Title:
FITMENT SYSTEM
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A fitment system for a neck of a container may include a fitment, comprising a base portion with a top and a bottom and a threaded bore extending upward into the base portion from the bottom to a bore bottom configured for sealingly engaging a top of the container neck, a nozzle portion extending from the base portion to a tip and configured for controlling the outflow of content from the container without imparting torsional forces on the fitment, and a support portion extending from the base portion to a distal end arranged at or beyond the tip, the support portion being configured for supporting the container in an inverted position.



Inventors:
Epstein, Steven (Tenafly, NJ, US)
Application Number:
14/181792
Publication Date:
03/12/2015
Filing Date:
02/17/2014
Assignee:
EPSTEIN STEVEN
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A47G19/22
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
KIRSCH, ANDREW THOMAS
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Winthrop & Weinstine, P.A. (Minneapolis, MN, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A fitment system for a neck of a container, comprising: a fitment, comprising: a base portion with a top and a bottom and a threaded bore extending upward into the base portion from the bottom to a bore bottom configured for sealingly engaging a top of the container neck; a nozzle portion extending from the base portion to a tip and configured for controlling the outflow of content from the container without imparting torsional forces on the fitment; and a support portion extending from the base portion to a distal end arranged at or beyond the tip, the support portion being configured for supporting the container in an inverted position.

2. The fitment system of claim 1, wherein the bore comprises a working depth of approximately 10 mm.

3. The fitment system of claim 1, wherein the fitment includes a sealing gasket arranged at the bore bottom.

4. The fitment system of claim 1, wherein the nozzle portion includes a top configured to open and close without imparting torsional force on the fitment.

5. The fitment system of claim 4, wherein the nozzle portion includes a throat extending through the bore bottom.

6. The fitment of claim 5, wherein the nozzle portion includes a plug suspended in the throat.

7. The fitment of claim 6, wherein the top is a push/pull top configured to be opened by pulling on the top and configured to be closed by pushing on the top and engaging the plug.

8. The fitment of claim 1, wherein the support portion includes a strut extending upward from the base portion.

9. The fitment of claim 8, wherein the strut extends radially outward in addition to extending upward.

10. The fitment of claim 8, wherein the strut comprises a plurality of struts.

11. The fitment of claim 10, wherein the plurality of struts comprises three struts.

12. The fitment of claim 11, wherein the plurality of struts comprises a rounded surface at the distal end.

13. The fitment system of claim 1, further comprising an adaptor configured to reduce the bore diameter of the fitment.

14. The fitment system of claim 13, wherein the threaded bore has a cylindrical bore wall with a diameter and the adaptor includes an outer diameter configured for threadingly engaging the bore wall.

15. The fitment system of claim 14, wherein the adaptor includes a threaded bore extending upward into the adaptor from the bottom to a bore bottom configured for sealingly engaging a top of the container neck.

16. The fitment system of claim 15, wherein the working depth of the adaptor is approximately 10 mm.

17. The fitment system of claim 15, wherein the adaptor includes a flange at a bottom end thereof.

18. The fitment system of claim 17, wherein the flange comprises a roughened peripheral surface for gripping the adaptor when inserting and removing the adaptor from the fitment.

19. The fitment system of claim 18, wherein the adaptor includes an opening in a top end thereof for allowing contents from the container to pass therethrough.

20. The fitment system of claim 1, wherein the nozzle portion includes an imbalance feature.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

The present application claims priority to U.S. Provisional Patent Application No. 61/876,938 entitled Gravity Bottle Cap, filed on Sep. 12, 2013, the content of which is hereby incorporated by reference herein in its entirety.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates generally to container fitments. More particularly, a system of caps, covers, fitments, or other devices are provided that are adaptable for varying sized container necks and styles, and for controlling the outflow of contents of a container. Still more particularly the system may be configured for supporting and/or balancing a container above the fitment such as in an inverted orientation.

BACKGROUND

Flowable products packaged in containers work well when the container is relatively full. Generally, these containers are configured to stand up on the bottom side, with the container cap or pump facing upward. In this basic storage configuration, gravity causes the flowable product within the container to settle in the bottom of the container. A user may typically attempt to invert the container in order to cause the flowable product therein to flow toward the container cap and urge the desired amount of flowable product out of the container cap for use.

As the amount of flowable product diminishes within the container, it becomes more and more difficult, taking longer periods of time, to obtain a desired amount of flowable product from the container through the container cap or pump, which are commonly prone to premature failure, thus, leaving product stranded in the bottom of the container. Some containers have been designed to rest in an inverted position, i.e., container cap side down, in order to force the flowable product against the container cap through gravitational force. This allows the user to simply pick up the container and immediately dispense the flowable product therein without having to wait for the flowable product to flow down the sides of the container toward the container cap.

