CA2943439C - Apparatus and methods for dispensing e-liquid - Google Patents

Apparatus and methods for dispensing e-liquid Download PDF

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Publication number
CA2943439C
CA2943439C CA2943439A CA2943439A CA2943439C CA 2943439 C CA2943439 C CA 2943439C CA 2943439 A CA2943439 A CA 2943439A CA 2943439 A CA2943439 A CA 2943439A CA 2943439 C CA2943439 C CA 2943439C
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Canada
Prior art keywords
liquid
apparatus
chamber
fluid passageway
check valve
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CA2943439A
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French (fr)
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CA2943439A1 (en
Inventor
David M. Johnson
Charles H. Melander
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Intrepid Brands LLC
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Intrepid Brands LLC
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Publication date
Priority to US201461976225P priority Critical
Priority to US61/976,225 priority
Application filed by Intrepid Brands LLC filed Critical Intrepid Brands LLC
Priority to PCT/US2015/024632 priority patent/WO2015157224A1/en
Publication of CA2943439A1 publication Critical patent/CA2943439A1/en
Application granted granted Critical
Publication of CA2943439C publication Critical patent/CA2943439C/en
Application status is Active legal-status Critical
Anticipated expiration legal-status Critical

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Classifications

    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A24TOBACCO; CIGARS; CIGARETTES; SMOKERS' REQUISITES
    • A24FSMOKERS' REQUISITES; MATCH BOXES
    • A24F47/00Smokers' requisites not provided for elsewhere, e.g. devices to assist in stopping or limiting smoking
    • A24F47/002Simulated smoking devices, e.g. imitation cigarettes
    • A24F47/004Simulated smoking devices, e.g. imitation cigarettes with heating means, e.g. carbon fuel
    • A24F47/008Simulated smoking devices, e.g. imitation cigarettes with heating means, e.g. carbon fuel with electrical heating means
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A61MEDICAL OR VETERINARY SCIENCE; HYGIENE
    • A61MDEVICES FOR INTRODUCING MEDIA INTO, OR ONTO, THE BODY; DEVICES FOR TRANSDUCING BODY MEDIA OR FOR TAKING MEDIA FROM THE BODY; DEVICES FOR PRODUCING OR ENDING SLEEP OR STUPOR
    • A61M15/00Inhalators
    • A61M15/06Inhaling appliances shaped like cigars, cigarettes or pipes
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A61MEDICAL OR VETERINARY SCIENCE; HYGIENE
    • A61MDEVICES FOR INTRODUCING MEDIA INTO, OR ONTO, THE BODY; DEVICES FOR TRANSDUCING BODY MEDIA OR FOR TAKING MEDIA FROM THE BODY; DEVICES FOR PRODUCING OR ENDING SLEEP OR STUPOR
    • A61M2209/00Ancillary equipment
    • A61M2209/04Tools for specific apparatus
    • A61M2209/045Tools for specific apparatus for filling, e.g. for filling reservoirs

Abstract

An apparatus (100) comprising a check valve may be utilized to transfer E-liquid from a storage container into an electronic vaporization device, such that unintended leakage of the E-liquid may not occur. An apparatus (100) comprising a check valve, wherein the apparatus is preloaded with E-liquid, may be used to dispense liquid into an electronic vaporization device.

Description

APPARATUS AND METHODS FOR DISPENSING E-LIQUID
PRIORITY
[0001] This application claims priority to U.S. Provisional Patent Application No. 61/976,225, entitled "Apparatus Comprising A Check Valve for Dispensing E-Liquids," filed on April 7, 2014.
TECHNICAL FIELD

[0002] The disclosure is directed to an apparatus comprising a check valve.
The apparatus may be utilized to transfer E-liquid into the chamber of an electronic vaporization device, such that unintended leakage and/or spillage of the E-liquid may not occur. The apparatus may be used to transfer E-liquid into a top-filled chamber or a bottom-filled chamber. The disclosure is further directed to an assembly of an apparatus comprising a check valve and an E-liquid storage container. The assembly allows the E-liquid to be stored without accidental dispensing and/or spilling of the E-liquid.
BACKGROUND

[0003] Vaporization provides an alternative to combustion for the delivery and consumption of various substances. Typically the substance to be vaporized is present in a liquid, which is commonly referred to as an "E-liquid." Examples of substances to be vaporized that are present in an E-liquid are selected from the group of: glycerin, propylene glycol, flavorings, nicotine, medicaments and combinations thereof Vaporization may be accomplished using electronic vaporization devices, including, but not limited to, electronic cigarettes, electronic cigars, electronic pipes and electronic vaporizers.

