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Title:
HAND HELD FLUENT DISPENSING CONTAINERS
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2003/047981
Kind Code:
A2
Abstract:
The present invention is directed toward molded plastic re-sealable closures (1, 31) for use with a fluent dispensing container (2). The closures (1, 31) each having a rupturing member (12) and a cover (19) on whose initial opening causes the rupturing member to tear a tearable sealing to form a generally rectangular fluent exit aperture. The present invention is also directed to screw cap assemblies (41, 61). The present invention is further directed to toggle cap assemblies (71, 81). The present invention is still further directed to a collapsible bottle (91) and a dual container dispenser (101).

Inventors:
Cabelli, Gabriel (P.O. Box 21570, Tel Aviv, 61214, IL)
Application Number:
PCT/IL2002/000964
Publication Date:
June 12, 2003
Filing Date:
November 29, 2002
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
Cabelli, Gabriel (P.O. Box 21570, Tel Aviv, 61214, IL)
International Classes:
B65D1/02; B65D5/74; B65D21/02; B65D35/28; B65D47/20; B65D51/22; B67D99/00; B65D; (IPC1-7): B65D/
Foreign References:
US6279769B12001-08-28
US5147070A1992-09-15
US2555490A1951-06-05
US6158623A2000-12-12
US5740947A1998-04-21
Other References:
See also references of EP 1461285A2
Download PDF:
Claims:
Claims
1. A molded plastic resealable closure for initially forming a generally rectangular fluid exit aperture in a tearable sealing provided in a container, and thereafter capable of being selectively and repeatedly reopened and resealed for respectively enabling and preventing the dispensing of the container's contents via the fluid exit aperture, the closure comprising: (a) a frame member for sealingly adhesion to the container, and having an aperture for exposing the tearable sealing, said frame member having a trailing end, and a leading end for dispensing the container's contents; (b) a cover pivotably hinged to said frame member towards said trailing end, and selectively and repeatedly disposable between a generally horizontal sealing position for initially and repeatedly sealing said aperture, and a generally upright open position for enabling the container's contents to be dispensed via the fluent exit aperture ; and (c) a substantially flat tearing member initially overlying the tearable sealing and pivotably attached to said cover also toward said trailing end on whose initial opening from its sealing position to its open position, a leading edge of said tearing member initially tears a fluent exit aperture in the tearable sealing adjacent said leading end and thereafter urges the tearable sealing away from the fluent exit aperture.
2. The closure according to claim 1 wherein said frame member has a pair of opposite rails for guiding the rearward displacement of said tearing member during said initial opening.
3. The closure according to either one of claims 1 and 2 wherein said tearing member includes lug members adapted to snap fit into recesses formed in said cover towards said trailing end on the initial sealing of said cover on said frame member during the assembly of the closure.
4. The closure according to either one of claims 1 and 2 wherein said tearing member is hingedly connected to said cover towards said trailing end.
5. The closure according to any one of claims 1 to 4 wherein, on said cover being initially disposed into its upright open position, said tearing member lockingly interengages with an arresting member, thereby preventing the forward displacement of said tearing member during subsequent reopenings of said cover.
6. The closure according to said claim 5 wherein said tearing member includes an arresting projection for lockingly interengaging with an arresting recess formed in the cover's underside.
7. The closure according to said claim 5 wherein said tearing member is urged past an arresting protrusion protruding laterally inwards from said frame member.
8. A fluent dispensing container fitted with a closure according to any one of claims 1 to 7.
9. A screw cap assembly for initially forming a fluent exit aperture in a tearable sealing provided in a container, and thereafter'capable of being selectively and repeatedly reopened and resealed for respectively enabling and preventing dispensing of the container's contents via the fluid exit aperture, the screw cap assembly comprising a base for sealingly adhesion to the container, said base having an upright sleeve with an external screw thread on which a cap is initially and resealingly screw threadable thereon, said sleeve having a tubular puncturing member slidingly disposable therein with a puncturing tip initially overlying the tearable sealing, said puncturing member being urgable inwards towards the container's interior on an initial unscrewing of said cap from said base whereupon said puncturing tip punctures the tearable sealing for forming the fluent exit aperture.
