Patent application title: SAFETY CLOSURE FOR BEVERAGE CONTAINERS
Erhard Schwartz (Wiesloch, DE)
Christopher Schmitt (Weinheim, DE)
IPC8 Class: AB65D4104FI
Class name: Receptacles closures removable closure guided in rotary movement (e.g., screw)
Publication date: 2010-11-25
Patent application number: 20100294773
Patent application title: SAFETY CLOSURE FOR BEVERAGE CONTAINERS
STROOCK & STROOCK & LAVAN LLP
Origin: NEW YORK, NY US
IPC8 Class: AB65D4104FI
Publication date: 11/25/2010
Patent application number: 20100294773
A safety closure for a beverage container that prevents an infant from
ingesting the closure. The closure includes a cylindrical cap body to be
releasably securable to a beverage container. The cap body includes
lateral projections extending from the cylindrical cap that are
sufficiently long so as to prevent an infant from ingesting the cap. The
projections are provided to also facilitate rotation of the cap
releasably secure the body to a container.
18. A safety closure for a beverage container comprising:a cylindrical cap body that is adapted to be releasably secured to a beverage container;at least one lateral projection extending from the cylindrical cap body that is constructed and arranged to assist in turning the closure and is of sufficient size to prevent an infant from ingesting the closure.
19. A safety closure as claimed in claim 18, wherein at least two lateral projections extend from the cap body in diametrically opposite directions.
20. A safety closure as claimed in claim 19, wherein the lateral projections are aligned in the same plane and are symmetrical with respect to each other.
21. A safety closure as claimed in claim 19, wherein the lateral projections are joined together by a lab to define an opening between the lateral projections and the tab.
22. A safety closure as claimed in claim 21, wherein the opening is positioned above the cap.
23. A safety closure as claimed in claim 22, wherein the cap body has a central axis and the opening is symmetrically disposed about the axis of the cap body.
24. A safety closure as claimed in claim 21, wherein the thickness of the lateral projections increase as the lateral projections extend from the cap body.
25. A safety closure as claimed in claim 21, wherein the lateral projections of the tab are substantially configured and will approximate the shape of an isosceles triangle.
26. A safety closure as claimed in claim 21, wherein the lateral projections and the tab form a substantially triangular projection with each side being a length in the range of 2.5 cm to 6 cm.
27. A safety closure as claimed in claim 26, wherein the thickness of the projections and tab is greater at the periphery thereof.
28. A safety closure as claimed in claim 21, wherein the width and height of the closure are in the range of 2.5 cm and 6 cm.
29. A safety closure as claimed in claim 22, wherein the cap has threads on the inner surface to permit the cap to be rotatable and releasably secured to a container.
30. A safety closure as claimed in claim 21, wherein the cap body, the lateral projections and the tab are all constructed of a polymer from the group comprising PE, PP, a PP copolymer, a PP-PE copolymer or a PP-PE blend.
31. A safety closure as claimed in claim 21, wherein the cap and projections are made of a biodegradable material.
32. A safety closure as claimed in claim 21, wherein the cap body includes a locking mechanism.
FIELD OF THE INVENTION
The present invention relates generally to a safety closure for a beverage container and in particular to a safety closure that includes lateral projections that facilitate rotation of the closure and also are configured to prevent an infant from ingesting the closure.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
Beverages are often stored in containers that have screw caps. When the beverage is consumed thereafter, the cap that is removed from the container is often left in the proximity of an infant. There is of course the risk of an infant ingesting the cap into his/her mouth. This is particularly a concern when the beverage in the container is one that is targeted toward children and infants. Since the dimensions of most conventional closures are only insignificantly larger in diameter when compared to the respective opening in the container, the size of most conventional bottle caps would make them ingestible by an infant. Accordingly, a bottle closure that would avoid the risk of ingestion would be desirable.
SUMMARY OF INVENTION
Generally speaking, in accordance with the invention, a safety closure for a beverage container that would prevent an infant from ingesting the cap is provided. The closure includes a cylindrical cap body that is adapted to be releasably secured to a beverage container. At least one lateral projection extends from the cylindrical cap and is of a sufficient length to prevent an infant from ingesting the cap and also facilitates rotation of the cap to releasably secure the cap to the container. In a preferred embodiment, the lateral projections face in opposite direction and are aligned with each other and are of sufficient dimension to prevent an infant from ingesting the safety closure.
Accordingly, it is an object of this invention to provide an improved safety closure that prevents infants from ingesting the closure.
It is a further object of the instant invention to provide a safety closure that prevents ingestion by an infant for use with containers that have food products.