However, most known containers do not have the ability to be stored in this inverted position. In addition, inverting the current range of container sizes, with varying container neck sizes and varying cap/pump configurations, is not possible given the current state of the art. Applicant is unaware of any device or system that will accommodate the variety of container neck sizes and styles in order to provide a stable inversion of the container.

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

In one embodiment, a fitment system for a neck of a container may include a fitment. The fitment may include a base portion with a top and a bottom and a threaded bore extending upward into the base portion from the bottom to a bore bottom configured for sealingly engaging a top of the container neck. The fitment may also include a nozzle portion extending from the base portion to a tip and configured for controlling the outflow of content from the container without imparting torsional forces on the fitment. The fitment may also include a support portion extending from the base portion to a distal end arranged at or beyond the tip, the support portion being configured for supporting the container in an inverted position. In some embodiments, the fitment system may also include an adaptor configured for reducing or enlarging the diameter of the fitment for use with containers having smaller or larger container necks.

A device and system and method for allowing stable inversion of virtually any necked flexibly resilient container with flowable product therein for purposes of facilitating quick and full release of the flowable product through the container cap when desired. An adaptor system allows for varying sizes of container necks and styles to be accommodated by the present invention. The present invention allows for stable inverted storage of the container with flowable product therein, staging the flowable product against the container cap for quick release when the user desires.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF FIGURES

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a fitment, according to some embodiments.

FIG. 2 is an exploded view of the fitment of FIG. 1.

FIG. 3 is a side view of the fitment of FIG. 1.

FIG. 4 is a bottom view of the fitment of FIG. 1.

FIG. 5 is a side view of the fitment of FIG. 1.

FIG. 6 is a top view of the fitment of FIG. 1.

FIG. 7 is a cross-sectional side view of the fitment of FIG. 1.

FIG. 8 is a perspective view of the fitment of FIG. 1 with the cap removed.

FIG. 9 is a bottom view of the fitment of FIG. 8.

FIG. 10 is a side view of the fitment of FIG. 8.

FIG. 11 is a top view of the fitment of FIG. 8.

FIG. 12 is a side view of the fitment of FIG. 8.

FIG. 13 is a cross-sectional side view of the fitment of FIG. 8.

FIG. 14 is a perspective view of a cap of the fitment of FIG. 1.

FIG. 15 is a bottom view of the cap of FIG. 14.

FIG. 16 is a side view of the cap of FIG. 14.

FIG. 17 is a top view of the cap of FIG. 14.

FIG. 18 is a side view of the cap of FIG. 14.

FIG. 19 is a side cross-sectional view of the cap of FIG. 14.

FIG. 20 is a perspective view of a seal of the fitment of FIG. 1.

FIG. 21 is a top/bottom view of the seal of FIG. 20.

FIG. 22 is a side view of the seal of FIG. 20.

FIG. 23 is a side cross-sectional view of the seal of FIG. 20.

FIG. 24 is a perspective view of the fitment of FIG. 1 together with and adaptor.

FIG. 25 is an exploded view of the fitment and adaptor of FIG. 24.

FIG. 26 is a side view of the fitment and adaptor of FIG. 24.

FIG. 27 is a bottom view of the fitment and adaptor of FIG. 24.

FIG. 28 is a side view of the fitment and adaptor of FIG. 24.

FIG. 29 is a top view of the fitment and adaptor of FIG. 24.

FIG. 30 is a side cross-sectional view of the fitment and adaptor of FIG. 24.

FIG. 31 is a perspective view of the adaptor of FIG. 24.

FIG. 32 is a side view of the adaptor of FIG. 31.

FIG. 33 is a bottom view of the adaptor of FIG. 31.

FIG. 34 is a side view of the adaptor of FIG. 31.

FIG. 35 is a top view of the adaptor of FIG. 31.

FIG. 36 is a side cross-sectional view of the adaptor of FIG. 31.

FIG. 37 is a perspective view of a seal of the fitment and adaptor of FIG. 24.

FIG. 38 is a top/bottom view of the seal of FIG. 37.

FIG. 39 is a side view of the seal of FIG. 37.

FIG. 40 is a side cross-sectional view of the seal of FIG. 37.

FIG. 41 is a perspective view of another embodiment of a fitment similar to that of FIG. 1 and having an adaptor.

FIG. 42 is an exploded view of the fitment and adaptor of FIG. 41.

FIG. 43 is a side view of the fitment and adaptor of FIG. 41.

FIG. 44 is a bottom view of the fitment and adaptor of FIG. 41.