10. The assembly according to claim 9 wherein said sleeve has a longitudinal axis and said puncturing tip lies substantially caxial therewith.
11. The assembly according to either claim 9 or 10 wherein said puncturing member has one or more outwardly radially protruding flange urged sufficiently inwards beyond the rim of the fluent exit aperture on said cap's initial unscrewing for preventing outward displacement of said puncturing member pursuant to the formation of the fluent exit aperture.
12. The assembly according to one of claims 9 to 11 wherein said puncturing member has a multitude of cutting blades radiating from said puncturing tip for cutting the container's exterior's surface on said cap's initial unscrewing.
13. The assembly according to one of claims 9 to 12 wherein said cap has a downwardly spiraling abutment surface for urging said puncturing member inwards towards the container's interior for forming the fluent exit aperture on said cap's initial unscrewing.
14. The assembly according to one of claim 9 to 12 wherein said cap and said puncturing member have a reverse screw arrangement for urging said puncturing member inwards towards the container's interior for forming the fluent exit aperture on said initial unscrewing.
15. A fluent dispensing container fitted with a screw cap assembly according to any one of claims 9 to 14.
16. For use with a hand squeezable plastic bottle, a toggle cap assembly for selectively and repeatedly enabling and preventing dispensing of the bottle's contents, the toggle cap assembly comprising: (a) a spout fixedly mounted with respect to the bottle; (b) a tubular dispensing member sealingly disposed within said spout, and having an open end in continuous flow communication with the bottle's interior on mounting the toggle cap assembly thereon, and a sealed end with at least one radially directed fluent exit aperture disposed theretoward, said dispensing member being reciprocable between a retracted position and a protruding position with respect to said spout's rim correspondingly preventing and enabling dispensing of the bottle's contents via said at least one fluent exit aperture ; and (c) an annular flow control diaphragm sealingly extending between said open end and the bottle's interior surface, said flow control diaphragm being selectively and repeatedly latchable between a sealing position and a flow communication position correspondingly urging said dispensing member between said retracted position and said protruding position, said flow control diaphragm being disposable from said sealing position to said flow communication position by increasing the prevailing fluid pressure in the bottle by squeezing same, and vice versa on applying a force against said sealed end in the direction of the bottle's interior.
17. The assembly according to claim 16 wherein a cap screw threadable on a bottle tapers to said spout.
18. The assembly according to claim 16 wherein said spout is a discrete component sealingly secured in an annular recess formed in a cap screw threadable on the bottle, and integrally formed with said flow control diaphragm and said dispensing member.
19. A hand squeezable plastic bottle fitted with a toggle cap assembly according to any one of claims 16 to 18.
20. A collapsible plastic bottle comprising at least one axially collapsible portion each capable of assuming only two possible states: a fully axially extended state or a fully axially compacted state.
21. The bottle according to claim 20 wherein a collapsible portion has a multitude of spiral ribs axially extending between a pair of noncollapsible portions, each rib having a leading surface facing the bottle's opening and a trailing surface facing away therefrom, one of its leading surface and its trailing surface being wider than the other.
22. A dual container dispenser having a substantially ellipsoidallike shape with a longitudinal axis and a pair of opposite flat end surfaces on each of which it can freely stand upright, the dispenser having two separable, sidebyside interlockable, hand squeezable plastic containers each having a selectively and repeatedly resealable closure associated therewith for enabling the dispensing of its contents upon being squeezed, each end surface of said pair of end surfaces having one of said pair of resealable closures.
23. The dispenser according to claim 22 wherein each container of said pair of containers extends along the full length of the dispenser whereby said pair of closures are diagonally disposed with respect to said longitudinal axis.
24. The dispenser according to claim 23 wherein each container has a bottom surface on which it can be freely stood upright.
Description:
HAND HELD FLUENT DISPENSING CONTAINERS Field of the Invention The invention is in the field of hand held fluent dispensing containers.