[0004] Oftentimes, the E-liquid to be vaporized is placed into a chamber, which either contains, or interfaces with, a heat source in the electronic vaporization device. The chamber which contains the E-liquid may take a variety of forms, depending upon the configuration of the electronic vaporization device. Some chambers are referred to in the art as "cartomizers."
Cartomizers that are see-through, i.e. made of plastic or glass for example, are oftentimes referred to as "clearomizers." Typically, cartomizers and clearomizers contain a heating source, such as an atomizer. The cartomizer or clearomizer may further comprise absorbent material with or without an associated wick that act(s) to transport E-liquid to the heating source that vaporizes E-liquid. The cartomizer or clearomizer may further comprise a vapor chimney through which the resulting E-liquid vapor passes to be delivered to the consumer, such as via a mouthpiece.

[0005] Once an E-liquid is consumed, the chamber may be discarded and replaced with a new, full chamber. However, some chambers are re-fillable. A consumer may refill a chamber with E-liquid by opening the chamber and using for example, a dropper or syringe, to dispense the E-liquid into the chamber. This process may be characterized by several disadvantages. First, if during the filling process, E-liquid is errantly dispensed into the vapor chimney, the heating source may be compromised and/or leakage from the chamber may occur. For example, if the heating source is an atomizer, the atomizer may become clogged by the E-liquid, resulting in the malfunction of the electronic vaporization device.
Second, and perhaps more importantly, transferring the E-liquid from its storage bottle to the cartomizer may result in spillage of the E-liquid. In addition to being messy, spillage of the E-liquid may be particularly disadvantageous if the E-liquid contains a substance, nicotine for example, which ideally should not be in direct contact with the skin of a human or animal.

[0006] For these and other reasons, there remains a need for an apparatus for dispensing E-liquids into the chamber of an electronic vaporization device that minimizes, if not eliminates, the spillage and/or leaking of an E-liquid when it is being transferred into the chamber. Additionally, there remains a need for such an apparatus that will prevent E-liquid from errantly being dispensed into the vapor chimney of the chamber.
Moreover, there remains a need for an apparatus that will minimize, if not eliminate, a human's (e.g., a consumer's, or a child's) or an animal's (e.g. a pet's) contact with the E-liquid during E-liquid storage and/or dispensing. Moreover, it would be advantageous if such an apparatus could be used to dispense E-liquid into either a top-filled or bottom-filled chamber.
SUMMARY

[0007] The unique solution that addresses the aforementioned need is a new apparatus comprising a check valve. The apparatus minimizes, if not eliminates, the leakage and/or spillage of an E-liquid when it is being dispensed into the chamber of an electronic vaporization device, regardless of whether the chamber is configured to be filled through its top or bottom. The apparatus according to the present disclosure may accomplish this, at least in part, by precisely aligning the opening of an E-liquid storage bottle, with the opening in the cartomizer into which the E-liquid is to be dispensed.
Additionally or alternatively, the apparatus may physically block the vapor chimney in the chamber. By blocking the vapor chimney, the apparatus may prevent misdirection of the E-liquid and in turn, prevent subsequent leakage of the E-liquid from the chamber, and consequent exposure of the consumer, to the E-liquid. Additionally, or alternatively, the apparatus may be engaged with an E-liquid storage container to foini an assembly such that E-liquid is prevented from accidentally spilling from the container; in some embodiments, the assembly may be sold as a unit. Such an assembly may also prevent leakage and/or contamination of the outside of the E-liquid storage container, and consequent exposure of anyone, e.g. a human or pet, which comes into contact with the E-liquid storage container.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0008] Fig. 1 is a schematic diagram of a typical Electronic Vaporization Device.

