener profiles 35 is described below.

The covering hoop 5 shown in FIG. 1a presents a particular configuration: it is made of two distinct pieces, namely an outer casing 51 and an inner sleeve 52 that is engaged inside the outer casing 51. The outer casing 51 may be made of plastics material, but is preferably made of metal, while the inner sleeve 52 is preferably made of plastics material. The inner sleeve 52 is received in stationary manner, without any possibility of turning or of axial displacement, inside the outer casing 51. In addition, the inner sleeve 52 is engaged, without any possibility of turning, around the fastener ring 3, and more particularly around its bushing and/or its skirt 33. The inner sleeve 52 is capable of sliding axially around the skirt 33 between a pre-assembled position shown in FIGS. 1a and 1b, and a final assembled position shown in FIGS. 3a and 3b. In the pre-assembled position, the covering hoop 5 is engaged around the ring 3, but not completely, the hoop 5 also being capable of being moved downwards around the hoop 3 so as to reach the final assembled position. As can be seen in FIGS. 1a and 1b, in the pre-assembled position, the inner sleeve 52 is not yet positioned at the assembly means 34 of the skirt 33, while in the final assembled position, the inner sleeve 52 is positioned at the assembly means 34, thereby reinforcing the skirt 33 and promoting the deformation of the assembly means by the thread 12. Given that the outer casing 51 is generally cylindrical, and that the inner sleeve 52 extends over a fraction only of the height of the casing 51, a gap is created between the outer casing 51 and the skirt 33 below the inner sleeve 52, as can be seen in the figures. The gap is used to receive the security band 4 that is described in detail below. As described above, the fastener profiles 35 are formed at the skirt 33. In a variant, it is possible to provide similar or equivalent fastener profiles at the covering hoop, e.g. at the inner wall of the casing 51 or at the bottom end of the inner sleeve 52. Without going beyond the ambit of the invention, it may also be considered that the inner sleeve 52 forms part of the fastener ring 3, and that the covering hoop is thus merely in the form of the outer casing 51.

The security band 4 is a substantially-cylindrical annular part that may be made by injection-molding plastics material. The security band 4 may be made as a separate part, or, in a variant, it may be made integrally with the fastener ring 3 or with the inner sleeve 52, being connected thereto by a rupture zone or bridges that may be broken by traction or thrust. In the proximity of its top end, the security band 4 includes fastener means 45 that project radially inwards. As can be seen in FIG. 2b, the fastener means may be in the form of two rib segments that are distributed over the inner periphery of the band. As can be seen in the various figures, the security band 4 is engaged around the skirt 33 of the fastener ring 3 in such a manner that the fastener means 45 are situated axially above the fastener profiles 35. It should also be observed that the security band 4 is arranged inside the gap formed below the sleeve 52, between the ring 3 and the casing 51. In the invention, the fastener means 45 are for coming into axial abutment with the fastener profiles 35, in such a manner as to secure the security band 4 to the fastener ring 3. However, this axial fastening does not prevent the band 4 from turning about the ring. Also, this axial fastening does not prevent the band 4 from moving axially relative to the ring 3 over a limited axial distance.

Still in the invention, the bottom end of the security band 4 forms two actuation zones 42 that are arranged on the outer wall of the band in diametrally-opposite manner. This may be deduced from FIG. 1a, and can be seen more clearly in FIGS. 2a and 2b. The two actuation zones 42 are in the form of local reinforcements that project radially outwards from the outer wall of the band. The top end of each reinforcement may be beveled or chamfered in such a manner as to promote its engagement inside the outer casing 51 of the hoop 5. In addition, in the proximity of its bottom end, the security band 4 also forms two abutment elements 41 that project radially inwards. Each abutment element 41 is in the form of a small flange or tab having a free end that is folded upwards a little. The two abutment elements 41 are arranged in diametrally-opposite manner and are offset relative to the two diametrally-opposite actuation zones 42 by 90°. This can be seen clearly in FIG. 2a. It can easily be understood that by pressing on the two actuation zones 42 in such a manner as to move them together, the security band 4 deforms in such a manner as to move the two abutment elements 41 away from each other. The band 4, which is circularly cylindrical in the rest state, may thus be deformed in such a manner as to present a shape that is oval or oblong. The two actuation zones 42 move towards each other, while the two abutment elements 41 move away from each other. The advantage of this characteristic in the context of the present invention is described below. The two actuation zones 42 advantageously come into engagement with the inner wall of the outer casing 51, as can be seen in FIGS. 3a and 3b, in the assembled state of the dispenser. The abutment elements 41 extend radially inwards below the bottom end of the skirt 33, as can be seen in FIGS. 1b and 3b. In the invention, the abutment elements 41 are for coming into axial abutment below the shoulder 13 formed by the neck 11, as described below.