Background of the Invention Hand held fluent dispensing containers are now in widespread use for dispensing edible fluent substances, for example, fruit juices, mineral water, condiments, and the like, and also non-edible fluent substances, for example, cleaning substances, cosmetics, and the like.

A first type of hand held fluent dispensing containers are fluent dispensing containers with a tearable sealing, and a molded plastic re-sealable closure for selectively and repeatedly enabling and preventing the dispensing of a container's contents. Conventional fluent dispensing containers of this type are illustrated and described in inter alia US Patent 4,126, 263 to Martensson, US Patent 4,828, 138 to Andersson, US 4,913, 294 to Giacomelli, US Patent 4,915, 290 to Robichaud et al. , US Patent 4,925, 034 to Robichaud et al., US Patent 4,930, 683 to Farber, US Patent 4,934, 590 to Robichaud et al. , US Patent 4,944, 408 to Rausing, US Patent 5,101, 999 to Robichaud et al., US Patent 5,158, 633 to Rausing, US Patent 5,287, 983 to Reil et al. , US Patent 5,364, 019 to Bjorck et al, US Patent 5,484, 101 to Hedberg, US Patent 5,632, 440 to Tragardh et al. , US Patent 5, 636, 784 to Huser, US Patent 5,639, 018 to Tokarski, US Patent 5,755, 359 to Joensson, US Patent 5,806, 757 to Per et al. , US Patent 5,823, 420 to Tokarski et al., and US Patent 5,875, 958 to Weiteder.

A second type of hand held fluent dispensing containers are hand squeezable plastic bottles with a toggle cap assembly for selectively and repeatedly enabling and preventing the dispensing of a bottle's contents.

Conventional fluent dispensing containers of this type are illustrated and described in inter alia US Patent 4,747, 518 to Laauwe, US Patent 4, 506, 809 to Corsette, US Patent 5,931, 352 to Dirr, and US Patent 6,006, 952 to Lucas :

A third type of hand held fluent dispensing containers are collapsible plastic bottles for carbonated beverages to reduce their volumes to prevent the vaporization of dissolved carbonic dioxide into carbonic acid gas to the detriment of their contents'taste. Conventional collapsible plastic bottles are illustrated and described in inter alia US Patent 3,939, 887 to Scarnato, US Patents 4,492, 313 and 5,002, 193 to Touzani, US Patent 5,310, 068 to Saghri, US Patent 5,370, 250 to Gilbert, US Patent 5,584, 413 to Jung, US Patent 5,573, 129 to Nagata, et al. , and US Patent 5,758, 789 to Shin, et al..

A fourth type of hand held fluent dispensing containers are dual container dispensers having a pair of separable, side-by-side interlockable, hand squeezable plastic containers each having a closure associated therewith for enabling the dispensing of its contents on its being manually squeezed. Conventional dual container dispensers are illustrated and described in inter alia US Patent 4,148, 417 to Simmons, US Patent 4,196, 808 to Pardo, US Patent 4,984, 715 to Green, US Patent 5, 158, 191 to Douglas, et al., US Patent 5,316, 159 to Douglas, et al. , US Patent 5,613, 623 to Hildebrandt, US Patent 5,803, 268 to Levy, et al., and US Patent 5,954, 213 to Gerhard, et al..

Summary of the Invention The invention is directed to hand held fluent dispensing containers for selectively and repeatedly enabling and preventing the dispensing of a container's contents.

The invention is directed toward a molded plastic re-sealable closure for use with a fluent dispensing container having a tearable sealing. The closure has a rupturing member and a cover on whose initial opening to a generally upright position, the rupturing member tears the sealing to form a generally rectangular fluent exit aperture, and secures the torn away material remote from the fluent exit aperture to prevent it from blocking same during subsequent re-openings and re-sealings of the closure. Thus, the closure facilitates the hygienic single step

opening of otherwise conventional fluent dispensing containers, and subsequent trouble free dispensing of their contents.