FIG. 45 is a side view of the fitment and adaptor of FIG. 41.

FIG. 46 is a top view of the fitment and adaptor of FIG. 41.

FIG. 47 is a side cross-sectional view of the fitment and adaptor of FIG. 41.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

The present application, in one or more embodiments, discusses a fitment system usable to invert a flexibly resilient container to simplify access to the trailing contents of the container and adaptable for use with containers having different neck diameters and styles. For example, the system may include a fitment adapted for use with a relatively large container neck. This fitment may be substantially cup-shaped with an internal diameter sized to receive the large container neck and having internal threads for threading onto the container neck. This relatively large fitment may include a system of struts or braces radiating from it such that, when the fitment is secured to the container neck, the fitment may stably support the respective container in an inverted position. The system may also include a series of adaptors or inserts. The adaptors or inserts may be used to downsize the internal thread diameter of the fitment such that container necks with smaller diameters may be accommodated. A series of inserts may be provided where each is adapted to downsize the large fitment to one of several different sizes. For example, the adaptors may thread within the fitment and may have a threaded inner bore with a diameter adapted for a smaller sized container neck.

The system may be advantageous for accessing the trailing contents of a container. Also, the system may be advantageous for use with containers not amenable to standing upright in any orientation. For example some soft-side containers for content such as toothpaste, ointments, creams, and other content may typically be placed in a medicine cabinet or on a shelf in a lying position. The present system may be used to allow these containers to be placed in an upright position allowing such containers to be more easily organized and maintained, while in some cases depending on the viscosity and other properties of the contents, also helping to move the contents toward the outlet of the container. In some cases, the system may be provided by the product manufacturer together with the product and in other cases, the system may be purchased by a consumer and used to replace the caps that are provided on the products. In either case, the system may be removable and reusable with multiple bottles or product containers throughout its life.

As shown in FIGS. 1-23, a fitment 100 in the form of a container cap is shown. The fitment 100 may be configured for securing to a threaded or other type of neck of a bottle or other container and for supporting the bottle or container in an inverted position. The fitment 100 may also allow the contents of the container to be selectively or controllably delivered from the container by actuation of a nozzle, for example. As shown in FIG. 1, the fitment 100 may include a base portion 102, a nozzle portion 104, and a support portion 106, each of which are described in more detail below.

As shown in FIGS. 3-13, the base portion 102 may be configured for securing to a neck of a bottle or container. The base portion 102 may have a top 108 and a bottom 110. The base portion 102 may include a bore 112 extending upward from the bottom 110 into the base portion 102. The bore 112 may extend into the base portion 102 to a bore bottom 114 defining the depth of the bore 116 measured from the bottom 110 of the base portion 102 to the bore bottom 114. The bore 116 may be substantially cylindrically shaped defining a cylindrical bore wall having a bore diameter 118. The internal wall of the bore 116 may include threads arranged thereon and adapted to engage threads on a container neck, for example. In some embodiments, the diameter 118 of the bore 116 may range from approximately 20 mm to approximately 50 mm or from approximately 30 mm to approximately 40 mm or a diameter of approximately 38 mm or, more precisely, 38.2 mm may be provided. Still other diameters 118 may be provided and adapted for matching and/or accommodating a particular neck size or diameter.

In other embodiments, the base portion 102 may be adapted for a snap-type engagement with a container neck and may include a cylindrically extending rib or recess adapted to engage a cylindrically extending recess or rib on a container neck. It is to be appreciated that a rib on the inside surface of the bore 112 may snap over a rib on a container neck or a rib on the inside surface of the bore 112 may engage a recess on a container neck. In other embodiments, a rib on a container neck may engage a recess on the inside surface of the bore 112. Still other snapping engagements including multiple ribs and/or recesses may be provided.

The bore bottom 114 may be adapted to seat tightly against the upper annular surface of the container neck to create a seal to resist leakage of contents from the container into and along the bore 112. In some embodiments, for example, the bore bottom 114 may be a substantially annularly shaped surface arranged substantially perpendicular to the bore wall. Still further, in some embodiments, a gasket 113 such as the annular piece of resilient material shown in FIGS. 20-23 may be provided on the bore bottom 114 to increase the ability of the base portion 102 to seal against the upper annular surface of the container neck. In addition, the bore depth 116 may be selected such that it is sufficiently large to allow the threads arranged thereon to securely engage those of the container neck. However, the bore depth 116 may also be selected to be sufficiently short such that the bottom 110 of the bore 112 is drawn into a sealing seated engagement with the upper annular surface of the container prior to the bottom 110 of the base portion 102 engaging a shoulder of the container near the base of the container neck. In some embodiments, for example, the bore depth 116 may be selected to range from approximately 5 mm to approximately 30 mm, or from approximately 8 mm to approximately 12 mm or approximately 10 mm. For example, in some embodiments, thread finishes of approximately 400, or approximately 410, or approximately 415, as described/defined by the Glass Packaging Institute, may be provided and/or accommodated. Still other thread finishes may be provided. It is to be appreciated that the gasket may “take-up” some of the bore depth 116 and, as such, the bore depth 116 may be adjusted (i.e., increased or decreased) to accommodate the gasket thickness such that the overall depth 116 of the bore 112 may be equal to a working depth approximating the mentioned bore depth dimensions plus a gasket thickness.

