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Title:
A DISPENSING CONTAINER
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2010/065980
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A container having a body, the body defining a cavity for storing dispensable cavity contents and having an opening, a covering for covering said opening; and a lid connected to the body by a failure zone and openable, in use, after failure of the failure zone, about a hinge formed by the covering. The lid may have a re- closable arrangement, the covering may be hinged with the container and may include strengthening ribs. The body may also have multiple cavities and multiple lids.

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Inventors:
TEYS, Bradley Donald (8 Ocean Court, Shelly Beach, Queensland 4551, AU)
Application Number:
AU2008/001809
Publication Date:
June 17, 2010
Filing Date:
December 09, 2008
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
SANDS INNOVATIONS PTY LTD (Level 3, 74 Astor TerraceBrisbane, Queensland 4575, AU)
TEYS, Bradley Donald (8 Ocean Court, Shelly Beach, Queensland 4551, AU)
International Classes:
B65D75/36; A47G19/34; A61J1/03; B65D35/10; B65D35/44; B65D75/62; B65D83/00; B65D83/04; B65D85/24; B65D85/58; B65D85/72
Domestic Patent References:
WO2005065498A1
WO2008092200A1
WO2006137674A1
Foreign References:
US3421654A
US20050236442A1
US20030183641A1
US5392945A
EP1121922A2
US20050218106A1
US20070045317A1
Other References:
See also references of EP 2373551A1
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
WATERMARK PATENT AND TRADE MARK ATTORNEYS (302 Burwood Road, Hawthorn, Victoria 3122, AU)
Download PDF:
Claims:
CLAIMS:

1. A dispensing container having: a body, the body defining a cavity for storing dispensable cavity contents and having an opening; a covering adaptable to close said opening; and a lid connected to the body by a failure zone and openable, in use, after failure of the failure zone, about a hinge formed by the covering, providing access to the dispensable cavity contents.

2. A dispensing container as claimed in any preceding claim, wherein the lid is re-closable after opening, to prevent egress of contents.

3. A dispensing container as claimed in any preceding claim, wherein the covering is detachable and re-attachable to the body.

4. A dispensing container as claimed in any preceding claim, wherein the covering is contoured.

5. A dispensing container as claimed in claim 4, wherein the contoured covering includes a recessed or protruding surface with respect to the plane of the opening and the recessed or protruding surface has a folding element, which allows the lid to hinge, after failure of the failure zone.

6. A dispensing container as claimed in claim 5, wherein the folding element is a notch across the contoured lid at the hinge, the notch being a concave, V- shaped, or generally widening cut, incision or groove across the recessed or protruding surface.

7. A dispensing container as claimed in any of claims 4 to 6, wherein the covering includes a first lip snappable over a corresponding feature or features on the body.

8. A dispensing container as claimed in any preceding claim, wherein the body includes at least one gripping element.

9. A dispensing container as claimed in any preceding claim, wherein the body is squeezable, thereby enabling a user to squeeze the dispensing container in order to dispense some or all of the cavity contents.

10. A dispensing container as claimed in claim 9, wherein the body includes two or more ridges connected by a resilient or pliable portion and, in use, the squeezing of the two or more ridges produces a bellows action on the contents of the container.

1 1. A dispensing container as claimed in any preceding claim, wherein the container includes more than one cavity formed in the body.

12. A dispensing container according to any one of the preceding claims wherein the failure zone includes a failure portion, a body portion and a lid portion, the body portion and the lid portion overlapping and wherein in use, after failure of the failure portion, at least one of the body portion and the lid portion is resiliently deformable, whereby the lid portion is engageable with the body portion upon application of a closure force to effect re-closure of the container.

13. A dispensing container as claimed in any preceding claim, wherein the covering includes one or more ribs extending from a surface of the covering intended to cover the opening.

14. A dispensing container having a body and a lid having a connection therebetween including: a failure zone in a first portion of the connection between the lid and the body; a hinge in a second portion of the connection between the lid and the body, wherein the failure zone includes a failure portion, a body portion and a lid portion, the body portion and the lid portion overlapping and wherein in use, after failure of the failure portion, at least one of the body portion and the lid portion is resiliently deformable, whereby the lid portion is engageable with the body portion upon application of a closure force to effect re-closure of the container.