The invention is also directed toward a screw cap assembly also for use with a fluent dispensing container having a tearable sealing. The screw cap assembly has a puncturing member and a cap on whose initial unscrewing, the puncturing member is urged axially downwards whereupon the puncturing member punctures the sealing to form a generally circular fluent exit aperture, and is fixedly secured with respect to the container to prevent it from blocking the fluent exit aperture during subsequent re-openings and re-sealings of the cap.

The invention is further directed to a toggle cap assembly for use with a hand squeezable open topped plastic bottle, the toggle assembly including a latchable arrangement disposable from a sealing position for preventing the dispensing of a bottle's contents to a flow communication position for enabling the dispensing of a bottle's contents on squeezing the bottle thereby enabling a user to both hold the bottle and open it with the same hand, and vice versa, on applying a force against an exposed surface of the latchable arrangement in the direction of the bottle's interior.

The invention is still further directed to a collapsible plastic bottle with one or more axially collapsible portions each capable of assuming only two possible states: either a fully axially extended state or a fully axially compacted state.

The invention is yet still further directed to a dual container dispenser having a pair of end surfaces each having a re-sealable closure of one of the two containers for enabling the dispensing of its contents upon being squeezed. A dispenser's containers are intended to be separated and used independently from one another but a user may invert the dispenser to dispense the contents of one or the other of its two containers.

Brief Description of the Drawings In order to understand the invention and to see how it can be carried out in practice, preferred embodiments will now be described, by way of non-limiting examples only, with reference to the accompanying drawings, in which : Fig. 1 is a perspective view of a molded plastic re-sealable closure for use with a fluent dispensing container for selectively and repeatedly enabling and preventing the dispensing of its contents; Fig. 2A is a longitudinal cross section view of the closure of Figure 1 in its initially closed state; Fig. 2B is a longitudinal cross section view of the closure of Figure 1 in its initially partially opened state for forming a fluent exit aperture; Fig. 2C is a longitudinal cross section view of the closure of Figure 1 in its fully opened state; Fig. 2D is a close-up view of the area denoted A in Figure 2C; Fig. 2E is a longitudinal cross section view of the closure of Figure 1 in its re-sealed state; Fig. 3 is a perspective view of a second preferred embodiment of a molded plastic re-sealable closure in accordance with the present invention ; Fig. 4 is an exploded view of a first preferred embodiment of a screw cap assembly in accordance with the present invention for use with a fluent dispensing container for selectively and repeatedly enabling and preventing the dispensing of its contents; Fig. 5A is a cross section view of the screw cap assembly of Figure 4 in its initially sealed state; Fig. 5B is a cross section view of the screw cap assembly of Figure 5 in its partially initially unscrewed state for forming a fluent exit aperture; Fig. 5C is a cross section view of the screw cap assembly of Figure 5 in its fully unscrewed state ;

Fig. 5D is a cross section view of the screw cap assembly of Figure 5 in its re-sealed state ; Fig. 6 is an exploded view of a second preferred embodiment of a screw cap assembly in accordance with the present invention; Fig. 7 is a perspective view of a hand squeezable plastic bottle including a first preferred embodiment of a toggle cap assembly in accordance with the present invention for selectively and repeatedly enabling and preventing the dispensing of its contents; Fig. 8 is an exploded view of the toggle cap assembly of Figure 7; Fig. 9A is a longitudinal cross section view of the toggle cap assembly of Figure 7 in its sealed state for preventing the dispensing of the bottle's contents; Fig. 9B is a longitudinal cross section view of the toggle cap assembly of Figure 7 in its open state for enabling the dispensing of the bottle's contents; Fig. 10 is a perspective view of a hand squeezable plastic bottle including a second preferred embodiment of a toggle cap assembly in accordance with the present invention for selectively and repeatedly enabling and preventing the dispensing of its contents; Fig. 11 is an exploded view of the toggle cap assembly of Figure 10; Fig. 12A is a cross section view of the toggle cap assembly of Figure 10 in its sealed state for preventing dispensing of the bottle's contents; Fig. 12B is a longitudinal cross section view of the toggle cap assembly of Figure 10 in its open state for enabling dispensing of the bottle's contents; Fig. 13 is a side view of a collapsible plastic bottle in accordance with the present invention with an upper collapsible portion in its fully axially compacted state and a lower collapsible portion in its fully axially extended state; Fig. 14 is a perspective view showing the application of a twist action for compacting the upper collapsible portion of the bottle of Figure 13; Fig. 15 is a perspective view of a dual container dispenser including two separable, side-by-side interlockable, hand squeezable plastic containers in accordance with the present invention; and

Fig. 16 is a perspective view of the dispenser of Figure 15 with its two containers separated from one another.

