US 3896974 A
There is disclosed a container with an eye-dropper cap screw-threadedly secured thereto. Covering the eye-dropper cap is an overcap which is freely rotatably on the eye-dropper cap but which may be removed therefrom by flexing to disengage a latching element of the overcap from an interfitting part of the eye-dropper cap. Removal of the overcap frees the eye-dropper cap for normal removal from the container.
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United States Paten McIntosh July 29, 1975  CONTAINER AND CLOSURE THEREFOR 3,820,683 6/1974 Jasinski 215/9  Inventor: James A. McIntosh, Upper Montclaif, Primary ExaminerStanley H. Tollberg  Assignee: Mack-Wayne Plastics Company, Attorney Agent Flrm Ne and None Wayne, NJ.
 Flled: June 7, 1974  ABSTRACT [2!] Appl. No.: 477,228
There is disclosed a container with an eye-dropper cap screw-threadedly secured thereto. Covering the eye-  U.S. Cl 222/182, 215/228 dropper cap is an Overcap which is freely roatably on [5 l] IIlt. Cl the y pp p but which y be removed there  Field of Search 215/228, 9 222/182, from by flexing to disengage a latching element of the 128/233 220/85 P overcap from an interfitting part of the eye-dropper cap. Removal of the overcap frees the eye-dropper  References Clted cap for normal removal from the container.
UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,820,576 6/l974 Torrent 128/233 11 Claims, 5 Drawing Figures I I I PATENTEB JUL 2 9 I975 I ll'ul'l' I ll/ CONTAINER AND CLOSURE THEREFOR This invention is concerned with a container and closure therefor. Particularly but not necessarily exclusively it is concerned with an eye-dropper cap and container combination.
The expression eye-dropper cap as used herein means a closure cap for a liquid container from which cap an applicator or dispensing tube depends into the liquid in the container. The cap has a flexible bulb which communicates with the tube and can be squeezed and released while the tube is disposed within the liquid of the container to draw the liquid into the tube. The bulb is then squeezed again to eject the con tents from the tube. Such combinations commonly are used to dispense eye, ear or nose drops or to dispense ink. Conventionally the bulbs are exposed and hence are susceptible to damage or tampering.
This invention has particular application to eyedropper cap-container combinations for protecting the bulb and for precluding or making more difficult the unauthorized opening of the container by a young child. The invention may also find application in other containers not including an eye-dropper cap as will be apparent from the following description.
An embodiment of this invention is illustrated in the accompanying drawings, in which:
FIG. 1 is a part sectional view of a cap-container combination according to the invention;
FIG. 2 is a plan view of the overcap in FIG. 1;
FIG. 3 is a sectional view of the line 33 of FIG. 1;
FIG. 4 is an enlarged detail of FIG. 1; and
FIG. 5 is a detail of an alternate form of overcap.
In FIGS. I to 4 of the drawings, there is illustrated a container with a shoulder portion 12 from which a neck portion I4 projects. The neck portion 14 has an external screw thread, and on which, to close the container, is secured an eye-dropper cap 16 of largely conventional form comprising a generally rigid cylindrical skirt portion 20 which has internal screw threads configurations 22 for cooperation with the screw thread configurations of neck 14 of the container and an internally directed flange 24 at its upper edge which is re ceived in an annular groove 26 of a flexible bulb 28 to retain the bulb on the skirt. A glass or other material applicator tube or dispenser tube 30 is secured in the lower edges of bulb 28 by any convenient means, not shown in the drawings, but which may for example comprise an outwardly turned annular flange on the upper edge of the tube seated within a corresponding groove of the material of the bulb.
To this point, the cap-container combination is largely conventional. When the lower end of the tube 30 is within a liquid contained in the container 10 a measure of that liquid may be drawn into the tube by squeezing bulb 28 and then releasing it. Thereafter the eye-dropper cap may be taken to whatever site is desired and the application of pressure to the bulb will cause the liquid contained therein to be ejected. This structure is well known per se.
An overcap generally indicated at 40 is located over the cap 16 and comprises a resilient skirt 42 which covers cap skirt 20 and a dome 44 which extends over bulb 28. The dome 44 and resilient skirt 42 are connected by an annular shoulder region 46 which is supported on the upper edge of the cap 16.
The lower edge region of the resilient skirt 42 and the adjacent lower edge region of the cap 20 are illustrated in cross section in FIG. 4. In that Figure it will be seen that an internally projecting bead 48 is formed on the 5 interior of the resilient skirt to constitute latching means which cooperates with downwardly facing sur face 50 defining the lower edge of the skirt of the first or eye-dropper cap 16.
Specific reference is made to FIG. 3 from which it will be seen that the bead 48 is of generally chordal configuration and that there are two such elements disposed diametrically apart on the lower region of the interior surface of the overcap.