The outer portion of the base 102 may also be substantially cylindrical with an outer diameter and establishing a wall thickness equal to the outer portion diameter less the bore diameter 118 and accounting for two walls on each side of the base portion 102. In some embodiments, the outer diameter of the base may range from approximately 30 mm to approximately 50 mm or from approximately 35 mm to approximately 45 mm or a diameter of approximately 41 mm may be provided. In other embodiments, the outer portion of the base portion 102 may be substantially square, triangular, octagonal, hexagonal, or other shapes may be provided. In some embodiments, the outer portion of the base portion 102 may be shaped to support and/or accommodate particular aspects of the support portion 106 described below. For example, where four support braces are provided, a square outer portion may be provided allowing for each brace to extend from a corner of the base portion 102, for example. Still other shapes and sizes of the outer portion may be provided. The base portion 102 may have a height greater than the bore depth 116 defining a thickness of the top portion 108 of the base portion 102. The top portion 108 of the base 102 may be flat or, as shown, it may be conically shaped to accommodate the nozzle portion 104 described below.

In some embodiments, the base portion may be adapted for child-resistant attachment to the resilient container or bottle. For example, in some embodiments, a stop or catch may be provided on the base that is adapted to engage a top portion of a bottle or resilient container. For example, some bottles or resilient containers may include tabs or stops to engage corresponding tabs or stops on the inside of the cap. In order to remove the cap, the cap may be deformable such that when squeezed, the tabs on the inside of the cap clear those on the bottle allowing the cap to turn and/or unscrew. The base portion 102 may include same or similar tabs adapted to engage these tabs on the bottle. Still other types of child-resistant mechanisms may also be provided. In addition, other aspects of the system may be made to be child-resistant such as the cap discussed in more detail below.

The nozzle portion 104 may be arranged at or near the top 108 of the base portion 102 and may be configured for selectively receiving, passing through and/or controlling the outflow of the contents of a bottle or container. The nozzle portion 104 may extend abruptly through the bore bottom 114 as shown including a central throat 126. In other alternative embodiments, the nozzle portion 104 may include a recessed mouth area in the bottom 114 of the bore 112 that is adapted to receive and funnel the contents toward a center of the base portion 102. The recessed mouth, for example, may be inset into the bottom 114 of the bore 112 at a circular edge defining an inner edge of the annular seat surface at the bottom 114 of the bore 112. From this circular edge, the recessed mouth may extend radially inward with a conical surface to the central throat 126. In either or other embodiments, the central throat 126 may extend through the base portion 102 forming an opening through which the contents of the container may flow out of the fitment 100. The throat 126 may be formed by a cylindrical throat wall or a throat 126 with a different cross-sectional shape, such as square, triangular, round, or another shape may be provided. The cylindrical throat wall may be formed by the top portion 108 of the base portion 102 as the throat 126 extends through the top portion 108 and the cylindrical throat wall may extend above the top 108 of the base portion 102 forming a cylindrical pedestal 132 above the top portion 108. In some embodiments, the base may have a height from the bottom 110 of the base 102 to a point where the cylindrical pedestal extends upward may range from approximately 10 to 20 mm or from approximately 12 to 17 mm the height may be approximately 15 mm. In some embodiments, the internal throat diameter may range from approximately 10 to 20 mm or from approximately 12 to 17 mm or the internal throat diameter may be approximately 15 mm.