Detailed Description of the Preferred Embodiments Figures 1 and 2 show the construction and operation of a molded plastic re-sealable closure 1 for initially forming a generally rectangular fluid exit aperture 2 in a tearable sealing 3 of a fluent dispensing container 4, and thereafter capable of being selectively and repeatedly re-opened and re-sealed for respectively enabling and preventing the dispensing of the container's contents, for example, fruit juices, and the like. The fluent dispensing container 4 may be formed from a wide range of materials, for example, cardboard based laminates, plastic sheet material, metal sheet material, and the like. The closure 1 is adapted to be'sealingly adhered to cover the sealing 3 which may be formed from the same material as the rest of the container 4 or from a different-material. In certain cases, the sealing 3 can be of the same material as the rest of the container but of a thinner thickness, or may be formed with perforations, a scoreline, and the like, for facilitating the formation of the fluid exit aperture 2.

The closure 1 includes a frame member 6 having an upright wall 7 defining a generally rectangular aperture 8 for exposing the sealing 3. The frame member 6 has a leading end 6A formed with a pouring spout 9 for pouring the container's contents, and a trailing end 6B. The frame member 6 has a pair of frangible runners 11A and 11B (not shown) disposed toward the frame member's leading end 6A for floatingly supporting a substantially flat tearing member 12 initially overlying the aperture 8. The tearing member 12 is formed with a scoop 13 having a leading serrated edge 14 towards the frame member's leading end 6A, and a widthwise rib 16 with a pair of opposite lug members 17A and 17B towards the frame member's trailing end 6B. The frame member 6 is formed with a pair of opposite rails 18A and 18B for guiding the rearward displacement of the tearing member 12 during an initial opening of the closure 1.

A cover 19 is hingedly connected to the frame member's trailing end 6B, and is selectively disposable between a horizontal sealing position (see Figure 2A) for initially and repeatedly re-sealing the aperture 8, and a generally upright open position (see Figure 2C) for enabling the container's contents to be dispensed via the fluent exit aperture 2 once formed. The cover 19 is formed with a so-called double sealing rim 21 including an outer rim 22 and an inner rim 23 for sealingly receiving the frame member's upright wall 7 therebetween. The inner rim's leading end 23A is formed with cut-aways 24A and 24B for accommodating the opposite ends of the scoop 13 in the cover's sealing position.

The inner rim's trailing end 23B is formed with a pair of beveled supports 26A and 26B respectively having recesses 27A and 27B (not shown) for pivotably receiving the rib's lug members 17A and 17B in a snap-fit manner on assembly of the closure 1. The rib 16 is formed with a central arresting projection 28 for lockingly being received in an arresting recess 29 (constituting an arresting member) formed in the cover's underside on its initial opening to its upright open position, thereby preventing the forward displacement of the tearing member 12 during subsequent re-openings of the cover 19 which may potentially obstruct the fluid exit aperture 2 (see Figures 2C and 2D).

The operation of the closure 1 is as follows: In its initially sealed state, the tearing member 12 overlies the sealing 3 (see Figure 2A), and the lug members 17A and 17B are pivotingly received in the supports 26A and 26B. On initially partially opening the cover 19, the runners 11A and 11B are snapped broken, and the scoop 13 is drawn beneath the rails 18A and 18B. Further opening of the cover 19 causes the scoop's serrated edge 14 to tear the sealing 3 (see Figure 2B). Still further opening of the cover 19 causes the scoop 13 to urge the torn away sealing 3 rearwards towards the frame member's trailing end 6B, thereby fully forming the fluid exit aperture 2 (see Figure 2C). On fully opening of the cover to its generally upright open position, the arresting projection 28 lockingly interengages with the arresting recess 29 (see Figure 2D), thereby fixing the position of the tearing member 12 with

respect to the cover 19 such that on re-closing the cover 19, the tearing member 12 is biased away from the fluid exit aperture 2 and prevents the sealing 3 from blocking the fluid exit aperture 2 (see Figure 2E). Thereafter, the cover 19 can be freely selectively and repeatedly re-opened and re-sealed for dispensing purposes.