[0009] Figs. 2a, 2b and 2c are schematic diagrams of a top-filled chamber, or a top-filled chamber and mouthpiece, of use in the Electronic Vaporization Device shown in Fig. 1.

[0010] Figs. 3a, 3b and 3c are schematic diagrams of a bottom-fed chamber, or a bottom-fed chamber and mouthpiece, of use in the Electronic Vaporization Device shown in Fig. 1.

[0011] Fig. 4 is a schematic diagram showing a cross-sectional view of an embodiment of an apparatus according to the disclosure.

[0012] Fig. 5 is a schematic diagram showing a top plan view of the apparatus of Fig. 4.

[0013] Fig. 6 is a schematic diagram showing a cross-sectional view of an assembly of the apparatus of Fig. 4 and an E-liquid bottle.

[0014] Fig. 7 is a schematic diagram of the assembly of Fig. 6 attached to a chamber into which E-liquid may be dispensed.

[0015] Fig. 8 is a schematic diagram showing a cross-sectional view of another embodiment of an apparatus according to the disclosure.

[0016] Fig. 9 is a schematic diagram showing a cross-sectional view of another embodiment of an apparatus according to the disclosure.

[0017] Fig. 10 is a schematic diagram showing a cross-sectional view of an assembly of the apparatus of Fig. 9 and an E-liquid bottle.

[0018] Fig. 11 is a schematic diagram of the assembly of Fig. 10 attached to a chamber into which E-liquid may be dispensed.

[0019] Figs. 12 and 13 are schematic diagrams showing cross-section views of adapters that may be used in conjunction with the apparatuses according to the disclosure.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION

[0020] The term "E-liquid" as used herein means a liquid including a substance to be vaporized. Examples of substances to be vaporized that are present in an E-liquid are selected from the group of: glycerin, propylene glycol, flavorings, nicotine, medicaments and combinations thereof.

[0021] The terms "chamber" is intended to denote any "chamber", "revervoir", "liquid chamber," "tank," "liquidmizer," "cartomizer" and "clearomizer" that contains an E-liquid to be vaporized by an electronic vaporization device. A chamber may or may not contain the heat source, e.g. an atomizer, which is utilized to vaporize the E-liquid.
A chamber may be filled with E-liquid through its open top, i.e., be a "top-filled chamber," or it may be filled with E-liquid through its open bottom, i.e., a "bottom-filled chamber."

[0022] "Check valve" as used herein means a valve that allows E-liquid to flow through it in only one direction.

[0023] "Electronic vaporization device," hereinafter "EVD," as used herein means any electronic device which vaporizes liquid for consumption including, but not limited to, via inhalation, by a consumer. EVDs include, but are not limited to: electronic cigarettes;
electronic cigars; and electronic vaporizers.

[0024] "E-liquid storage container," "E-liquid container," "storage container," "E-liquid bottle,"
"storage bottle," and "container" are used interchangeably herein to mean a vessel that contains E-liquid.

[0025] The elements or features of the various embodiments are described in detail hereinafter.
Any reference to a singular characteristic or limitation of the present disclosure shall include the corresponding plural characteristics or limitations, and vice versa, unless otherwise specified or clearly implied to the contrary by the context in which the reference is made.

[0026] The apparatuses and methods described herein may comprise, consist of or consist essentially of the elements and features of the disclosure described herein, as well as any additional or optional components, or features described herein or otherwise useful in relation to the aforementioned apparatuses and methods.

[0027]

[0028] In one aspect, an apparatus for dispensing E-liquid into a chamber of an electronic vaporization device comprises a housing having a top and a base and enclosing a void that is configured to contain the E-liquid and a check valve that regulates flow of the E-liquid through a first fluid passageway into the chamber or through a second passageway into the apparatus. The top of the apparatus comprises a first fluid passageway in fluid communication with the void and through which the E-liquid is dispensed into the chamber and a first engagement means configured to attach the apparatus to the chamber so that the first fluid passageway is in fluid communication with the chamber. The base of the apparatus comprises a second fluid passageway in fluid communication with the void and through which E-liquid from an E-liquid container is dispensed into the apparatus and a second engagement means configured to attach the base to an E-liquid container so that the second fluid passageway is in fluid communication with the E-liquid container.
The check valve comprises a closing member and a biasing member that biases the closing member into a scaling relationship with the first fluid passageway.

