Title of Invention

TEAR-OFF ANTI-TAMPER SEAL FOR STOPPER-TYPE CLOSING MEMBERS OF BOTTLES

Abstract Tear-off anti-tamper seal able to be fitted to stopper-type closing members mounted on the open end (6) of the neck (4) of a container (5) in the form of a bottle and able to indicate, when torn, that the container has been opened for the first time, comprising a tubular body (1) with an annular top flange (2) directed towards the inside of the body and with a sleeve portion (3) which extends longitudinally from the said flange along the neck of the container, a circumferential weakening line (13) formed on the said sleeve portion (3), a pair of weakening lines which extend axially along the said sleeve portion (3) of the tubular body and are situated in the zone between the said top flange (2) and the said circumferential weakening line (13), and a tear-off tongue (20) fixed to the said top flange (2) in the zone (18) between the said axial weakening lines and proj ecting towards the inside of the said tubular body (1). The said axial weakening lines consist of a respective first cut (16) and a second cut (17) in the wall of the tubular body and the top flange, the first cut (16) extending from a zone close to the free edge (2a) of the said flange (2) into the vicinity of the said circumferential weakening line (13), while the second cut (17) extends from a zone close to the free edge (2a) of the said flange (2) as far as a point (17a) positioned on the sleeve portion (3) at a level higher than that where the first cut (16) terminates, relative to the circumferential weakening line (13). With this seal, when the tongue (20) is pulled, it causes tearing of the axial portion (18) situated between the two axial cuts (16, 17) and then breakage along the circumferential line (13) with the advantage that the broken seal remains as one piece. Fig. 1
Full Text Description
"Tear-off anti-tamper seal for stopper-type closing members of bottles"
The present invention relates to a tear-off anti-tamper seal able to be fitted to stopper-type closing members mounted on the open end of the neck of a container in the form of a bottle and able to indicate, when torn, that the container has been opened for the first time, comprising a tubular body with an annular top flange directed towards the inside of the body and with a sleeve portion which extends axially from the said flange along the neck of the container, means for fixing the said sleeve portion to the neck of the container, preventing relative axial movements, means for also preventing relative angular movements of said sleeve portion and the neck of the container, a circumferential weakening line formed on the said sleeve portion, a pair of weakening lines which extend axially along the said sleeve portion of the tubular body and are situated in the zone between the said top flange and the said circumferential weakening line, said axial lines defining on the tubular body two perimetral zones, one of which has a circumferential extension smaller than that of the other zone, and a tear-off tongue projecting towards the

inside of the said tubular body and fixed to the said top flange in the zone between the said axial weakening lines which has a smaller circumferential extension.
An example of prior art of such nature is described in EP-A-1,100,727.
According to the prior art mentioned above, the axial weakening lines, which define between them the zone which is to be torn in order to remove the seal from the stopper-type closing members of the bottle, have cuts which are formed in the thickness of the top flange and the wall of the tubular body and which extend only over a short distance from the top flange of the tubular body of the seal.
The same axial weakening lines, in the prior art example mentioned, continue towards the circumferential weakening line by means of incisions which affect only partially the thickness of the wall of the tubular body, these incisions being formed on the inner surface of the tubular body so as to leave the outer surface as smooth as possible for the high-quality printing of writing or decorative patterns.
In accordance with the same prior art illustrated in the abovementioned document, the circumferential weakening line intersects the axial lines with the result that, during opening producing destruction of the seal,

the pulling force exerted on the tear-off tongue causes the separation of the zone of smaller extension situated between the axial lines, as far as the circumferential line, from the remainder of the tubular body which instead remains positioned on the closing members. The removal of this additional part of the tubular body of the seal therefore requires a further operation to be performed either using the fingers or using an implement so as to cause breakage along the weakened circumferential line.
All this constitutes a functional drawback occurring during removal of the anti-tamper seal which cannot be entirely removed with a single operation performed by means of tearing of the tongue.
Moreover, according to the prior art mentioned, the seal, once broken, consists of two separate parts, one part of which, i.e. that left attached to the tongue, remains within the user's fingers and may therefore be easily thrown away into a bin, while the other part, which overall also is larger in size, ends up falling freely to the ground and needs to be picked up.
The object of the present invention is to overcome the drawbacks encountered in the anti-tamper seals of the prior art and aims to solve the problem of breaking and removing the seal from the bottle closing members

completely, as one piece, by means of the pulling force exerted on the tear-off tongue.
The object is achieved with an anti-tamper seal in accordance with Claim 1 which follows.
The invention will now be described more fully with reference to a preferred, but not exclusive example of embodiment thereof, illustrated in the accompanying drawings, in which:
- Figure 1 is a perspective view from the outside of
the anti-tamper seal according to the invention;
Figure 2 is a perspective view of the seal according to the invention showing its upper part with a partial view of the inside;
- Figure 3 is a partially cross-sectioned side view
of the seal according to the invention mounted on an
example of stopper-type closing members.
With reference to the abovementioned drawings, the tubular body of the anti-tamper seal according to the invention is indicated overall by 1.
It comprises a top flange 2 directed radially towards the inside of the tubular body and a sleeve-like portion 3. The latter extends, starting from the flange 2, axially along the neck 4 of a container, partially indicated by 5, in the form of a bottle.
In a known and conventional manner, the opening 6 of

