Title of Invention

TAMPER-EVIDENT CONTAINER

Abstract A container includes a finish having a mouth and a first engagement structure that secures a closure to the finish. The container is characterized by a frangible portion of the finish that engages the closure when the closure is secured to the container such that the frangible portion must be separated from the finish at a frangible connector to remove the closure from the container.
Full Text FIELD OF THE INVENTION
The invention relates to finishes for plastic containers and closures and particularly to finishes that provide evidence of having been opened after the initial sealing.
BACKGROUND
Unscrupulous vendors may salvage used containers such as plastic water bottles and refill them with inferior products. The refilled containers may then be passed off as containing their original content. This practice may deprive the original supplier of the container of sales that are diverted to the refilled containers. The passing off of inferior products may tarnish the reputation of the original supplier. The practice of reusing containers may erode consumer confidence in the goods delivered in containers that are known to be subject to reuse.
Various tamper evident closures have been devised and are used to provide some assurance that a container has not been opened after the initial sealing. Unscrupulous vendors may obtain new closures that are facsimiles of the original closure and thereby reseal a reused container such that it is not evident that the container has been refilled.
It would be desirable to provide a container where refilling and resealing the container is readily evident to a consumer.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
The present invention is illustrated by way of example and not limitation in the figures of the accompanying drawings, in which like references indicate similar elements. Elements that differ in the most significant digit (hundreds) indicate similar elements in different embodiments.
FIG. 1 is a pictorial view of a first embodiment with a closure.
FIG. 2 is a pictorial view of the first embodiment without the closure.
FIG. 3 is a pictorial view of the first embodiment after opening.

FIG. 4 is a pictorial view of the first embodiment closure after opening. FIG. 5 is an exploded view of the first embodiment closure after opening.
FIG. 6 is a section view of the first embodiment with the closure along section line 6~6 of FIG. 1.
FIG. 7 is a cut-away and exploded view of a second embodiment with a closure.
FIG. 8 is a cut-away view of the second embodiment with the closure as initially sealed.
FIG. 9 is a cut-away view of the second embodiment with the closure as re-sealed.
FIG. 10 is a pictorial view of a third embodiment.
FIG. 11 is a side view of the third embodiment.
FIG. 12 is a top view of the third embodiment.
FIG. 13 is a section view of the third embodiment with the closure as initially sealed along section line 13--13 of FIG. 12.
FIG. 14 is a section view of the third embodiment with the closure as re-sealed along section line 13-13 of FIG. 12.
FIG. 15 is a pictorial view of a fourth embodiment.
FIG. 16 is a pictorial view of the fourth embodiment with a closure as initially sealed. FIG. 17 is a pictorial view of the fourth embodiment with the closure partially removed. FIG. 18 is a pictorial view of the fourth embodiment with the closure fully removed. DETAILED DESCRIPTION
Figures 1 to 6 show a container 10 and a closure 18. The container may be a plastic container such as a polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottle. The container may be a finished product. The container may be an intermediate product that will be further processed such as an injection molded PET preform having a finish (neck portion) that provides a structure to receive a closure such as a bottle cap. The further processing of the container may be a process to form the body of the container below the finish such as stretch blow molding of a PET preform.