In some embodiments, a nozzle plug 128 may be provided for a push pull top to be provided. For example, as shown in FIGS. 9, 11, and 13, a plurality of braces 130 may extend inward from the throat wall to support a plug 128 extending longitudinally along the throat 126. The plug 128 may extend upward through the throat 126 and may protrude slightly out the top 108 of the throat 126 as shown in FIGS. 10 and 12. This plug 128 may seal a center hole on a push/pull top 133 such as the one shown in FIGS. 14-19 and/or similar to that found on a common water bottle, for example. As shown in FIGS. 10 and 12, the plug 128 may extend beyond the end of the cylindrical pedestal 132 by a distance approximating the thickness of a flanged portion of a push/pull top 133 thereby allowing for a flush finish when such a push/pull top 133 is in the closed position. It is to be appreciated that one of many types of open and closing devices may be used together with the nozzle portion 104. In some embodiments, a push/pull top 133 may be provided as described. In other embodiments, a flip top may be provided or a disc top or a membrane top may be provided. In still other embodiments, a slide top or a friction cap may be provided. The particular listed options for a top may be unique in that they avoid imposing torsional forces (i.e., torsion free tops) on the threads of the fitment 100 when they are actuated. That is, for example, where a twist-type top is used, opening the top may impose loosening torque on the fitment 100, which may be particularly problematic when the top is stuck, for example, because higher loosening torque may be applied by the user to free the top thereby having a tendency to loosen the fitment 100. If this loosening disrupts the communication between the container neck and the fitment, an unrealized leaking condition may then develop. It is also to be appreciated that the top described may be unique by being actuatable apart from and relative to the support portion 106, which is to say that the top may be actuated without rotating or otherwise engaging or involving the support portion 106.

The support portion 106 may be configured to support and/or balance the container when the fitment 100 is secured to a container. As shown in FIGS. 1-13, the support portion 106 may extend upwardly from the top portion 108 of the base 102. The support portion 106 may extend upward from the base 102 sufficiently to be at least flush with the top of the nozzle portion 104 (i.e., top of imbalance features 135 of cap described below) when the top is in a closed position. As such, the support portion 106 may be effective to isolate the nozzle portion 104 from a load bearing condition such that the weight of the bottle is carried by the support portion 106 and the weight of the container and/or contents may not induce load to pass through the nozzle portion 104.

In some embodiments, the support portion 106 may be particularly sized and adapted to extend upward from the base 102 such that the support portion 106 stops short of the nozzle portion 104 when the top is in an open condition, but extends beyond the nozzle portion 104 when the top is in a closed position. This approach may be advantageous to indicate to the user that the fitment 100 is open when a user attempts to place the container on the fitment 100 in the open condition. In some embodiments, if the nozzle portion 104 is open when the user attempts to place the container in an inverted position, the nozzle portion 104 may naturally close as the user sets the container on a surface, thereby preventing leaks or unwanted spills when inverting the container. In other embodiments, where the nozzle is more resistant to closing, the position of the nozzle portion 104 relative to the support portion may cause the container to be unstable if a user attempts to place it in an inverted position with the nozzle open because the support portion 106 stops short of the open nozzle portion 104. For example, as shown in FIGS. 14-19, a cap 133 with a pair of imbalance features 135 may be provided. The imbalance features 135 may help to avoid balancing of the container on the nozzle portion 104 alone, but instead may induce tipping. This may cause the user to perceive an unstable condition encouraging the user to press down on the container to close the cap 133 and engage the support portion 106 of the device. In the embodiment shown, the imbalance features 135 may include a double-radiused edge following the contour of the cap 133 when viewed from above as in FIG. 17 and following a similar radius as the feature rises from the top of the cap 133 and returns to the top of the cap as shown in FIGS. 16 and 19. In other embodiments, other geometries for the imbalance feature 135 may also be provided. For example, pin like protrusions, bulbs, prongs, beads, posts, or other surface elevated structures may be provided to create instability when the container is placed on the cap. In other embodiments the surface of the cap may be radiused or otherwise shaped to avoid a flat balanceable surface.

In some embodiments, the support portion 106 may be approximately 20 to 40 mm high from the bottom of the base to the top of the support portion or approximately 25 to 35 mm or approximately 33 mm of height may be provided. In some embodiments, the nozzle portion may range from approximately 20 mm to 40 mm high from the bottom of the base to the top of the nozzle portion or approximately 25 to 35 mm or a height of approximately 30 mm may be provided when the cap is in a closed position. In some embodiments, the cap of the nozzle portion may have a diameter ranging from approximately 15 to 45 mm or approximately 25 to 35 mm or approximately 30 mm.