the neck 4 is provided with stopper-type closing members which may or may not have conventional valve-like members for allowing pouring of the product contained inside the bottle, usually, a high-quality liqueur and for preventing the introduction of another - possibly imitation - product.
The sleeve portion 3 of the tubular body 1 is provided, internally, with means for fixing said portion to the neck 4 and preventing relative axial movements. These means, in the example shown, consist of an annular lip 7, the functional features of which are well known to persons skilled in the art and which is intended to engage underneath the shoulder 7 of the neck 4 . Moreover, the same sleeve portion 3 of the tubular body 1 is also provided with means able to prevent relative angular movements of the neck 4 and the sleeve portion 3. These additional means, in the example shown, consist of axial ribs which are arranged at intervals on the inner wall of the sleeve portion 3 and engage inside corresponding grooves 9 provided on the neck 4.
The inner wall of the tubular body 1 may also be provided, as in the example shown, with an annular edge 10 projecting radially inwards, for engagement with a component of the stopper-type closing members of the bottle.

In the example shown, this edge 10 engages with the shoulder 11 of a conventional pouring body 12 of the closure.
The tubular body 1 of the anti-tamper seal according to the invention comprises a circumferential weakening line indicated by 13. This conventionally consists of a plurality of incisions 14 which are spaced from each other by continuous parts 15.
In addition to the circumferential weakening line 13, the tubular body 1 is provided with a pair of axial weakening lines. These, in accordance with the invention, consist of a first cut 16 and a second cut 17
which are formed through the entire thickness of the wall
i. of the tubular body, starting both from the flange 2 and
extending axially along the sleeve portion towards the
circumferential weakening line 13.
More precisely, the first cut 16 extends from a zone
close to the free edge 2a of the flange 2 until it
reaches the vicinity of the circumferential line 13,
leaving a bridge-piece P of material. In accordance with
a preferred embodiment, the first cut 16, with its end
J 16a, stops at about 3/10 mm before the circumferential
line 13.
The cut 17 which forms the second axial weakening
line extends from a zone close to the free edge 2a of the

top flange 2 until it reaches a point, on the sleeve portion 3, where its end 17a is situated at a level higher than that where the first cut 16 terminates with its end 16a, relative to the circumferential weakening line 13.
Preferably, the axial distance L between the end 17a of the second cut 17 and the end 16a of the first cut 16 is about 6.5 mm.
In the zone of the top flange 2, the cuts 16 and 17 are provided with transverse connecting elements indicated by 16b and 17b, respectively.
These connecting elements may consist of portions of the free edge 2a of the flange 2.
The cuts 16 and 17 define, on the sleeve portion 3, in the section between the top flange 2 and the circumferential weakening line 13, a first perimetral zone 18 which has a circumferential extension less than that that of the second zone 19.
A tongue 20 is integral with the flange 2 and is connected to the latter in the perimetral zone 18 of smaller extension situated between the cuts 16 and 17.
The tongue 20, which extends radially towards the inside of the tubular body 1, forms the member for gripping by the user so as to perform tearing of the seal and achieve opening of the bottle 5 for the first time.

The tongue 20 may have a size and a form also different from that shown by way of example in the drawings and in particular it may be in the form of a ring.
The tearing action, in accordance with the invention, produces firstly breakage of the elements 16b and 17b and then radial removal of the zone 18 from the underlying closing member and finally breakage of the bridge-piece P, if present. In this way the cut 16 eventually affects the circumferential weakening line.
Continuing the tearing action by means of the tongue 2 0 causes breakage of the circumferential line 13 with integral separation of the zones 18 and 19 of the tubular body 1.
These zones 18, 19 remain connected together owing to the presence of a suitable section of solid wall corresponding substantially to the distance L existing between the ends 16a and 17a of the axial cuts 16 and 17.
Incisions with a reduced thickness or radial slits, indicated by 21, are provided on the flange 2 at predetermined intervals in order to facilitate deformation of the zone 19 during removal of the seal. Moreover, they make obvious the deformation of the seal and therefore prevent repositioning of the latter on the closure.
The closure to which the anti-tamper seal according

to the invention is applied may be of any nature, it being necessary to make, where necessary, only technical modifications which are within the competence of a person skilled in the art.