The security band 4 is engaged around the skirt 33 of the ring 3 in the gap defined between the skirt 33 and the hoop 5. The security band 4 is secured to the ring only as a result of the fastener means 45 being engaged above the fastener profiles 35 of the ring 3. The security band 4 is thus free to move axially relative to the ring over a certain limited distance, and even to turn freely about the ring. This is also true when the security band 4 is made integrally with another part and the zones or bridges of material that initially connect them are ruptured.

Reference is made below successively to the various FIGS. 1a to 6b in order to describe the methods, which may advantageously be conventional, of assembling and disassembling a fastener system F of the invention on and from a reservoir neck.

With reference firstly to FIGS. 1a and 1b, it should be observed that the bottom end of the skirt 33 and a portion of the security band 4 still project downwards out from the outer casing 51 of the hoop 5. The top end of the bushing of the fastener ring 3 is at a distance from the inwardly-directed portion of the outer casing 51. The top annular edge of the security band 4 is at a distance from the bottom end of the inner sleeve 52. In addition, the skirt 33 of the ring 3 is not yet engaged around the threaded neck 11 of the reservoir 1. However, the abutment element 41 of the security band 4 comes into contact with the top annular edge 14 of the neck 11. The bottom end of the skirt 33 comes into contact with the abutment element 41. The dispenser member 2 is already received in the fastener ring 3 and extends, in part, inside the neck 11. From this initial position, axial pressure may be exerted on the covering hoop 5 towards the reservoir 1. This causes the abutment elements 41 of the security band 4 to deform in such a manner as to cause them to pass around the neck 11. During this operation, the security band 4 may be deformed in such a manner as to present a shape that is oval. The abutment elements 41 move away from each other, while the actuation zones 42 move towards each other. The axial movement of the security band 4 around the neck 11 continues until the abutment elements 41 become housed below the annular shoulder 13 of the neck 11. The engagement of the abutment elements 41 below the shoulder 13 may be thought of as snap-fastening. By continuing to press axially on the covering hoop 5, the assembly means 34 come into engagement with the thread 12 in such a manner as to embed the thread 12 in the assembly means. Simultaneously, the abutment elements 41 move away from the shoulder 13 towards the peripheral area 15. The axial pressure continues until the final assembled position shown in FIGS. 3a and 3b is reached. The assembly means 34 are thus in engagement with the thread 12, the neck gasket G is flattened between the annulus 32 and the top annular edge 14 of the neck, the abutment elements 41 are in contact with the peripheral area 15, the top end of the security band 4 is in contact with the bottom end of the inner sleeve 52, and the outer casing 51 of the hoop 5 extends to below the band 4 in such a manner as to mask it completely. The dispenser may thus be used normally by pressing on the pusher (not shown) that is provided on the actuator rod 24 of the dispenser member 2.

When the user wishes to remove the dispenser member 2 and its fastener system F from the reservoir 1, the fastener ring 3 is firstly unscrewed from the threaded neck 11 in conventional manner in the counter-clockwise direction. In a variant, unscrewing may be provided in the clockwise direction so as to oblige the user to think for longer. Either way, the user applies sufficient torque on the covering hoop 5. The assembly formed by the hoop 5 and the ring 3 thus moves both in turning and in the axial direction over an axial unscrewing stroke. When the assembly means 34 are completely disengaged from the threaded neck 11, the imprints 37 formed by the thread 12 of the neck 11 remain in the skirt 33.

In the invention, it is not possible to remove from the neck, the assembly formed by the ring 3, the hoop 5, and the dispenser member 2: the security band 4 prevents such removal as a result of the fastener means 45 being in axial abutment with the fastener profiles 35 of the ring 3, and of the abutment elements 41 being in axial abutment below the shoulder 13 of the neck 11. Even though the fastener ring 3 is completely unscrewed from the neck, it is still held on the neck by the security band 4 that can be considered as performing an axial holding or linking function on the neck by bearing below the shoulder 13. In this intermediate disassembled position, the security band 4 is extracted, in part, from the gap formed below the holding sleeve 52, between the ring 3 and the outer casing 51. Thus, the security band 4 projects below the hoop 5. The two actuation zones 42 are completely unmasked or released from the outer casing 51, as can be seen in FIG. 4a. It is advantageous to make the security band 4 with a garish or bright color, so as to catch the attention of the user immediately. It is a way of intuitively indicating to the user that it is necessary to act on this part in order to remove the fastener system and the dispenser member completely from the neck of the reservoir.