As shown, the support portion 106 may include a plurality of struts 134 secured to the base portion 102 and extending upwardly therefrom. In some embodiments, the struts 134 may extend from the top portion 108 of the base 102. However, in other embodiments, as shown, the struts 134 may extend from the sidewall of the base portion 102. Depending on the size of the outer portion of the base 102 of the fitment 100, the struts 134 may also extend outwardly in an effort to establish a wider stance and provide for a more stable condition when supporting a bottle or container. In extending upwardly and outwardly, the struts 134 may define a substantially conical, pyramidal, or other divergent shape. It is to be appreciated that, as shown, three struts 134 may be provided. However, a number larger than three may also be provided and, in some embodiments, where, for example, the struts 134 include a relatively substantial width across the base portion (e.g., segments of a cone), two struts 134 may be provided. In still other embodiments, a single cone-shaped strut 134 that extends the full radial circumference around the fitment 100 may be provided. Still other geometries of struts 134 may be provided such that three-dimensional balancing support may be provided to the attached bottle or container. In some embodiments, the struts 134 may extend to a distal end and the ends together may fall on a diameter ranging from approximately 20 mm to approximately 200 mm or from approximately 50 mm to approximately 150 mm or a diameter of approximately 78 mm or 81 mm may be provided. As shown, the struts 134 may be substantially channel-shaped and the distal end may, thus, be u-shaped like the cross-sectional shape of the channel. In other embodiments, the distal ends may be terminated with a flat surface, a rounded surface, pointed surface, or other shape. In some embodiments, the rounded surface on the distal end may be advantageous in working with the imbalancing features to avoid a balanced condition when the cap or other flow controlling feature of the fitment is in the open position.

The struts 134 may extend upward to a distal end 136. The several distal ends 136 of the struts 134 may define a support plane. In some embodiments, the several distal 136 ends may define a plane that is substantially perpendicular to a longitudinal axis 138 (see FIG. 2) of the fitment 100 and/or the container. That is, for example, the bore 112 of the fitment 100 and the nozzle portion 104 may share a central longitudinal axis 138 that may be in line with a longitudinal axis of the container neck. The plane of the several distal ends 136 of the struts 134 or other support portion elements may define a plane that is substantially perpendicular to the longitudinal axis 138. In addition, the distal ends 136 of the struts 134 may include an etched surface or a sticky or gripping surface or a pad may be provided to resist lateral motion of the bottle or container across a surface, for example.

Referring in more detail to FIGS. 14-19, a cap 133 for controlling the flow of material from the nozzle portion 104 is shown. In this embodiment a cap 133 having an outer cylindrical wall 137 and an inner cylindrical wall 139 is shown. The outer wall is sized and shaped to receive the pedestal 132 of the nozzle portion 104 therewithin and the inner cylindrical wall 139 is sized and shaped to fit within the pedestal 132 of the nozzle portion 132. A top 141 is provided across the top of both of the outer and inner cylindrical walls 137, 139 for sealingly engaging the top annular surface of the pedestal 132. The top 141 may include a hole in the center for allowing content from the container to flow through and/or to engage the plug 128 on the nozzle portion 104 when the cap 133 is closed. In addition, the cap 133 may include the imbalance features 135 described above. The outer cylindrical wall 137 of the cap 133 may also include one or more windows 143 or access openings for seeing, flushing, and/or otherwise cleaning between the outer cylindrical wall 137 of the cap 133 and the pedestal 132 if content or debris were to become trapped in this area.

In some embodiments, in addition to the base portion 102 having child-resistant features, the cap 133 may also have such features. For example, the cap 133 may be secured to the nozzle 104 with protrusions from the nozzle 104 which push through the nozzle 104 and are depressed in order for the cap 133 to pull open. In some embodiments, the protrusions may be spring loaded or otherwise resilient so as to snap into position when the cap 133 is closed. In other embodiments, a clip may extend across the cap 133 holding the cap 133 closed unless and until the clip is removed or deformed out of the way. In some embodiments, the clip may require some force to be removed or deformed. Still other features or mechanisms may be provided to create a child-resistant cap. In some embodiments, the child-resistant feature may be provided and may be actuatable by the user without imparting torsion on the cap or the fitment as a whole, which may tend to loosen the fitment's engagement with the resilient container.

It is to be appreciated that the described fitment 100 may be used with a suitable container without the adaptors 140 described below. That is, where the diameter of the bore 112 of the fitment 100 matches that of a bottle or container, the fitment 100 may be used with such a bottle or container and without the below adaptors 140. However, where a bottle or container includes a container neck diameter smaller than the diameter of the bore 112 of the fitment 100, an adaptor 140 may be provided to reduce the inner diameter of the bore 112 of the fitment 100 to a diameter matching that of the container. In other embodiments, one or more fitments 100 having different diameters may be provided to accommodate a wide range of container neck sizes.