15. A method of manufacturing a dispensing container including the steps of: forming a container assembly, including a body, a lid; filling the container assembly with contents to be dispensed; and sealing the container assembly with a covering.

Description:
A DISPENSING CONTAINER

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates generally to containers that can store and dispense contents, and is particularly useful in relation to disposable dispensing containers for dispensing of a single serve, or a limited number of serves, of contents. It will be convenient to hereinafter describe the invention in relation to that application. It should be appreciated, however, that the present invention is not limited to that application, only. BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Containers and packaging for storing and dispensing contents of various types are available in a wide range of shapes and sizes, and have a number of different functionalities.

Where it is desirable to provide a single serve, or a limited number of serves, of a product (for example, liquid or powdered foods for use by customers requiring snack products), or to provide a measured or metered amount of a product (for example, a medicament) disposable packaging containers are frequently used. Provision of such limited serve sizes reduces the incidence of spoilage and the incidence of wastage, as each customer takes what is required and it does not become necessary to discard excess unused or spoiled quantities. In addition to reducing spoilage and waste, provision of single serve (or a limited number of serves) containers also reduces spillage and mess.

It is also desirable to provide a container for dispensing contents which incorporates additional features for enhanced functionality, and such a container, being in the form of a dispensing utensil, is disclosed in WO 2005/065498, the entire contents of which are incorporated by reference. The dispensing utensil of WO 2005/065498 advantageously dispenses products, such as sugar, from a utensil having a container with a snap open and close end, such that it is not necessary to provide a separate utensil, such as a spoon for tea or coffee. Hence, mess is further reduced, in that separate sugar sachets and stirrers are not required. WO 2008/092200, the entire contents of which are incorporated herein by reference, improves on WO 2005/065498 by providing a seal around the snap open and close feature. The seal prevents the ingress of liquids or gaseous vapours through the weakened area at the snap open and close feature, thereby, preventing contents of the dispensing utensil spoiling. Any discussion of documents, devices, acts or knowledge in this specification is included to explain the context of the invention. It should not be taken as an admission that any of the material formed part of the prior art base or the common general knowledge in the relevant art on or before the priority date of the claims herein. SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

A first aspect of the present invention provides a dispensing container having: a body, the body defining a cavity for storing dispensable cavity contents and having an opening; a covering adaptable to close said opening; and a lid connected to the body by a failure zone and openable, in use, after failure of the failure zone, about a hinge formed by the covering providing access to the dispensable cavity contents.

Preferably: a substantial portion of the body is rigid; the covering lid is flat; a substantial portion of the lid is rigid; and

Preferably, the body further includes a reinforcing rib adjacent the lid. In one embodiment, the lid and rib are positioned adjacently to form a failure zone (being a slot) therebetween. In another embodiment, the rib and lid are integrally formed with a failure zone therebetween.

In alternative embodiments of the invention, the lid may be formed separately from or may be formed integrally with the body.

The failure zone may be created by one or more pin holes, laser scoring or other method to weaken the area with respect to the surrounding material. In a preferred embodiment, the lid is re-closable after opening, to prevent egress of contents.

In a further alternative embodiment of the invention, the body and lid may be moulded plastic and the covering may be a polymer, paper, film, foil, membrane or a laminate of these materials. In another embodiment, the covering may be moulded plastic and, preferably, the covering is detachable and re-attachable to the body.

Preferably, the covering is contoured moulded plastic having a first lip snappable over a corresponding feature or features on the body.

Further preferably, the contoured covering includes a recessed or protruding surface with respect to the plane of the opening and the recessed or protruding surface has a folding element, which allows the lid to hinge, after failure of the failure zone.

Preferably, the folding element is a notch across the contoured lid at the hinge. A notch, in this context, being a concave, V-shaped, or generally widening cut, incision or groove across a surface. The correct orientation of the notch is such that the widening portion of the notch is spaced apart from the hinge.

In a further alternative embodiment of the invention, the covering is connected to the body. Preferably, the covering is hinged to the body.

Preferably, the container is capable of limiting the impregnation of water and air.