Figure 3 shows a molded plastic closure 31 similar in construction and operation to the closure 1 but differing therefrom insofar as its tearing member 12 is hingedly connected to the cover 19 towards the frame member's trailing end 6B. Also, the tearing member 12 is urged past an arresting protrusion 32 protruding laterally inwards from the frame member 7 on the initial opening of the cover 19 to its upright open position, thereby preventing the forward displacement of the tearing member 12 during subsequent re-openings of the cover 19.

Figures 4 and 5 show the construction and operation of a screw cap assembly 41 similar to the closure 1 but differing therefrom insofar as it is adapted to initially form a generally circular fluent exit aperture 42 in a tearable sealing 43 of a fluent dispensing container 44, and thereafter capable of being selectively and repeatedly re-opened and re-sealed for respectively enabling and preventing the dispensing of the container's contents, for example, fruit juices, and the like. The screw cap assembly 41 includes a base 46 having an upright sleeve 47 with a longitudinal axis 48 (see Figure SA), and an external screw thread 49 on which a cap 51 is initially and re-sealingly screw threadable thereon.

On its initial unscrewing from the base 46, the cap 51 has a downwardly spiraling abutment surface 52 for urging a tubular puncturing member 53 slidingly disposable within the sleeve 47 inwards towards the container's interior. The puncturing member 53 has a puncturing tip 54 co-axial with the sleeve's longitudinal axis 48 (see Figure 5A) and initially overlying the-sealing 43, and six cutting blades 56 radiating outwards from the puncturing tip 54. The puncturing member 53 has a pair of radially protruding lugs 57 for being slidingly received in vertical grooves 58 formed in-the inside surface of the

upright sleeve 47 for guiding its downward displacement. The grooves 58 are sealed at their upper ends to stop upward displacement of the puncturing member 53 within the upright sleeve 47. The puncturing member 53 is formed with an annular flange 59 for preventing its outward displacement pursuant to the formation of the fluent exit aperture 42.

The operation of the screw cap assembly 41 is as follows: In its initial state, the puncturing tip 54 overlies the sealing 43 (see Figure 5A). On initially partially unscrewing the cap 51, the abutment surface 52 urges the puncturing member 53 inwards towards the container's interior, thereby causing its puncturing tip 54 to puncture the sealing 43 at a point co-axial with the sleeve's longitudinal axis 48 (see Figure 5B). On fully unscrewing the cap 51, the puncturing member 53 is sufficiently urged inwards that the cutting blades 56 cut a generally circular fluent exit aperture 42 in the sealing 43, and the flange 59 is urged inwards beyond the fluent exit aperture's rim (see Figure 5C).

Thereafter, the cap 51 can be freely screwed on and off the base 46 for dispensing purposes (see Figure 5D).

Figure 6 shows a screw cap assembly 61 similar in construction and operation to the screw cap assembly 41 but differing therefrom insofar as the cap 51 and the puncturing member 53 have a reverse screw arrangement 62 for urging the puncturing member 53 inwards towards the container's interior for puncturing the sealing 43 to form the fluent exit aperture 42 on the cap's initial unscrewing.