From a consideration of FIGS. 2 and 3 it will be seen that the outline of the resilient skirt of the overcap is of generally oval form having a major axis Mj and a minor axis Mn. The projections 48 are disposed on the minor axis and between the interior surface of the overcap and the cylindrical outer surface of cap 16 at the major axis there is a clearance C. The clearance C is such as to accommodate flexure of the overcap by the application of pressure to the regions thereof on the major axis so that the overcap tends to widen along its minor axis and free the projections 48 from the surface 50 of cap 20 so that the overcap may be removed axially from cap 20 and therefore allow the cap 16 to be removed from the container in conventional fashion.
As shown in FIG. 2 particularly, the overcap may carry a legend and arrows to indicate where the application of pressure to that overcap will free the latching means to allow removal of the overcap.
The embodiment of the invention in FIG. 5 of the drawings is largely similar to that of FIGS. 1 through 4 except that the skirt of the overlap is slotted directly above the beads 48 as at 60 so that the bead may be made substantially without introducing mold removal problems as could be the case if the slots were not provided.
While the embodiments of the invention illustrated in the drawings have the resilient skirt of the overcap of generally oval form it is to be appreciated that the skirt portion of the overcap may be of cylindrical form of greater internal diameter than the exterior diameter of the skirt of the eye-dropper cap as to leave a clearance C such that would accommodate flexure of the skirt of the overcap to release the latching means and allow the overcap to be removed.
What is claimed is:
1. A container and closure combination comprising a container with a threaded neck, a first cap having a correspondingly threaded skirt engaged on said neck to close the container and an overcap having a resilient skirt covering said first cap and preventing removal of said first cap without first removing said overcap, said resilient skirt having an internal latching surface disposed at a first circumferential location thereon and engaging the downwardly facing latching surface of said first cap to prevent the axial removal of said overcap from said first cap without first disengaging said latching surfaces, said overcap being dimensioned to be axially removable from said first cap without relative rotation therebetween upon disengaging said latching surfaces to expose the first cap for removal of the first cap from the container, an outer surface of said first cap and an inner surface of said overcap defining a clearance therebetween in a. circumferential region spaced from said internal latching surface of said overcap to accommodate flexing of said cap into said clearance which results in the outward flexure of the skirt in the region of said latching surface thereof whereby said latching surface of the overcap is disengaged from said downwardly facing latching surface of said first cap to permit the axial removal of said overcap from said first cap.
2. A combination as claimed in claim 1 wherein said resilient skirt has a generally oval section, said latching surface being disposed close to a minor axis of said section and said clearance being defined at the major axis of said section.
3. A combination as claimed in claim 2 wherein said internal latching surface is formed on an internally projecting portion of said resilient skirt.
4. A combination as claimed in claim 3 wherein said internally, projecting portion is of generally chordal form.
5. A combination as claimed in claim 4 in which said resilient skirt is axially slotted directly above said projection.
6. A combination as claimed in claim 2 wherein a latching surface is disposed at each end of said minor axis.
7. A combination as claimed in claim 1 wherein said first cap comprises a dispensing tube depending therefrom and a compressible bulb projecting from an upper surface thereof, said overcap comprising a dome extending over said bulb portion of said first cap.
8. A combination as claimed in claim 2 wherein said first cap comprises a dispensing tube depending therefrom and a compressible bulb projecting from an upper surface thereof, said overcap comprising a dome extending over said bulb portion of said first cap.
9. A container and closure combination comprising a container with a threaded neck, a first cap having a correspondingly threaded cylindrical skirt engaged on said neck to close the container, said first cap comprising a flexible bulb and a dispenser tube communicating with the bulb and extending into the container and an overcap having a resilient skirt covering the skirt of said first cap and a dome covering said bulb to prevent operation of the bulb and the removal of the first cap from the container without first removing the overcap, said resilient skirt having a lower portion of generally oval section having a major and a minor axis, said minor axis being of greater length than a diameter of an outer surface of said cylindrical skirt of said first cap whereby said overcap is freely rotatable upon the first cap, an internal latching surface on said resilient skirt at an end region of a minor axis thereof, a downwardly disposed latching surface on said first cap engaged by said latching surface of said resilient skirt to preclude the axial removal of said overcap from said first cap without first disengaging said latching surfaces, said resilient skirt being compressible along the major axis thereof to cause said latching surfaces to be disengaged and allow the removal of said overcap axially from said first cap and to expose said first cap for subsequent removal from said container.
10. A combination as claimed in claim 8 wherein said internal latching surface of said overcap is defined by a chordal projection on a lower portion of said resilient skirt, said projection engaging a lower edge region of said first cap.
11. A combination as claimed in claim 10 wherein said resilient skirt is axially slotted directly above said
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