In a further alternative embodiment of the invention, the body includes at least one gripping element. Preferably, the or each gripping element includes one or more recessed portions in the body. Preferably, there are two gripping elements on opposite sides of the body having a generally scallop or concave shape. Alternatively, the gripping elements are generally designed to be ergonomic to human hands to enable easy opening. Preferably, the gripping elements provide a lateral support function for the container.

In one embodiment, the body is pliable, thereby enabling a user to squeeze the dispensing container in order to dispense some or all of the cavity contents. Preferably, the body comprises two or more ridges connected by a resilient or pliable portion and, in use, the squeezing of the two or more ridges produces a bellows action on the contents of the container.

In yet a further embodiment, the body, covering and/or lid is transparent. Preferably, the lid includes a rigid thumb or finger rest. In a preferred embodiment, the container includes a second cavity formed in the body and a second lid for separate access to the second cavity. In alternative embodiments, a third or subsequent cavity and third or subsequent lid may be included. It is also envisaged that the body may less lids than cavities, with a single lid allowing access to separately stored dispensing contents.

Preferably, the covering includes one or more ribs extending from a surface of the covering intended to cover the opening. Further preferably, the ribs are capable of extending through the cavity to the inner surface of the body.

Preferably, the ribs include openings to allow fluid flow therethrough.

Alternatively, the ribs extend part way through the cavity.

In a preferred embodiment, the container includes a failure zone as described with reference to the second aspect of the present invention.

A second aspect of the present invention provides a dispensing container having a body and a lid including: a failure zone in a first portion of a connection between the lid and the body; a hinge in a second portion of a connection between the lid and the body, wherein the failure zone includes a failure portion, a body portion and a lid portion, the lid portion extending beyond the end of body portion, the failure zone, in use, having the failure portion fail after the application of a failure force, enabling opening of the lid, and the lid portion deforming around the container portion upon application of a closure force, thereby re-closing the lid.

Preferably, the body portion is a lip extending towards the interior of the container from the body and the failure portion forms the middle section of a "Z" shape between the body portion and the lid portion. A third aspect of the present invention provides a method of manufacturing a dispensing container including the steps of: forming a container assembly, including a body, a lid; filling the container assembly with contents to be dispensed; and sealing the container assembly with a covering. Preferably, the method includes forming multiple dispensing containers in a single operation.

Preferably, the multiple formed dispensing containers are connected together at one or more failure zones. BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS Other features and advantages of one or more preferred embodiments of the present invention will be readily apparent to one of ordinary skill in the art from the following written description with reference to and, used in conjunction with, the accompanying drawings, in which:

Figures 1 a to 1 c show a top perspective view of a dispensing container, without a covering for clarity purposes, according to an embodiment of the present invention, in which Figure 1 a shows a lid and body of the container before opening, Figure 1 b shows the lid after opening and Figure 1 c shows the lid re-closed;

Figures 2a to 2c shows a top perspective view of the container of Figures 1 a to 1 c with alternative covering arrangements;

Figures 3a to 3c shows a top perspective view of a dispensing container having a contoured covering;

Figures 4a and 4b show a top perspective view of a dispensing container having gripping elements; Figures 5a and 5b show a top perspective view of an alternative shape of a dispensing container according to an embodiment of the present invention;

Figures 6a to 6c show a top perspective view of a dispensing container according to another embodiment of the present invention with two cavities and two lids; Figures 7a and 7b show a top perspective view and a bottom perspective view of an alternative shape of a dispensing container according to an embodiment of the present invention;

Figures 8a to 8c show a top perspective view of an alternative shape of a dispensing container according to an embodiment of the present invention; Figure 9 shows a top perspective view of a dispensing container according to another embodiment of the present invention with four cavities and four lids;

Figure 10 shows a top perspective view of the body and lid of ganged multiples of the embodiment of Figure 5, as would be produced during manufacture, connected at the edges of the bodies; Figure 11 shows a top perspective view of the embodiment of Figure 4, in ganged form as would be produced during manufacture, connected at the edges of the bodies and with coverings hinged to the bodies;

Figure 12 shows a top perspective view of the embodiment of Figure 10 showing that the ganged bodies and lid are stackable; Figure 13 shows a top perspective view of the embodiment of 8 showing that ganged multiples of the containers are stackable;

Figures 14a and 14b show a perspective view of a lid connected to a body according to one embodiment the invention, with particular detail of a failure zone; Figures 15a to 15c show a close up of the failure zone of Figure 14 before and after failure and on re-closing of the lid;

Figures 16a and 16b show a perspective view of the embodiment of Figure 3a to 3c showing a covering reinforced with ribs.