[0029] In one aspect, the check valve regulates flow of the E-liquid through the first fluid passageway and wherein the chamber of the electronic vaporization device contains a vapor chimney and the closing member is configured to seal the vapor chimney when the apparatus is attached to the chamber, while allowing E-liquid to be dispensed into the chamber through the first fluid passageway.

[0030] In one aspect, the check valve regulates flow of the E-liquid through the first fluid passageway and wherein the first fluid passageway comprises an opening in the top of the apparatus, and the biasing member biases the closing member into a sealing relationship with the opening.

[0031] In one aspect, the check valve regulates flow of the E-liquid through the first fluid passageway and wherein the closing member has a shape selected from the group of:
spherical, hemispherical, rectangular, conical, cubical, pyramidal, prismatic, and frusticonical.

[0032] In one aspect, the check valve regulates flow of the E-liquid through the first fluid passageway and wherein the biasing member is selected from the group of;
springs; sealed air chambers; and combinations thereof.

[0033] In one aspect, the check valve regulates flow of the E-liquid through the first fluid passageway and which further comprises an E-liquid container attached to the base of the apparatus.

[0034] In one aspect, the check valve regulates flow of the E-liquid through the first fluid passageway and wherein the first engagement means is selected from the group of: slots;
silicone seals; and combinations thereof.

[0035] In one aspect, the check valve regulates flow of the E-liquid through the first fluid passageway and wherein the second fluid passageway comprises a structure selected from the group of; a hole; o-ring; port; metal ring; rubber ring; silicone ring;
and combinations thereof.

[0036] In one aspect, the E-liquid contains a substance to be vaporized, wherein the substance is selected from the group of: glycerin; propylene glycol; flavorings; nicotine;
medicaments;
and combinations thereof

[0037] In one aspect, the apparatus further comprises an adapter that is configured to couple the apparatus with the chamber.

[0038] In one aspect, the check valve regulates flow of the E-liquid through the second passageway into the apparatus and wherein at least a portion of the top is configured to insert into an opening in the chamber when the apparatus is attached to the chamber.

[0039] In one aspect, the check valve regulates flow of the E-liquid through the second passageway into the apparatus and wherein chamber comprises a vapor chimney, and the at least a portion of the top is configured to seal the vapor chimney when the apparatus is attached to the chamber while allowing E-liquid to be dispensed into the chamber through the first fluid passageway.

[0040] In one aspect, the check valve regulates flow of the E-liquid through the second passageway into the apparatus and wherein the second fluid passageway comprises an opening in the base of the apparatus, and the biasing member biases the closing member into a sealing relationship with the opening.

[0041] In one aspect, the check valve regulates flow of the E-liquid through the second passageway into the apparatus and which further comprises an E-liquid storage container attached to the bottom of the apparatus.

[0042] In one aspect, the check valve regulates flow of the E-liquid through the second passageway into the apparatus and wherein the biasing member is selected from the group of: springs; sealed air chambers; and combinations thereof

[0043] In one aspect, a method of dispensing an E-liquid into the chamber of an electronic vaporization device, the method comprising the step of providing an apparatus having a top and a base, and enclosing a void that is configured to contain the E-liquid.
The top of the apparatus comprises a first fluid passageway in fluid communication with the void and through which the E-liquid is dispensed into the chamber, and a first engagement means configured to attach the apparatus to the chamber so that the first fluid passageway is in fluid communication with the chamber. The base of the apparatus comprises a second fluid passageway in fluid communication with the void and through which E-liquid from an E-liquid container is dispensed into the apparatus, and a second engagement means configured to attach the base to an E-liquid container so that the second fluid passageway is in fluid communication with the E-liquid container. The flow of the E-liquid through the apparatus is regulated by a check valve comprising a closing member and a biasing member. The method further comprises the steps of attaching the apparatus to the chamber via the first engagement means to form a first assembly, and dispensing the E-liquid through the first fluid passageway into the chamber.

[0044] In one aspect, the chamber contains a vapor chimney, and the method further comprises the step of sealing the vapor chimney with the closing member.