Figures 7-9 show the construction and operation of a toggle cap assembly 71 for selectively and repeatedly enabling and preventing the dispensing of the contents of a hand squeezable plastic bottle 72. The toggle cap assembly 71 includes a cap 73 screw threadable onto the bottle 72, the cap 74 tapering to a spout 74, and formed with air vents 75. An annular latchable flow control diaphragm 76 sealingly extends between the bottle's interior surface and a tubular dispensing member 77 having an open end 77A in continuous flow communication with the bottle's interior on mounting the toggle cap assembly 71

on the bottle 72, and a sealed end 77B with a multitude of radially directed fluent exit apertures 78 disposed theretoward. The dispensing member 77 is reciprocable between a retracted position (see Figure 9A) and a protruding position (see Figure 9B) with respect to the spout's rim 74A correspondingly preventing and enabling dispensing of the bottle's contents via the fluent exit apertures 78. The flow control diaphragm 76 is selectively and repeatedly latchable between a sealing position and a flow communication position correspondingly urging the dispensing member 77 between its retracted position and its protruding position.

The operation of the toggle cap assembly 71 is as follows : In its initially sealed state, the flow control diaphragm 76 is in its sealing position and the dispensing member 77 is in its retracted position (see Figure 9A). On squeezing the bottle 72 denoted by arrows A, the prevailing fluid pressure denoted by the arrows B therein increases to urge the flow control diaphragm 76 to its flow communication position which in turn urges the dispensing member 77 to its protruding position (see Figure 9B). To re-seal the bottle 72, a force denoted C is applied against the dispensing member's sealed end 77B in the direction of the bottle's interior.

Figures 10-12 show a toggle cap assembly 81 similar in construction and operation to the toggle cap assembly 71 except that in this case a spout 82 is a discrete component sealingly secured in an annular recess 83 formed in a cap 84 integrally formed with the flow control diaphragm 76 and the dispensing member 77.

Figures 13 and 14 show the construction and use of a collapsible plastic bottle 91 having an uppermost non-collapsible portion 92, an upper collapsible portion 93 in its fully axially compacted state, a middle non-collapsible portion 94, a lower collapsible portion 96 in its fully axially extended state, and a lowermost non-collapsible portion 97. The collapsible portions 93 and 96 have six spiral ribs 98 extending between their adjacent non-collapsible portions 92 and 94, and 94 and 97, respectively, by virtue of which the non-collapsible

portions 92,94, and 97 assume fluted appearances and each collapsible portion 93 and 96 has only two possible states: a fully axially extended state and a fully axially compacted state. The instantaneous transformation of a collapsible portion between its two possible states is by application of a twist action thereto as shown in Figure 14. Each spiral rib 98 has a leading surface 98A facing the bottle's opening 91A and a trailing surface 98B facing away therefrom, the leading surfaces 98A have a width Dl slightly wider than the width D2 of the trailing surfaces 98B, namely, D1>D2. This design facilitates the compaction of a collapsible portion since it requires a weaker twist action that the twist action required to extend a collapsible portion.

Figures 15 and 16 show the construction and use of a dual container dispenser 101 having a substantially ellipsoidal-like shape with a longitudinal axis 102, and a pair of flat end surfaces 103A and 103B on either one of which it can freely stand upright. The dispenser 101 is constituted by a pair of separable, side-by-side interlockable, hand squeezable plastic containers 104A and 104B respectively having bottom surfaces 106A and 106B on which they can freely stand upright, top surfaces 107A and 107B and inside surfaces 108A and 108B.

The top surfaces 107A and 107B are respectively provided with selectively and repeatedly re-sealable closures 109A and 109B for enabling the dispensing of their contents, for example, a shampoo, a liquid soap, and the like. The inside surface 108B is provided with a recess 111A adjacent its bottom surface 106B for snap-fittingly receiving therein a lug 111B (not shown) formed on the inside surface 108A adjacent the top surface 107A. Similarly, the inside surface 108A is provided with a recess 112A (not shown) adjacent its bottom surface 106A for snap fittingly receive a lug 112B formed on the inside surface 108B adjacent the top surface 107B. The containers 104A and 104B are intended to be separated and used independently from one another but a user may invert the dispenser 101 to dispense the contents of one or the other of its two containers 104A and 104B.

While the invention has been described with respect to a limited number of embodiments, it will be appreciated that many variations, modifications, and other applications of the invention can be made within the scope of the appended claims.




 
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