As shown in FIGS. 24-25, the fitment 100 of FIGS. 1-23 is shown with an adaptor 140. Several views of the fitment 100 with the adaptor 140 are shown in FIGS. 26-30. In FIGS. 31-36, the adaptor 140 is shown. The adaptor 140 may be configured to threadably and sealingly engage the bore 112 of the fitment 100 and, as such, the adaptor 140 may include a cylindrical and threaded outer surface with a diameter substantially matching that of the inner diameter of the bore 112. The adaptor 140 may include a bottom 142 and a top 144, where the top 144 of the adaptor 140 is configured for sealingly engaging the bore bottom 114 of the fitment 100. In some embodiments, the annular gasket, washer, or seal 113 of the fitment 100 may be provided to aid in sealingly engaging the fitment 100 with the top 144 of the adaptor 140. Like the fitment 100, the adaptor 140 may include a threaded bore 146 with a diameter 147 extending into the adaptor 140 from the bottom 142 of the adaptor 140 to a bore bottom 148 defining an adaptor bore depth 150 where the bore bottom 148 is adapted to be sealingly engaged by the top annular surface of the bottle or container. Like the fitment 100, an annular gasket, washer, or seal 145, as shown in FIGS. 37-40 may be provided to assist in sealing the top of the container to the bore bottom 148 of the adaptor 140. Also, like the fitment 100, the bore depth 150 and/or working depth (i.e., bore depth less gasket thickness) may be selected to suitably engage the container neck without encountering the shoulder on a container and the same or similar working depths and/or bore depths as described with respect to the fitment 100 may be provided.

The adaptor 140 may also include an outward extending flange 152 at its bottom end 142 where the flange 152 has an inner diameter substantially equal to the bore diameter 147 and the flange 152 has an outer diameter substantially equal to the outer diameter of the fitment 100. In some embodiments, the outer peripheral edge of the flange 152 may include a knurled, textured, toothed, or otherwise roughened surface allowing a user to grip the adaptor 140 relative to the fitment 100 to tighten and/or loosen the adaptor 140 in the fitment 100.

It is to be appreciated, and with reference to FIGS. 30 and 36, that the adaptor 140 may have a height measured from bottom 142 to top 144 equal to the bore depth 116 of the fitment 100 plus a gap dimension 149 between the bottom of the fitment 100 and the flange 152 plus the thickness of the flange 152 of the adaptor. In some embodiments, the gap 149 may range from approximately 0 mm (i.e., no gap) to approximately 10 mm or from approximately 0.5 mm to approximately 1.5 mm or a gap of approximately 1 mm may be provided. Still other gap dimensions inside or outside the ranges mentioned may be provided. In some embodiments, the thickness of the flange 152 may range from approximately 1 mm to approximately 10 mm or from approximately 2 mm to approximately 5 mm or approximately 3.5 mm. Still other flange thicknesses inside or outside the thicknesses mentioned may be provided. In addition, the thickness of the top portion 144 of the adaptor 140 beyond the bore depth 150 of the adaptor 140 may be substantially equal to or similar to the flange thickness such that the bore depth 150 of the adaptor 140 may be substantially equal to the bore depth 116 of the fitment 100 allowing for the same advantages of avoiding encountering the shoulder of a container neck before a fully seated connection is established, for example. Moreover, as the adaptor 140 is threaded into the fitment 100, the top 144 of the adaptor may engage the sealing gasket or bore bottom of the fitment 100 and the gap dimension 149 may help to avoid premature engagement of the flange 152 with the bottom of the fitment 100 before a seated condition of the adaptor is achieved. In other embodiments, where the gap 149 is not provided, the top of the adaptor may become seated in the bore bottom of the fitment simultaneously with the engagement of the flange 152 with the bottom of the fitment.

The adaptor 140 may also include an opening 154 in the top portion 144 of the adaptor 140 for passing through of content from the bottle or container. The opening 154 may have a diameter equal to or slightly larger than the throat diameter of the fitment 100 so as to avoid further restricting the flow of content through the throat 126. In other embodiments, the opening diameter may be smaller than the throat diameter.

It is to be appreciated that an adaptor simply including an outer threaded surface and a smaller diameter inner threaded surface may be provided. That is, such an adaptor may not have a bore bottom, but instead may have a bore extending all the way through the adaptor and the adaptor may not include the flange. However, such an adaptor may be difficult and messy to remove from the fitment 100 because a user may need to access the inside of the adaptor to cause it to unscrew from the fitment 100. Still further, if a flange is provided for purposes of inserting and removing the adaptor (i.e., but still without a bore bottom), the bore depth from the bottom of the adaptor to the sealing surface increases and may cause the bottom of the system to encounter a shoulder on a container neck before the bore bottom of the fitment 100 seatingly engages the top annular surface of a container neck. Accordingly, the adaptor 140 having a top 144 and a flange 152 may be advantageous due to its ability to be easily removed while not adding to the working depth of the bore.