[0045] In one aspect, the method further comprises the step of attaching an E-liquid container to the base of the apparatus via the second engagement means to form a second assembly.

[0046] In one aspect, the method further comprises inverting the second assembly and dispensing E-liquid from the E-liquid container into the first fluid passageway, through the void, through the second passageway and into the chamber.

[0047] In one aspect, the void is pre-filled with E-liquid prior to attaching the apparatus to the chamber to form the first assembly.

[0048] Fig. 1 shows a typical EVD 500. The EVD 500 comprises a battery compartment 510 that is removeably attached to a chamber 200. The chamber 200 is in turn removeably attached to a mouthpiece 530.

[0049] Referencing Fig. 2a, the chamber 200 and mouthpiece 530 are shown after they have been detached from the battery compartment 510 (not shown) and each other. In this embodiment, the chamber 200 has an open top 511. E-liquid is dispensed into the chamber 200 through the open top 511, typically using an eye dropper or syringe; thus the chamber is a top-filled chamber. The mouthpiece 530 is then reattached to the open top 511 of the chamber 200 so that the chamber 200 is sealed. The filling process may occur with or without detaching the chamber 200 from the battery compartment 510 of the EVD.

[0050] Fig. 2b shows the chamber 200 of Fig. 2a in a disassembled state.
Beginning at the left of Fig. 2b, an atomizer assembly 230 is shown. Extending from the atomizer assembly 230 is a vapor chimney 231, which is surrounded in part by a silicone or rubber ring 232.
When the chamber 200 is assembled, the atomizer assembly 230 and vapor chimney 231 fit into the chamber 200. The chamber 200 is capped at its open top 511 by a hollow metal ring 234 that is threaded on the inside and which serves as the attachment point of the mouthpiece (not shown) to the chamber 200.

[0051] Fig. 2c is a top plan view of the chamber 200 shown in Fig. 2b after it has been reassembled, i.e., the atomizer assembly 230 and vapor chimney 231 have been re-inserted into the chamber 200, such that the chamber contains them. Starting at the edges of the chamber 200 and moving inward, Fig. 2c shows the hollow metal ring 234. Moving further inward, the silicone or rubber ring 232 and top of the vapor chimney 231 are shown. As can be seen in Fig. 2c, there is a narrow gap 240 between the silicone or rubber ring 232 and the hollow metal ring 234; it is through the narrow gap 240 that E-liquid is dispensed to fill the chamber 200. Since the gap 240 is narrow, it can be very difficult to fill the chamber 200 without spilling the E-liquid down the outside of the chamber 200 and contaminating the outside of the chamber 200, and/or the other portions of the EVD.
Moreover, if the narrow gap 240 is missed or filled too quickly, E-liquid may undesirably be dispensed into the top 233 of the vapor chimney 231, which may in turn result in malfunction of the EVD.

[0052] Fig. 3a shows an alternative embodiment of a chamber 200 that is found in EVDs that are currently on the market. Rather than detach the mouthpiece 530 from the top 511 of the chamber 200 to fill the chamber with E-liquid, the atomizer assembly 230 is removed from the bottom 512 of the chamber 200, as shown in Fig. 3b.

[0053] Fig, 3b shows the chamber 200 of Fig. 3a, after the atomizer assembly 230 has been removed. Fig. 3c shows a bottom plan view of the chamber 200 of Fig. 3b.
Starting at the edges of the chamber 200 and moving inward, Fig. 2c shows a hollow metal ring 234 that is threaded on the inside and which serves as the attachment point of the atomizer assembly 230. Moving further inward, the bottom 232 of the vapor chimney 231 is shown.
As can be seen in Fig. 3c, there is a narrow gap 240 between the bottom 232 of the vapor chimney 231 and the hollow metal ring 234. It is through the narrow gap 240 that E-liquid is dispensed to fill the chamber 200. Thus the chamber 200 depicted in Fig. 3b is a bottom-filled chamber. Since the gap 240 is narrow, it can be very difficult to fill the chamber 200 without spilling the E-liquid down the outside of the chamber 200 and contaminating the outside of the chamber 200, and/or the other portions of the EVD (e.g., the mouthpiece).
Moreover, if the narrow gap 240 is missed or filled too quickly, E-liquid may undesirably be dispensed into the bottom 232 of the vapor chimney 231. This can be problematic, because E-liquid may then flow from the vapor chimney 231 into the atomizer assembly 230 after the chamber 200 has been reassembled, thereby contaminating the atomizer assembly and possibly causing it to malfunction.