Claims
1. Tear-off anti-tamper seal able to be fitted to stopper-type closing members mounted on the open end (6) of the neck (4) of a container (5) in the form of a bottle and able to indicate, when torn, that the container has been opened for the first time, comprising:
- a tubular body (1) with an annular top flange (2)
directed towards the inside of the body and with a sleeve
portion (3) which extends axially from the said flange
(2) along the neck (4) of the container,
- means (7, 7a) for fixing the said sleeve portion
(3) to the neck (4) of the container, preventing relative
axial movements,
- means (8, 9) for also preventing relative angular
movements of said sleeve portion (3) and the neck (4) of
the container,
- a circumferential weakening line (13) formed on the said sleeve portion (3),
- a pair of weakening lines which extend axially along the said sleeve portion (3) of the tubular body and are situated in the zone between the said top flange (2) and the said circumferential weakening line (13), said axial lines defining on the tubular body (1) two perimetral zones (18, 19), one (18) of which has a circumferential extension smaller than that of the other

zone (19),
- and a tear-off tongue (20) proj ecting towards the inside of the tubular body (1) and fixed to the said top flange (2) in the zone (18) between the said axial weakening lines which has a smaller circumferential extension,
characterized in that the said axial weakening lines consist of a respective first cut (16) and a second cut (17) in the wall of the tubular body (1) and the top flange (2), the first cut (16) extending from a zone close to the free edge (2a) of the said flange (2) until it reaches the vicinity of the said circumferential weakening line (13) leaving a bridge-piece (P) of material (page 6, lines 17-23), while the second cut (17) extends from a zone close to the free edge (2a) of the said flange (2) as far as a point (17a) positioned on the sleeve portion (3) at a level higher than that (16a) where the first cut (16) terminates, relative to the circumferential weakening line (13).
2. Tear-type anti-tamper seal according to Claim 1, wherein the said first cut (16) of the axial weakening lines terminates at a distance of about 3/10 mm relative to the said circumferential weakening line (13) .

3. Tear-type anti-tamper seal according to Claims 1 to 2, wherein said second cut (17) of the axial weakening lines extends axially on the said sleeve portion (3) as far as a level (17a) , the axial distance (L) of which from the point (16a) to which the said first cut (16) extends ranges between 1 mm and 10 mm.
4. Tear-type anti-tamper seal according to Claim 3, in which the said axial distance (L) is 6.5 mm.
5. Tear-type anti-tamper seal according to Claims 1 to 4, wherein the said first and second cuts (16, 17) forming the said axial weakening lines, along the free edge (2a) of the top flange (2) , have connecting elements
(16b, 17b) transverse to each cut.
6. Tear-type anti-tamper seal according to Claim 5, wherein said transverse connecting elements (16b, 17b) of the said first and second cuts are curved portions of the inner annular edge (2a) of the said top flange (2) of the tubular body (1).
7. Tear-type anti-tamper seal according to Claim 1, wherein the said circumferential weakening line (13) consists of a plurality of incisions (14) which are

spaced from each other and separated by continuous portions (15) of the wall of the tubular body (1).
8. Tear-type anti-tamper seal according to Claim 1, wherein the said top flange is provided with radial incisions or slits (21) able to facilitate deformation of the seal during its removal.
Dated this 7 day of February 2007

Documents:

272-CHE-2007 AMENDED PAGES OF SPECIFICATION 27-05-2011.pdf

272-CHE-2007 AMENDED CLAIMS 27-05-2011.pdf

272-CHE-2007 EXAMINATION REPORT REPLY RECEIVED 27-05-2011.pdf

272-che-2007 form-3 27-05-2011.pdf

272-CHE-2007 OTHER PATENT DOCUMENT 27-05-2011.pdf

272-CHE-2007 POWER OF ATTORNEY 27-05-2011.pdf

272-CHE-2007 CORRESPONDENCE 30-08-2010.pdf

272-che-2007-abstract.pdf

272-che-2007-claims.pdf

272-che-2007-correspondnece-others.pdf

272-che-2007-description(complete).pdf

272-che-2007-drawings.pdf

272-che-2007-form 1.pdf

272-che-2007-form 3.pdf

272-che-2007-form 5.pdf


Patent Number 248197
Indian Patent Application Number 272/CHE/2007
PG Journal Number 26/2011
Publication Date 01-Jul-2011
Grant Date 27-Jun-2011
Date of Filing 07-Feb-2007
Name of Patentee GUALA CLOSURES S.P.A.
Applicant Address VIA SAN GIOVANNI BOSCO 53/55, 15100 ALESSANDRIA AL, ITALY
Inventors:
# Inventor's Name Inventor's Address
1 BATTEGAZZORE, PIERO VIA GALILEO GALILEI, 74, I-15100 ALESSANDRIA, ITALY
PCT International Classification Number B65D41/34
PCT International Application Number N/A
PCT International Filing date
PCT Conventions:
# PCT Application Number Date of Convention Priority Country
1 06425069.9 2006-02-08 EUROPEAN UNION