DESCRIPTION OF PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

For the sake of clarity, reference numerals are used herein, with like numerals used on various embodiments of the invention to refer to like or comparable features having like or comparable functionality.

A dispensing container according to a preferred embodiment of the present invention, in its assembled form, includes a body portion, a lid portion and a covering. The body portion defines a cavity for storing dispensable cavity contents and the lid portion is connected to the body by a failure zone to enable access to the cavity contents. The lid portion is openable about a hinge formed by the covering and/or the body. Applying a failure force to the lid, which is typically provided by a persons thumb or finger, causes the failure zone to fail and the lid to open about the hinge formed by the covering and/or body, thereby allowing the cavity contents to be dispensed.

Referring to Figures 1 a to 1 b, a dispensing container 2 is shown in perspective view having a body 4 and a lid 6, connected about a failure zone 8 and hinge 10. In this embodiment, the body 4 and lid 6 define a rim 12 which further defines an opening over which a covering is placed. The plane of the opening and failure zone 8 forms an angle of 90° or less as measured from the point of view of lid 6. Hence, application of force to the lid in a direction perpendicular to the plane of the opening results in the lid opening in a counterclockwise direction (as shown). In Figures 1 a to 1 b, the covering has been omitted to better show the operation of the lid 6.

In Figure 1 a, the failure zone 8 is intact and, when the covering is in place, the lid 6 prevents egress of contents from within the container 2. In Figure 1 b, a failure force has been applied to the lid 6 such that the failure zone 8 has failed and the lid 6 and container 4 have become separated along the failure zone 8. The lid 6 would be retrained on the covering (which is not shown) but the rim 12 has failed at hinges 10. In other embodiments, the rim 12 does not shear or crack but rather deforms. Hence the hinges 10 may be provided on rim 12 as a supplement to the hinged rotation of the lid 6 about the covering. The various arrangements and operation of the body, cover and hinged lid may be as detailed in WO 2005/065498 and WO 2008/092200, as are various means of creating the failure zone.

Once the lid is opened the contents of the container 2, or at least some of the contents, can then be dispensed. In Figure 1 c, the lid 6 has been re-closed on the body 4 by application of a closure force and through the arrangement of the failure zone 8, which is described in greater detail with relation to Figures 14 and 15 below.

The failure zone 8 can be created using a plurality of small flaws, 'pin pricks', weakened lines from laser scoring or other weakening means as stress concentrators, creating a zone in which failure will occur as lid 6 is opened. Provision of an encapsulated 'air bubble' or other inclusion would also raise the stress concentration at that point and reduce the force required to cause yielding when the lid 6 is opened. A small slot or hole could also be provided, rather than a slot extending the width of the lid. The failure zone 8 may be deliberately weakened by 'pin pricks' or other treatments, or may be an area of relative weakness resulting from the geometric configuration of the invention. Hence, strategic placement of a reinforcing rib, the size or stiffness of the lid or other factors may be used to create an area of relative weakness and hence a failure zone.

Referring now to Figure 2a, the container 2 of Figure 1 a, 1 b & 1c is now shown with a covering 14. In Figure 2a, the covering 14 is separate from the body 4 and lid 6. Once the container 2 has been filled with contents, the covering 14 would be attached to the body 4 and lid 6.

The covering 14 can be made of polymer, paper, film, foil, membrane or a laminate of these materials or may be moulded plastic. In the arrangement of Figure 2a, the covering 14 would be adhered, with an appropriate adhesive, or welded, by heat welding, ultrasonic welding, induction welding or other appropriate process, to the body 4 and lid 6 to seal the contents in the container.