[0054] In spite of the presence of narrow gaps and/or small openings through which E-liquid is dispensed, the apparatus according to the present disclosure may eliminate the aforementioned problems regardless of whether the chamber is top-filled or bottom-filled.

[0055] Fig. 4 shows an embodiment of an apparatus 100 according to the present disclosure.
The apparatus 100 comprises a housing 4. The housing 4 comprises a base 1 and a top 8, and encloses a void 50 that is configured to contain E-liquid. Each of these features is discussed in turn below.

[0056] In general, the base of the apparatus comprises at least one liquid passageway and/or hole through which E-liquid may travel into the apparatus from an E-liquid storage container that is attached thereto as described below. The liquid passageway and/or holes may be formed in any suitable way using structural means so long as adequate flow of E-liquid from the E-liquid storage container into the apparatus is achieved. Useful structural means may be selected from the group of o-rings; ports; metal rings; rubber rings;
silicone rings;
and combinations thereof. In some embodiments, the liquid passageway and/or holes provide only for one-way flow, meaning that E-liquid may flow from the E-liquid storage container through the liquid passageway and/or holes into the apparatus, but E-liquid may not flow out of the apparatus through the liquid passageway and/or holes. This one-way feature prevents leakage of the E-liquid from the apparatus, which is a particularly desirable feature after the apparatus has been detached from the E-liquid storage container, and is stored until its next use. In the embodiment shown in Fig. 4, two liquid passageways 7 end as holes 7a in the base 1 of the housing 4.

[0057] In further reference to Fig. 4, the base 1 of the apparatus 100 is connected at its first end to a first lateral wall 41 and at its second end to a second lateral wall 42.
The first lateral wall 41 and second lateral wall 42 each join to an opposite side of the top 8 of the housing.
As shown in Fig. 4, the first lateral wall 41 and the second lateral wall 42 are linear, identical in thickness and parallel to each other, such that the apparatus has a substantially tubular shape. However, any suitable lateral wall configuration may be utilized. For example, in some embodiments, the lateral walls may be curvilinear, such as to form an apparatus that is substantially spherical or hemispherical. In some embodiments, the lateral walls may join to additional walls to form an apparatus having a substantially cubical, cuboidal pyramidal or prismatic shape. In some embodiments, the lateral walls may be angled in relation to each other, such as to form an apparatus comprising a substantially conical or frustoconical shape. In any of the embodiments, the lateral walls may comprise identical or variable thicknesses.

[0058] As can be seen in Fig. 4, the housing 4 of the apparatus 100 encloses a void 50, which may store E-liquid, and/or through which E-liquid may pass. In some embodiments, the void is defined by the interior of: the base 1; the first lateral wall 41; the second lateral wall 42; and the top 8 of the housing. In embodiments like those shown in Fig.
4, the void is defined by the interior walls of: the base 1, the first lateral wall 41, the second lateral wall 42; and the internal walls 51. The volume of the void 50 may be adjusted by re-configuring the thickness of the base 1, lateral walls 41, 42, interior walls 51 and/or top 8 of the housing. In addition, or in the alternative, the volume of the void 50 may be modified by adding additional interior walls. In general, the volume of the void may be adjusted in order to store a predetermined amount of the E-liquid in the chamber, and/or to deliver a predetermined amount of E-liquid into the chamber to be filled.