Figures 1 to 6 show a finish 12 on the container 10. The finish 12 includes a first engagement structure 16 such as a raised ridge around the circumference of the finish. The closure 18 includes a second engagement structure 32 that engages the first engagement structure 16 to secure the closure to the finish portion 12 of the container 10.
The finish 12 includes a frangible portion 20 that engages the closure 18 when the closure is secured to the container 10. The frangible portion 20 is arranged such that it must be separated from the remaining portion of the finish 12 to remove the closure 18 from the container 10. The frangible portion 20 may be arranged to allow it to be broken or torn away from the remaining portion of the finish 12.
The finish 12 includes a mouth 14 that provides the opening of the container 10 when the container is later opened by the consumer. The frangible portion 20 may include a tube 24 that includes the first engagement structure 16 and extends upwardly from the mouth 14. The frangible connector 22 that joins the frangible portion 20 to the remaining portion of the finish 12 may be adjacent the mouth 14.
The finish 12 may include a fourth engagement structure 26 below the frangible connector 22 and a fifth engagement structure 28 above the frangible connector. The frangible portion 20 may be retained by the closure 18 such that the fifth engagement structure 28 functions as part of the closure as best seen in Figure 4, which shows the closure after being removed from a sealed container 10. Figure 3 shows the container 10 after the closure 18 has been removed.
After the frangible portion 20 is separated from the remaining portion of the finish 12 by breaking or tearing the frangible connector 22 to remove the closure 18 from the container 10, the frangible portion effectively becomes part of the closure. The frangible portion 20 adds the fifth engagement structure 28 to secure the closure 18 to the container 10 by engaging the fourth engagement structure 26 on the remaining portion of the finish 12. Means of preventing relative rotation between the closure 18 and the frangible portion 20 may be provided to assist with initial removal of the frangible portion and subsequent
resealing using the fifth engagement structure 28. For example, the frangible portion 20 may include pegs 42 that engage recesses 44 in the closure 18.
The closure 18 may be secured to the container 10 by engaging the fourth engagement structure 26 only when the frangible portion 20 is separated from the remaining portion of the finish 12. The first engagement structure 16 will not secure the closure 18 to the container 10 when the frangible portion 20 is separated from the remaining portion of the finish 12.
The first engagement structure 16 may provide a snap-on engagement of the closure 18 when the frangible portion 20 is joined to the remaining portion of the finish 12. The sealed containers 10 may be subject to damage by breaking the frangible connector 22 if a downward force is applied to the closure 18 after initial sealing. A support ring 34 may be provided on the closure 18. The support ring 34 may bear against a flange 38 on the finish 12 that is below the frangible connector 22. The support ring 34 may protect the frangible connector 22 from applied downward forces. Means for removing the support ring 34 during or after removal of the closure 18 may be provided. For example, a pull tab 36 may allow the support ring 34 to be torn away along a parting line. It may be necessary to remove the support ring 34 before the closure 18 can be used to recluse the container 10. The support ring 34 may provide an additional snap-on engagement 40 to secure the closure 18 to the container 10 when initially sealed.
Figures 7 to 9 show a second embodiment of a finish 112 and a closure 118. In many regards the second embodiment is similar to the first embodiment as shown in Figures 1 to 6. Elements of the second embodiment that are similar to elements of the first embodiment have reference numerals that are increased by one hundred.
In the second embodiment, the first engagement structure 116 may be a resilient flange that snaps into a recess 132 near the top of the closure 118. A spline-like feature 142 may be provided on the frangible portion 120 of the finish 112 to engage a corresponding

feature 144 on the closure 118 and prevent relative rotation between the frangible portion and the closure.
A sliding resilient seal 152 may be fitted to the closure 118. The sliding resilient seal 152 may slide along a central post 146 formed in the closure 118 from a first position near the bottom of the post as shown in Figure 8 to a second position near the top of the post as shown in Figure 9. The sliding resilient seal 152 may enablfe the closure 118 to seal the container in the two distinctly different configurations of initial sealing as shown in Figure 8 and resealing after opening by the consumer as shown in Figure 9.
Figures 10 to 14 show a third embodiment of a container 210 and a closure 218. In many regards the third embodiment is similar to the first and second embodiments as shown in Figures 1 to 9. Elements of the third embodiment that are similar to elements of the first embodiment have reference numerals that are increased by two hundred.
In the third embodiment, a tube portion 224 of the frangible portion 220 may include protrusions 216 that engage recesses 232 on the closure 218. This engagement may hold the closure 218 on the container 210 upon initial sealing and prevent relative rotation between the frangible portion 220 and the closure. The closure 218 may include a protrusion 248 that fits closely to the inside of the tube 224 of the frangible portion 220 to reinforce the engagement between the frangible portion 220 and the closure.
When the consumer removes the closure 218 by breaking or tearing the frangible connectors 222, the frangible portion 220 retained by the closure can slide inside the mouth 214 of the container 210 allowing the fifth engagement structure 228 of the closure to engage the fourth engagement structure 226 for resealing. If the closure 218 includes a support ring 234, the support ring may have to be removed before resealing the container 210.
Figures 15 to 18 show a fourth embodiment of a container 310 and a closure 318. In many regards the fourth embodiment is similar to the first embodiment as shown in

Figures 1 to 6. Elements of the fourth embodiment that are similar to elements of the first embodiment have reference numerals that are increased by three hundred.
The finish 312 includes a flange 330 below the first engagement structure 316, a post 320 that extends upwardly from the flange adjacent to the first engagement structure, and a frangible connector 322 that joins the post to the flange. The closure 318 includes an arm 350 with a second engagement structure 332. The closure 318 is initially sealed such that the closure must be rotated to unseal the container. As the closure 318 is rotated the arm 350 and second engagement structure 332 engage the frangible portion 20 of the post 320. This requires that the frangible portion 320 be separated from the finish 312 at the frangible connector 322 to remove the closure from the container 310 as shown by Figures 17 and 18. The frangible portion 322 may be retained by the second engagement structure 332 on the closure 318 after being separated from the finish 312.
The first engagement structure 316 used in the fourth embodiment may be used to secure the closure 318 to the container 310 both for initial sealing and for resealing. The first engagement structure 316 may be a screw thread as shown in the Figures. The closure 318 may need to be sealed to the container 310 without substantial rotation because of the post 320. This may require initial application of the closure 318 by a snap-on method such as "thread jumping" of a screw thread type first engagement structure 316.
All the features disclosed in this specification (including any accompanying claims, abstract, and drawings) may be combined in any combination, except in combinations of features that are mutually exclusive. Each feature disclosed in this specification (including any accompanying claims, abstract, and drawings) may be replaced by alternative features serving the same, equivalent, or similar purpose, unless expressly stated otherwise. Thus, unless expressly stated otherwise, each feature disclosed is one example only of a generic series of equivalent or similar features.