Figures 2b and 2c shows an alternative arrangement of the covering 14 in which a second hinge 16 is provided. With this arrangement, the entire container may be manufactured in a single operation by a suitable moulding technique. This allows for the removal of a placing step in the manufacture process as the covering 14 is already attached to the body 4 and simply needs to be folded over after the contents have been placed in the container before adhering or welding. Furthermore, through use of a suitable moulding technique, in-mould labelling of the covering (and/or the body of the container) may be used to manufacture in a single moulding process, a single piece container which can be simply and quickly top-filled, cover folded and sealed to produce a finished product requiring no further labelling, coating, capping etc. Accordingly, the manufacturing process may be more easily automated in a process having few steps at low cost. The process also avoids the need for relative positioning of sealing covers, labels etc. Furthermore, the container may also have coatings, which may be either internal or external, to improve barrier properties, reduce oxygen, air or water vapour transmission.

Figures 3a to 3c show a further alternative arrangement of a covering 18 on a body 4 and lid 6 as discussed with relation to Figures 1 a to 1 c and Figures 2a to 2c. In this arrangement, covering 18 has a contoured profile, that is, part of the covering 18 forms a protruding surface 20 with respect to a plane 22 which is parallel to the plane of the opening defined by rim 12. In a similar manner, the protruding surface 20 could instead be a recessed surface (not shown).

A contoured covering is also advantageous where the opening is relatively large and/or the container must support other filled containers during storage transport or display. A contoured profile may be made as thick as necessary, be made of a puncture resistant material and be provided with stiffening ribs or be shaped, as shown in Figures 3a to 3c, to provide a protruding surface 20 of smaller cross sectional area than the opening, the protruding surface 20 supported upon a stiffening skirt 21.

A protruding or recessed surface can also provide a platform for advertising material and/or for stable stacking of containers with coverings in place. For these reasons, contoured packaging may be desirable for certain products. Provision of a protruding surface may allow the under side of the covering to be concave, providing a small air head space in the container once filled. This may be desirable for certain types of contents.

An issue with protruding or recessed surfaces relates to the hinge mechanism required for opening the lid 6. To solve this issue, as shown in Figures 3a to 3c, a notch 24 is provided across the protruding surface 18 at the hinge 10. Although the notch shown in Figures 3a to 3c is a "V" notch, other shaped notches are envisaged. In particular, concave or otherwise generally widening shapes from the hinge are appropriate, as this enables the hinge 10 to operate without restriction. Furthermore, provision of the notch 24 further stiffens the contoured covering.

In on embodiment (not shown), the contoured covering 18 of Figures 3a to 3c further includes a lip which is snappable over a corresponding feature on the body 4. This may be advantageous in positioning the covering 18 prior to sealing or welding the covering 18 to the body 4 and lid 6. Furthermore, if not sealed, this provides the possibility of detaching and re-attaching the covering 18 from the body 4 and lid 6. A contoured covering can hence avoid the need to provide secondary closure or protection means, unlike some forms of foil seals which require a secondary protective cover for durability.

An alternative embodiment of a container 2 with body 4 and lid 6, shown in Figures 16 and 16b, includes a covering 92 with ribs 94. The ribs 94 stiffen the container and can extend right through to the inside surface of the body 4 or only part way through. If the ribs 94 extend right through to the inside surface of the body, the ribs 94 would be made with openings such that fluid may pass through them. The ribs 94 can increase the force required to squash a container 2 significantly. In this manner, a greater number of containers 2 could be stacked on top of each other or a more robust container can be provided where the application requires it.

Referring now to Figures 4a and 4b, a preferred arrangement of the body 4 is shown in which gripping elements 26 are provided. In this example, the gripping elements are in the form of concave recesses, or scallops, either side of the body 4 of the container 2. With the gripping elements 26, not only is it easier for a person to grip the container 2 with their hands, it is also more comfortable. In addition, the gripping elements 26 can provide a "gripping effect" when the container 2 is stacked with another container of the same shape. The gripping elements 26, whether intended to be gripped by human hands, another container or both, also provide a lateral support function. That is, the gripping elements 26 allow for greater force to be applied to the top of the container 2 before the container 2 would be crushed. For containers of a size which do not require "grips" for use by human hands, the gripping elements 26 can provide a purely lateral support function.