[0059] The top of the apparatus housing may comprise an engagement means for being connected to either the top or the bottom of a chamber into which E-liquid is to be dispensed. Any suitable engagement means may be used to removeably connect the top of the housing to the chamber to be filled so long as the engagement means provides for a seal between the top of the housing and the chamber. Useful engagement means are selected from the group of:
slots; silicone seals; and combinations thereof In the embodiment shown in Fig. 4, the engagement means comprises a threaded slot 5. The threaded slot 5 is shown from a different perspective in Fig. 5, which is a top plan view of the top 8 of the apparatus housing 4. As can be seen in Fig. 5, the slot 5 comprises a circular channel that is located near the periphery of the top 8 of the housing 4. In this embodiment, the slot 5 is shaped to accept the threaded hollow metal ring 234 at the top of the clearomizer chamber 200 that is shown in Fig. 2c, or to accept the threaded hollow metal ring at the bottom of the clearomizer chamber that is shown in Fig. 3c. The slot 5 may serve as a guide to align the check valve of the apparatus with the chamber as described in detail below. Other means of alignment may be used instead of or in combination with the slot. Useful means may be selected from the group of: slots; metal pins; gasket seals; and combinations thereof In one embodiment, the alignment means comprises a pin protruding from the closing member of the apparatus, wherein the pin inserts into the vapor chimney.

[0060] Fig. 5 also shows that in the depicted embodiment, the top 8 of the housing 4 further comprises an opening 60 through which E-liquid is dispensed from the apparatus 100 into a chamber (not shown). The opening 60 may be sealed by a check valve 6 that regulates the flow of E-liquid from the apparatus 100. The check valve may comprise a closing member 16 having any suitable shape as long as the closing member 16 seals the opening 60 when the valve is in the closed position such that E-liquid may not leak from the apparatus 100 when it is not in use. Suitable shapes of the closing member may be selected from the group of:
spherical, hemispherical, rectangular, conical, cubical, pyramidal, prismatic, and frusticonical. In the embodiment shown in Fig. 4, the closing member 16 is frusticonical. The closing member may be made from any suitable material as long as it is sufficiently rigid to block and seal the vapor chimney. In some embodiments, the closing member comprises: plastic; metal; silicone; and combinations thereof.

[0061] The check valve shown in Figs. 4 and 5 is in the closed position. In the closed position, the closing member 16 may be seated against the opening 60 by a biasing member. In the depicted embodiment, the biasing member is a spring 2, which is connected at a first end 21 to the closing member 16 and at a second end 22 to the base 1 of the housing 4. In some embodiments, the biasing member may be selected from: a spring; a compressible hydraulic element, such as a sealed air chamber; and combinations thereof The movement of the check valve 6 may be restricted such that it will maintain the positioning of the biasing member 2 and the movement of the closing member 16. In the embodiment shown in Fig. 4, a base support 3 is configured to maintain the spring 2 position.

[0062]
Generally, when in use, the base of the apparatus may be engaged with an E-liquid storage container using attachment means that prevent leakage of the E-liquid from the attachment point. Useful attachment means may be selected from the group of: welds, e.g., ultrasonic welds; threads; magnetic connectors; flanges and combinations thereof.
Fig. 6 shows how an embodiment of the apparatus 100 as depicted in Fig. 4 may be sealably attached to an E-liquid container. Specifically, the base 1 of the apparatus 100 is inserted into the mouth 401 of an E-liquid bottle 400. In this embodiment, flanges 11 on the base 1 of the apparatus 100 holds the E-liquid bottle 400 and apparatus 100 together in a sealed position. The E-liquid bottle 400 and apparatus 100 may be sold in this assembled configuration, i.e., sold as an assembly, and/or stored in this assembled configuration, i.e., stored as an assembly, until the consumer is ready to dispense E-liquid into a chamber.

[0063] In use, the top of the apparatus may be engaged with a chamber into which E-liquid is to be dispensed as follows. The top of the apparatus is aligned and sealably connected with the open top of a top-filled chamber, or the open bottom of a bottom-filled chamber; this may be accomplished using any suitable means, including, but not limited to by being: screwed together via threaded connections; magnetically coupled;
pressure fitted together; and combinations thereof.