It is still a further object of the instant invention to have a safety closure with lateral projections that are sufficiently dimensioned with respect to an infants' anatomy to prevent a health hazard caused by swallowing.
It is a further object of the invention to provide a closure cap that has an ergonomic configuration that is for use with a flat container pouch that can store beverages and that permits a high packing density.
It is a further object of the invention to provide a safety closure that includes projections that form an opening for saving material and for permitting the opening to receive a fastener or be supported on a post.
Additional features and advantages of the present invention is described further below. This summary section is meant merely to illustrate certain features of the invention. It is not meant to limit the scope of the invention in any way. The failure to discuss a specific feature or embodiment of the invention or the inclusion of one or more features in this summary section not be construed to limit the invention claimed.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
The foregoing summary as well as the following detailed description of the preferred embodiments of the application will be better understood when read in conjunction with the appended drawings. For purposes of illustrating the device of the present application there is shown in the drawings preferred embodiments. It should be understood, however, that the application is not limited to the precise arrangements and instrumentality shown. In the drawings
FIG. 1a is the side elevational view of a safety closure cap constructed in accordance with the instant invention;
FIG. 1b is a front elevational view of a safety closure in accordance with a preferred embodiment of the instant invention;
FIG. 1c is a top view of the safety closure of the preferred embodiment of the instant invention;
FIG. 2 is a perspective view of the safety closure constructed in accordance with the preferred embodiment of the instant invention;
FIG. 3 is a sectional view taken along line A-A of FIG. 1a; and
FIG. 4 is a sectional view along line B-B of FIG. 1a.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT
Reference is made to FIGS. 1a, 1b, 1c and 2 wherein a safety closure, generally indicated at 1 that is constructed in accordance with a preferred embodiment of the invention is depicted. Safety closure 1 includes a substantially cylindrical cap 3 and a lateral wing generally indicated as 5 which is symmetrical relative to the central access 3a of the cap 3. Wing 5 includes lateral projections 5a and 5b which are diametrically opposed and are aligned with one another. Lateral projections 5a and 5b are connected by a tab shaped section 5c and together define an opening 7.
As will be discussed in greater detail with respect to FIG. 2, the basic body cap 3 has an internal thread 9 so that the closure can be screwed on to the external thread of a container opening (not shown). Furthermore a conventional safety lock 11 can be provided on the body cap. The lock primarily insures that a closed container has not been previously opened and is provided for safety purposes.
Reference is specifically made to FIG. 3 wherein the cross section of the wing 5 is depicted. The thickness of the wing construction is configured to increase in thickness outwardly from a minimal thickness D1 with a central transmission region 5d at the cylindrical wall of cap body 3 to a maximum thickness D2 in the surrounding outer edge region 5e of the wing 5. This configuration is easy to grip so that the fingers, particularly those of infant, will slide off less easily on operation of the cap. Moreover, the thicker end region 5e prevents a situation where closures are often stored in bulk and are separated during manufacture get wedged together, because the thickness D2 is larger than the width of the gap formed between the basic cap body 3 and the safety lock 11. Accordingly, you obtain the benefit of saving material when forming the wing 5 and at the same time the wing cannot get wedged in the gap of another closure cap.
Reference is made to FIG. 4 wherein the cross section of wing 5 at the level of the aperture 7 is depicted. As depicted therein, the cross section of the wing 5 has a maximum thickness D2 which provides a bead-like outer region 5e decreasing as it extends inwardly toward the opening 7. This decreasing thickness helps to save material while insuring an adequate stiffness for the wing 5.
By using this configuration where the thickness of the wing decreased from its outer periphery as it extends inwardly toward the opening 7, material used to manufacture the product is saved on the one hand and an opening is provided on the other hand to permit a suspended hook to support the closing cap or a container with the cap screwed on. Such a closure is particularly suitable for flexible foil pouches that are used to store fruit beverages and other food products. This closure configuration will facilitate sales of the product as well as storage and transportation and handling by the consumer. In an exemplary embodiment opening 7 is preferably centrally arranged above the basic cap body 3 to facilitate balanced suspended storage particularly desirable of the upper region 7a (FIG. 2) of the opening, which during storage will likely rest on a fastening hook.
It is however recognized that despite the advantages described above, it is within the scope of the invention to form the wing 5 without any recess, without a symmetrical opening or with a plurality of openings. Similarly, the reduction of the thickness of the wing as it extends towards the aperture is not a requirement of the invention but does provide certain benefits which have already been described above.