I CLAIM:
1. A container comprising:
a finish that includes a mouth, a first engagement structure that secures a closure to the finish,
and
a frangible portion that engages the closure such that the frangible portion must be separated from the finish at a frangible connector to remove the closure from the container.
2. The container of claim 1 wherein the frangible portion of the finish includes a
tube including the first engagement structure that extends upwardly from the mouth, and
the frangible connector is adjacent the mouth.
3. The container of claim 1 wherein:
the finish includes a fourth engagement structure below the frangible connector and a fifth engagement structure above the frangible connector; and
the frangible portion is coupled to the closure such that the fifth
engagement structure engages the fourth engagement structure to secure the closure to the container when the frangible portion is separated from the finish.
4. The container of claim 1 wherein the finish includes a fourth engagement
structure below the frangible connector to secure the closure to the container only when
the frangible portion is separated from the finish.
5. The container of claim 1 wherein the first engagement structure will not secure
the closure to the container when the frangible portion is separated from the finish.
6.
7. The container of claim 1 wherein the first engagement structure provides a snap-
on engagement with the closure when the frangible portion is joined to the finish.
8. The container of claim 1 wherein the finish includes a flange below the first
engagement structure, a post that extends upwardly from the flange adjacent to the first
engagement structure, and a frangible connector that joins the post to the flange.
9. The container of claim 1 wherein the frangible portion is adapted to be retained by
the closure after being separated from the finish.
9. In combination, a container and a closure, comprising:
a second engagement structure on the closure; and
a finish on the container, the finish including a mouth, a first engagement
structure that secures the closure to the finish, and a frangible-portion that engages the closure such that the frangible portion must be separated from the finish to remove the closure from the container.
10. The combination of claim 9 wherein the frangible portion of the finish includes a tube
including the first engagement structure that extends upwardly from the mouth, and the
frangible connector is adjacent the mouth.
11. The combination of claim 9 wherein:
the finish includes a fourth engagement structure below the frangible connector and a fifth engagement structure above the frangible connector; and
the frangible portion is coupled to the closure such that the fifth
engagement structure engages the fourth engagement structure to secure the closure to the container when the frangible portion is separated from the finish.

12. The combination of claim 9 wherein the finish includes a fourth engagement
structure below the frangible connector to secure the closure to the container only when
the frangible portion is separated from the finish.
s
13. The combination of claim 9 wherein the first engagement structure will not secure
the closure to the container when the frangible portion is separated from the finish.
14. The combination of claim 9 wherein the first engagement structure provides a
snap-on engagement with the closure when the frangible portion is joined to the finish.
15. The combination of claim 9 wherein the finish includes a flange below the first
engagement structure, a post that extends upwardly from the flange adjacent to the first
engagement structure, and a frangible connector that joins the post to the flange.
16. The combination of claim 9 wherein the frangible portion is adapted to be
retained by the closure after being separated from the finish.

Documents:

2279-del-2007-abstract.pdf

2279-del-2007-claims.pdf

2279-del-2007-correspondence-others.pdf

2279-del-2007-description(complete).pdf

2279-del-2007-drawings.pdf

2279-del-2007-form-1.pdf

2279-del-2007-form-2.pdf

2279-del-2007-form-3.pdf

2279-del-2007-form-5.pdf

2779-DEL-2007-Correspondence-Others-(12-08-2009).pdf

2779-DEL-2007-Form-26-(12-08-2009).pdf


Patent Number 236078
Indian Patent Application Number 2779/DEL/2007
PG Journal Number 40/2009
Publication Date 02-Oct-2009
Grant Date 22-Sep-2009
Date of Filing 31-Dec-2007
Name of Patentee SUNIL MOHINDRA ALIAS SONNY MOHINDRA
Applicant Address 15392, NORMANDIE AVENUE, IRVINE, CALIFORNIA 92604, UNITED STATED OF AMERICA
Inventors:
# Inventor's Name Inventor's Address
1 SUNIL MOHINDRA ALIAS SONNY MOHINDRA 15392, NORMANDIE AVENUE, IRVINE, CALIFORNIA 92604, UNITED STATED OF AMERICA
2 NA NA
PCT International Classification Number B65D41/34 ; B65D47/00
PCT International Application Number N/A
PCT International Filing date
PCT Conventions:
# PCT Application Number Date of Convention Priority Country
1 11/845,616 2007-08-27 U.S.A.