FIGS. 5a, 5b, 6a, and 6b show how the security band 4 should be manipulated or acted upon so as to disengage it from its abutment below the shoulder 13 of the neck. In FIG. 5a, it can be seen that it is possible to press on the two diametrally-opposite actuation zones 42 of the band 4, in such a manner as to move them towards each other. The bottom edge of the band pivots inwards, while its top edge remains in engagement with the skirt 33 of the ring 3. This deformation results in the band 4 becoming oval, at least in its bottom portion. Consequently, the abutment elements 41 move away from each other, as can be seen in FIG. 5b. This enables them to be disengaged from below the shoulder 13 so as to make it possible to remove the fastener system completely from the neck 11. The deformation of the security band 4 can be seen more clearly in FIGS. 6a and 6b. In practice, it suffices for the user to keep the band deformed while pulling it axially so as to disengage it from the neck. Then, the pressure may be relaxed on the band which returns to its cylindrical rest configuration.

It should be observed that after the fastener system F has been removed completely, it is possible to assemble it once again on the threaded neck, given that no component part of the fastener system has been damaged during its disassembly. In a variant, it is also possible to design the fastener system of the invention so that it cannot be re-assembled on the neck. For example, the size and/or the resilience of the abutment elements could be increased so that they come into firm abutment against the top edge of the neck, when the security band is extracted completely from the hoop. However, in order to make the initial assembly possible, it is necessary for the band to be engaged, in part, inside the hoop, so as to deform it as in the first embodiment, so that the abutment elements can be force-fitted around the neck.

During the disassembly operation, the security band 4 must be able to move axially relative to the fastener ring 3 over an axial distance that is not less than the axial unscrewing stroke of the fastener ring. It is preferable, indeed necessary, for the fastener ring 3 to be unscrewed from the threaded neck completely, when the abutment elements 41 come into contact with the shoulder 13.

In order to remove the fastener system F from the threaded neck of the reservoir completely, it is thus necessary for the user to perform two steps, namely a first step of counter-clockwise or clockwise unscrewing, followed by a second step of deforming or ovalizing the security band so as to disengage it from below the shoulder 13. The purpose of the deformation second step is to make the operating of removing the fastener system more difficult, and thereby dissuade ill-intentioned users. The instructions for actuating the security band 4 may be supplied with the dispenser, or they may even be explained in diagrammatic manner on the security band itself.

Reference is made to FIGS. 7a and 7b, which show a variant embodiment in which the covering hoop 5′ does not include an inner sleeve, unlike the first embodiment. The hoop 5′ amounts to an outer casing that may be made of metal, for example. The outer casing comes into clamping contact around the fastener ring 3, and also surrounds the security band 4, forming a peripheral step. This variant embodiment seeks to demonstrate that the inner sleeve 52 may be eliminated.

Reference is made below to FIGS. 8a and 8b, which also show another variant embodiment, in which the fastener ring 3 is internally-threaded before being assembled on the threaded neck 11. An internal thread 38 can be seen formed inside the skirt 33 that is adapted to co-operate with the thread 12 of the neck 11 by being screwed on and off. This variant embodiment seeks to demonstrate that it is possible to use a conventional screw-fastener ring.

Reference is made to FIGS. 9 to 13 which describe a second embodiment of the invention, and more particularly a second type of security band referenced 4′. The fluid reservoir 1 and the dispenser member 2 may be substantially or strictly identical to those of the first embodiment. The neck 11 is provided with an external thread 12 and with an annular peripheral shoulder 13. The fastener ring 3 forms reception means 31 for receiving the dispenser member 2, an annulus 32 for compressing a neck gasket G against the top edge 14 of the neck, and a substantially-cylindrical skirt 33 that extends around the neck 11 in such a manner as to come into engagement with the thread 12. At its free bottom end, the skirt 33 forms one or more fastener profiles 35 that are in the form of a complete rib or of rib segments that project radially inwards. The skirt 33 also forms an upper abutment 36 that is formed inside the skirt above the fastener profile 35. This can be seen more clearly in FIG. 11. It can thus be said that a housing is defined between the fastener profile 35 and the upper abutment 36.