As illustrated in FIG. 1b in an exemplary embodiment the shape of the closure 1, and in particular that of wing 5, corresponds to an isosceles triangle with rounded off edges (on the bottom side of the wing 5, the container side) and a parabolic arc with the vertex at the top. An essential triangle shape of the wing has the advantage that the anti-ingestion protection afforded by the closing cap is independent of the special orientation thereof. Moreover this benefit is accomplished with a relatively small amount of material used to form the wing.
In a preferred embodiment the width E and height F of this substantially triangle shape are preferably 2.5 cm to 6 cm. In an exemplary embodiment of the invention, in order to provide even a greater safety factor, the dimensions are within a range of 3 cm to 6 cm.
In an alternative embodiment of the invention, the shape of the closing cap can be adapted to a particular container shape in order to obtain the particularly advantageous ergonomic shape. For example, the wing 5 need not be in symmetry with the main axis 3a the basic cap body 3. Rather, there could be a projection at one side or at both sides of a container. Similarly, the shape and size ratio of the lateral wing sections 5a and 5b and of the tab section 5c may differ from the embodiment. For example, the opening 7 can be smaller, the tab shaped section could be thicker. It is however within the scope of the instant invention that the closing cap 1 should be configured to address an infant's anatomy so that swallowing or ingestion is reliably prevented.
Although the invention is suitable for use with large containers with wide openings and large closing caps, it is particularly important in the case of small containers to provide a large closing cap. The ingestion proof closing cap of the instant invention is therefore particularly advantageous for containers with contents of up to 1 liter and in particular with containers of contents of 500 millimeters and for containers with contents of up to 330 ml. Moreover the ratio of container volume to the volume of the closing cap defined by the latter contours thereof is preferably 50 to 1 and in an exemplary embodiment 10 to 2. The ratio of a maximum dimension of an associated container such as the height thereof to the width E and/or height F the wing 6 is preferably 10 to 1 and in an exemplary embodiment 7 to 2. Moreover, in another embodiment, advantages of the invention are ergonomically obtained by a ratio of 4 to 2.
In the embodiment depicted in FIGS. 1a, 1b and 1c, the wing is substantially triangular shaped so that the lateral regions are substantially in alignment with each other and/or are aligned in a plane. This is particularly advantageous when utilized with flat beverage bags not only from the viewpoint of the ergonomic standpoint but also from the standpoint of packaging technology. However, depending on the particular shape of a container, the instant invention also contemplates that the lateral wing sections 5a and 5b do not need to be in alignment with one another and that several wings can be contemplated, for example, where the wings are orthogonally oriented relatively to one another (not shown) and are mounted on one particular closing cap body 3. In such an embodiment, it is important that the shape of the closure cap prevents swallowing by children, and particularly by infants.
Similarly, although the closing cap assembly can be provided for an upright or suspended container such as a foil pouch with an opening provided topside thereof such as a flat bag, the instant invention is not limited thereto. In an alternative embodiment the closing cap could also be used with a lateral container opening or a container opening at the bottom of the bag, as long as the lateral dimensions are selected to prevent ingestion by an infant.
The instant invention is particularly desirable for screw caps. However it could also be used for other caps. For example, bayonet caps, clamp caps or push-pull caps. A closure according to the invention would also provide a benefit if it has been fastened to a container and is detached therefrom for example, after improper use.
The closing cap of the instant invention is preferably made from an elastic sealing material such as polyethylene (PE), polypropylene (PP), a PP copolymer, a PP-PE copolymer or a PP-PE blend. Depending on the intended use, and in particular the beverage stored therein, polyamide, acrylonitrile butadiene styrene and polyoxymethylene are suited as materials for use in the closing cap.
When used with food containers the closing cap 1 must satisfy the relevant provisions and must in this case be made from materials recognized to be safe for food products. However, the closing cap in the instant invention is not limited to food products. For example, it can also be used for containers storing products, for body care, domestic and technical applications, such as soaps, rinsing agents and adhesive. Accordingly, a swallow proof closing cap which is made from biodegradable material might also be appropriate given the environmentally friendly concerns that are now present. Finally, the closing cap of the instant invention is particularly suited for containers in which liquids or pourable substances are stored or transported and reliably prevents the situation where the infant might swallow or ingest the closing cap.
It will be appreciated by those skilled in the art that the figures are purely illustrative and that the device may be implemented in any number of ways as long as the functionality is retained.
Patent applications by Christopher Schmitt, Weinheim DE
Patent applications by Erhard Schwartz, Wiesloch DE
Patent applications in class Removable closure guided in rotary movement (e.g., screw)
Patent applications in all subclasses Removable closure guided in rotary movement (e.g., screw)