Furthermore, the body 4 although sufficiently rigid to support itself and other products stacked upon it, can be made of flexible or pliable materials such that, once the container 2 is opened, the body 4 may be pushed or squeezed in order to dispense contents. This is particularly useful where the contents are a viscous liquid, such as sauces, paint, cremes, pastes and the like. The action of pushing on the pliable body 4, and a pliable covering 18, which can also be made of pliable materials, also provides control in the amount of contents dispensed. Where the contents are of a more free-flowing nature, the pliable or flexible body 4 may also be used to prevent further dispensing, for example, dispensing only half the contents.

Referring now to Figures 5a and 5b, a container 2 is shown with an alternative body 28, in which the shape is changed so that the container 2 stands on a horizontal surface with the covering 14 also horizontal. The container 2 of Figure 5a may be provided with any of the flat, hinged or contoured lids described herein. For some products, it is desirable.

Figures 7a and 7b introduce an alternative embodiment of the container 2 having a body 74. The body 74 is provided with ridges 76 along a bottom surface (opposite that of the opening of the body). Between the ridges a resilient, or pliable, surface 79 is provided. In use, a person grips either side of the body 74, after opening the lid 6, and squeezes the contents of the container 2 out. The ridges 76 and resilient surface 79 act as a bellows to encourage the egress of the contents.

Referring now to Figures 6a to 6c, a further embodiment of the invention is shown in which a container 30 has a body 32 with a dividing portion 34 creating a first cavity 36 and a second cavity 38. To allow access to the two cavities 36, 38, a first lid 40 and second lid 42 are provided. A covering 44 for the body 32 and lids 40 and 42, is provided. In other embodiments, a body of a container may be divided in to more than two cavities. For example, Figure 9 shows a container 46 with a body 48 having four cavities 50, 52, 54, 56, each with respective lids, and a covering 58.

The embodiments of Figures 6a to 6c and 9 have separate lids for each cavity section, however, a single lid for all sections could also be provided. The provision of multiple cavity sections is useful, for example, for complimentary products such as provision of coffee and sugar, salt and pepper, 'two-part' adhesive glues, shampoo and conditioner (each in separate cavities) as it is desirable to provide the contents separately, but the contents may be required to be provided for use at the same time. Multiple cavity sections are also useful for providing multiple individual provision of a product such as tack/nail dispensers, dishwashing/laundry powder measures or cigars.

Referring now to Figures 8a to 8c, an alternative container 60 is shown with an alternative body 62. In this example, the body 62 is of generally cuboidal or frusto-pyramidal shape. In Figure 8a, a lid 64 is provided across an entire width, enabling a large opening when the failure zone has failed. Figure 8b simply shows an appropriate covering 66 which can be adhered or welded to the body 62 and lid 64. Figure 8c provides a hinging covering 68 along with a lid 70 only on a single corner of the body 62, demonstrating the many different variants that can be encompassed within the invention. Figures 10 and 11 show the embodiments of Figures 5 and 1 to 4, respectively, as they can be produced during manufacture. That's is, as shown in Figure 10 multiple body and lid parts may be manufactured in a single operation and left connected at join 72 for ease of handling during subsequent process steps. Figure 11 further demonstrates the ability during manufacture to generate in a single operation, such as by injection moulding, as all components, body, lid and covering, are generated in the same step. Once again, the individual containers can be left connected at a join 72.

Figure 12 and 13 show the embodiments of Figures 5 and 8c in stacks of containers 2, 60. It is desirable that the shape of the body 28, 62 allows for stacking to further ease the manufacture process. In the embodiments of the invention described above, the covering, body and/or lid may be transparent, semi-transparent or opaque. Transparent or semi- transparent materials allow for precise determination of the amount of contents remaining in the container, or to give a potential consumer confidence with regard to the contents of the container. Measuring or dosage marks may also be provided. Opaque materials allow for the protection of contents from damaging electromagnetic waves such as ultra-violet.

Turning now to Figures 14a, 14b and 15a to 15c, the lid 6 is shown in greater detail with the failure zone 8 and a thumb or finger placement concave 80. Figure 14b shows a close up of the failure zone 8 which is shown having a body portion 82, a lid portion 84 and a failure portion 86.

Figure 15a shows the same features in greater detail. Figure 14a and 14b are in a situation where the container is closed, having never been previously opened by the lid 6. Close inspection reveals that the lid portion 84 extends beyond the end of the body portion 82, when viewed perpendicularly from the end of the body portion 82. The failure portion 86, therefore, forms a "Z" like attachment between the body portion 82 and the lid portion 84.