Additional adaptors that are the same or similar to the adaptor 140 may be provided where the adaptor bore diameter is different to accommodate smaller diameter container necks, for example. The inner diameter of each adaptor may be sized and shaped in complementary fashion to allow threaded engagement with threaded container necks that are smaller than the fitment's bore diameter 118. In some systems, three adaptors with successively smaller inner diameters may be provided. For example, a first adaptor with inner diameter which is less than the inner diameter 118 of the fitment may be provided. In addition, a second adaptor with and inner diameter which is less than inner diameter 118 and the inner diameter of the first adaptor may also be provided. Still further, a third adaptor with an inner diameter which is less than the inner diameter 118 and the inner diameters of the first and second adaptors may also be provided. In some embodiments, for example, based on plastic container standards, the several inner diameters of the adaptors may include 33 mm, 28 mm, and 24 mm, (or more particularly 33.2 mm, 28.2 mm, and 24.3 mm) while the fitment inner diameter 118 may be 38 mm (or more particularly 38.2 mm) Additional adaptors may be provided.

Some examples are listed below for various adaptor sizings:

The fitment inner diameter 118 may be approximately 38 mm and may be suitable to accommodate, e.g., a gallon container such as car wash soap or creamy salad dressing;

The first adaptor inner diameter may be approximately 33 mm and may be suitable to accommodate a typical container of honey or barbeque sauce;

The second adaptor inner diameter may be 28 mm and may be suitable to accommodate typical containers of shampoo, conditioner, body lotion and the like. This dimension may be most common in the marketplace;

The third adaptor inner diameter may be approximately 24 mm and may be suitable to accommodate smaller containers of lotion and the like.

The number of adaptors illustrated and described, as well as the dimensions of same are examples and nothing should be construed as limiting the sizes of the fitment or the adaptors to the sizes shown. Additional adaptors may be provided with differing dimensions, i.e., inner diameters and overall lengths (or working depths) than described. Each of these variations are well within the scope of the present invention.

For example, an adaptor with a 32 mm bore diameter may be provided for a particular container type such as, for example, a Hershey's® syrup bottle. In other embodiments, as shown in FIGS. 41-47, an adaptor 240 with, for example, a 35.2 mm bore diameter may be provided. This embodiment may also include a working depth greater than 10 mm. Still other embodiments with other dimensions and/or sizes may be provided and remain within the scope of the present disclosure. It is to be appreciated that while the fitment of FIGS. 41-47 may be slightly different (i.e., no imbalance features on the cap), the adaptor shown in these figures may be provided with such a fitment or with the fitment shown in the earlier figures. Still further, the earlier described adaptors may be provided with the type of fitment shown in the present FIGS. 41-47. It is to be appreciated that the permissive “may” used in the present application is intended to allow the fitment and/or the adaptors to include one or more of the described features and the figures should not be construed to require any feature.

An alternative to the above configuration may comprise the various adaptors being nestable, with the base cap serving to threadingly engage the largest inner diameter adaptor and wherein that adaptor is capable of threaded engagement of the next smallest inner diameter adaptor and so on. In this configuration, the outer diameters of the adaptors may become successively smaller, matching or complementary with the inner diameter of the element with which the threaded outer wall of the adaptor is threadingly engaged. This threaded nesting engagement may be continued until the proper inner diameter size of the adaptor is reached in order to accommodate the particular container neck size of interest.

It is to be appreciated that while the adaptors described herein have been for purposes of reducing the inner diameter of the bore of the fitment 100, adaptors that allow for placement of the fitment 100 on larger containers may also be provided. For example, an adaptor having a first portion for threadably engaging the bore of the fitment may be provided and a second portion extending out the bottom the fitment and having a belled or otherwise enlarged shape may be provided with a bore larger than the fitment bore. In other embodiments, the fitment may be provided with threads on an outer surface for purposes of securing an enlarging adaptor. In this embodiment, the enlarging adaptor may include a first bore having a diameter similar to the outside diameter of the fitment allowing it to be threaded onto the fitment and a second bore larger than the first may also be provided for threadably engaging a container neck. Still other systems for adapting the fitment for use with larger container necks may be provided.

While the present disclosure has been described with reference to various embodiments, including preferred embodiments, it will be understood that these embodiments are illustrative and that the scope of the disclosure is not limited to them. Many variations, modifications, additions, and improvements are possible. More generally, embodiments in accordance with the present disclosure have been described in the context of particular embodiments. Functionality may be separated or combined in blocks differently in various embodiments of the disclosure or described with different terminology. These and other variations, modifications, additions, and improvements may fall within the scope of the disclosure as defined in the claims that follow.