In this embodiment, the security band 4′ is engaged inside the skirt 33, and not outside as in the first embodiment. The band 4′ is free to move axially inside the skirt 33 over a limited distance, namely in the housing formed between the upper abutment 36 and the fastener profile 35. To do this, the band 4′ includes a rigid collar 43 that is engaged inside the housing defined between the fastener profile 35 and the upper abutment 36. The collar 43 may thus move axially between the upper and lower limits. Its top edge 46 may come into abutment below the abutment 36, while its bottom face defines fastener means 45 that come into axial abutment with the fastener means 35 formed at the inside bottom end of the skirt 33. The collar 43 extends downwards forming a cylinder 47 having an inside top edge that forms an abutment element 41 that comes into engagement below the shoulder 13, as can be seen in FIG. 11. The abutment element 41 extends over all or part of the periphery of the cylinder 47. The cylinder 47 extends downwards into contact with the peripheral area 15 of the neck 11. A portion of the periphery of the cylinder 47 constitutes a tear-off strip 48 that is provided with a grip tab 49. On its top edge, the tear-off strip 48 is connected to the collar 43 via bridges 44 of breakable material. The tear-off strip 48 advantageously extends over more than half of the periphery of the security band 4′.

Reference is made below successively to FIGS. 9, 10, 12, and 13 which describe in detail the methods of assembling and disassembling the fastener system of the invention on and from the reservoir neck.

In FIG. 9, the security band 4′ is already in place on the neck 11 with its abutment element 41 engaged below the shoulder 13. The band 4′ may be put into place around the neck by means of an appropriate press, or by means of the fastener ring 3. An axial pressure may be applied to the security band 4′ when the top edge 46 of the collar 43 is bearing below the upper abutment 36 of the skirt 33, as shown in FIG. 9. By means of this engagement, it is possible to force-fit the security band 4′ around the neck 11 in such a manner as to become housed below the shoulder 13. It should be observed that the covering hoop 5′, which is generally cylindrical, is not yet engaged around the skirt 33.

In FIG. 10, the fastener system F is in the final assembled position on the neck 11. The security band 4′ is housed below the shoulder 13, the skirt 33 is in engagement with the thread 12, and the hoop 5′ is in contact with the peripheral area 15 of the neck 11. In this configuration, the dispenser may be used normally by pressing on the pusher (not shown) that is provided on the actuator rod 24 of the dispenser member 2.

In FIG. 12, the fastener system F has already been unscrewed from the threaded neck in such a manner as to release the security band 4′ that nevertheless remains in engagement inside the skirt 33 by the abutment between the fastener means 45 and the fastener profile 35. The abutment element 41 is in abutment below the shoulder 13. In FIG. 12, the user has already started to tear off the tear-off strip 48 by pulling on the grip tab 49. This causes the tear-off strip 48 to be separated from the collar 43 that remains in engagement inside the skirt 33 of the fastener ring. By continuing to pull and to tear off the strip 48 over at least half of the periphery of the band, it is possible to disengage the abutment element 41 from below the shoulder 13, and thus remove the entire fastener system, as shown in FIG. 13. The collar 43 still remains in engagement inside the ring 3. Given that the tear-off strip 48 does not extend over the entire periphery of the ring 48, it remains secured to the remainder of the security band 4′.

As in the first embodiment of the invention, the user must perform two successive disassembly steps, namely a first step of unscrewing, followed by a second step of pulling and of tearing off the strip 48. By pulling hard on the strip 48, it is optionally possible to remove all of the security band 4′ from the inside of the ring 3. Thus, it is possible to screw the fastener system F back onto the threaded neck of the reservoir.

As in the first embodiment of the invention, the purpose of the second step of pulling and tearing-off is to make the method of disassembling the fastener system more difficult, so as to dissuade possible ill-intentioned users or users acting inadvertently. The presence of a grip tab 49 suffices to make the user understand that it is necessary to pull the tab in order to unblock or unscrew the security band 4′.

The band 4′ moves axially inside the fastener ring 3 over an axial distance that is not less than the axial unscrewing stroke of the fastener ring 3.

This second embodiment has the advantage of being able to use a conventional covering hoop that is completely cylindrical, without using an inner sleeve 52, as in the first embodiment. The drawback of this second embodiment is that the security band 4′ is destroyed, in part, after use, while the security band 4 of the first embodiment is deformed only momentarily. However, it is possible to use the band 4 of the first embodiment in the second embodiment instead of the band 4′, and vice versa.

By means of the invention, conventional unscrewing of the fastener system is associated with an additional voluntary act that requires the user to give a certain amount of thought for a moment. The user needs to think so as to understand what must be done to the security band in order to disengage it or unblock it from its engagement or abutment with the neck of the reservoir. The actuation zones 42 and the tear-off strip 48 constitute unblocking means for unblocking the security bands 4, 4′, thereby making it easier to disengage the band from below the shoulder. However, in the present invention, the unblocking means are optional: the user could damage or cut the security band so as to remove it from the neck.