Figure 15b shows the situation where the lid 6 has now been torn away from the body 4 after a person has depressed the lid 6 on the thumb placement concave 80. As can be seen, the failure portion 86 is no longer present. In actual circumstances, the failure portion 86 may be partly attached to either the body portion 82 or the lid portion 84 after the lid 6 has been opened, but for all practical purposes, it is no longer present. The lid 6 can then be hinged back so that the contents of the container can be removed.

As was established when describing Figure 15a, the lid portion 84 of the failure zone 8 extends beyond the body portion 82. Accordingly, as shown in Figure 15c, pressing the lid 6 back towards the body 4 deforms either or both of the body portion 82 and the lid portion 84 until the lid portion 84 has extended beyond the body portion 82. In this manner, the lid 6 is re-closable.

This concept is further expanded on by incorporating an additional lip 90 extending towards the inside of the container from the body portion 82 and a generally curved surface 88 on the lid portion 84 extending first towards and then away from the inside of the container. The curved surface 88 acts on the lip 90, after being re-closed as in Figure 15c, to further close the lid 6.

The concept of a re-closable lid as described in relation to Figures 14a,

14b and 15a to 15c is also applicable to containers which do not include a separate covering. For example, a body of generally bottle shape connected to a lid via a connection having a first portion as a failure zone and a second portion as a hinge can be provided.

Contents which may conveniently be dispensed from a dispensing container according to the present invention include, but are not limited to, the following whether in powdered, granulated, liquid or other forms.

Food and beverage products including tea, coffee, sugar, sugar- substitutes and artificial sweeteners, paste, marinade, dried fruit and nuts, milk, drinking additives syrups and powders including hot chocolate, toppings, cordials, alcoholic beverages, confectionary such as sprinkles, chocolates, lollies, salt and pepper, spices, herbs, sauces, dressings, spreads, condiments including soy sauce, mustard, mayonnaise.

Nutraceuticals (for people and animals) including energy & vitamin supplements and concentrates, food supplements, dieting and slimming mixes and powders. Medicaments, medicines and pharmaceuticals (for people and animals) including drugs, creams, pills, cough syrups, non-prescription medicines such as headache and anti-inflammatory tablets.

Personal care products including toothpaste, mouthwash, floss, hair products and treatments such as shampoos, dyes, hair ties and pins, shaving creams, antiseptics and disinfectants, toothpicks, massage oil, moisturisers, sunscreens, soap and liquid soaps.

Household products including cleaning fluids and detergents, cleansers, furniture oils, bleaches.

Office products including inks, rubber bands, paper clips, staples, drawing pins, nails and tacks, adhesives. Hardware items including screws, washers, nails, tacks.

Garden and plant products including seeds, fertilizer, poisons, flower booster.

Chemical products for domestic and industrial use, including adhesives and paint products including artists and children's paints, household paint, paint tints, putty fillers.

The container may be manufactured in a wide range of materials, shapes or sizes, according to its required purpose. For example, to dispense orange juice, a rectangular box including a straw could be provided, or alternatively a pyramidal or other three dimensional shape. Suitable shapes include bottles, polyhedral shapes of triangular cross-section. A body of suitable shape could support a covering about which the lid rotates, and the other walls may also be pliable. The advantage of regular, 'stiff shapes is ease of manufacture, distribution and handling through the distribution chain, while the ability to use pliable materials allows for reduced amounts of "non-natural" materials (such as plastics) to be used, reducing environmental impacts. Depending on the particular application, materials suitable for biostable, biodegradeable or food grade applications may be used. Furthermore, in the case of plastic materials, materials suitable for manufacture by injection moulding or blow moulding may be used. A particularly preferable material in which the container may be made is polypropylene..

As the present invention may be embodied in several forms without departing from the spirit of the essential characteristics of the invention, it should be understood that the above described embodiments are not to limit the present invention unless otherwise specified, but rather should be construed broadly within the spirit and scope of the present invention as defined in the appended claims. Various modifications and equivalent arrangements are intended to be included within the spirit and scope of the present invention and appended claims. In particular, variants shown and described can be combined with other variants shown and described, even though those combinations are not specifically shown.




 
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