[0064] Fig. 7 shows an example of an apparatus 100 that has been engaged with the top-filled chamber 200 shown in Figs. 2a, 2b and 2c. As can be seen in Fig. 7, the top of the apparatus 100 and the hollow metal ring 234 that otherwise serves as the attachment point between the chamber 200 the mouthpiece 530 (shown in Fig. 2a), are aligned together via the slots 5 in the top 8 of the housing 4. Once the top 8 of the apparatus 100 and the chamber 200 are aligned, they are sealably engaged by screwing them together (screw threads not shown). When the apparatus 100 and chamber 200 are engaged, the vapor chimney 231 presses against the closing member 6. When the biasing force of the spring 2 against the closing member 6 is overcome by the force exerted by the vapor chimney 231 against the closing member 6, the closing member 6 is unseated and the opening 60 is unsealed. E-Liquid 300 is then free to pass from the apparatus 100 into the chamber 200.
By virtue of the vapor chimney 231 pressing against the closing member 6, the vapor chimney 231 is temporarily sealed so that no E-liquid 300 may pass into the vapor chimney 231 and potentially contaminate the heat source, in this embodiment, an atomizer.

[0065] The same apparatus 100 may likewise be used to dispense E-liquid into a bottom-filled chamber. Referencing Figs. 3a-c, the top of the apparatus would be attached to the open bottom 512 of a chamber at the hollow metal ring 234 that otherwise serves as the attachment point for the atomizer assembly 230.

[0066] E-liquid may be dispensed into the clearomizer several ways. First, an apparatus 100 that has been attached at its base to an E-liquid container 400 (for example, as shown in Fig. 6) may then be joined at its top to the chamber 200 to be filled (for example, as shown in Fig.
7), and the resulting assembly may be inverted so that E-liquid may flow from the storage bottle, through the apparatus and into the chamber. Second, the apparatus 100 and chamber 200 to be filled may first be attached together at the top of the apparatus 100 and then the bottom of the apparatus may be attached to the storage bottle 400 (for example, as shown in Fig. 7) to form an assembly. The resulting assembly may then be inverted so that E-liquid may flow from the storage bottle, through the apparatus and into the chamber.
Third, the apparatus 100 may be attached to the storage bottle 400 (for example, as shown in Fig. 6) and filled with E-liquid, detached from the storage bottle 400 and then attached to the chamber 200 to be filled so that E-liquid may flow from the apparatus into the chamber.
Regardless of which method is used, the apparatus provides for means of dispensing E-liquid from (1) a storage bottle into the (2) apparatus and from the apparatus into a (3) chamber to be filled without leakage or spillage of the E-liquid from any of the three and/or at the points at which they are attached. As a result, there is no accidental exposure of humans or animals to the E-liquid.

[0067] Referring to Fig. 7, once the desired amount of E-liquid is dispensed into the chamber 200 from the apparatus 100, the apparatus 100 may be disengaged from the chamber 200. The disengagement results in the removal of the force exerted by the vapor chimney 231 against the closing member 6 such that the biasing force of the spring 2 forces the closing member 6 back into the opening 60 (as shown in Fig. 6). Once the closing member 6 is re-seated in the opening 60, the apparatus 100 is re-sealed, and advantageously no E-liquid 300 remaining therein may undesirably leak therefrom.

[0068] Still referencing Fig. 6, once the apparatus 100 and the chamber 200 are disengaged, the chamber 200 may be re-sealed such as by screwing a mouthpiece back into place (as shown in Fig. 2a). In some embodiments, the apparatus 100 may remain engaged with the E-liquid storage bottle 400 until such time as the storage bottle is emptied of its E-liquid contents. In the alternative, the apparatus 100 may be removed from the storage bottle 400 and stored for future use.

[0069] Fig. 8 is a cross-sectional schematic view of another embodiment of an apparatus 100 according to the present disclosure; this embodiment comprises an apparatus 100 that is pre-loaded with E-liquid 1000. i.e., a "pre-loaded apparatus." By utilizing a pre-loaded apparatus, there is no need to transfer E-liquid from a storage bottle into the apparatus, which eliminates the associated potential for leakage or spillage. The pre-loaded apparatus may be disposable, and may be sold alone or together in a pack. If sold together in a pack, the E-liquid contained in pre-loaded apparatuses may be the same or different.

[0070] As can be seen in the embodiment shown in Fig. 8, the pre-loaded apparatus 100 has features in common with the embodiment shown and described above in relation to Figs. 3 and 4, with the following exceptions: the base 8 of the apparatus 100 does not comprise liquid passageways and/or holes.

[0071] Fig. 9 is a cross-sectional schematic view of another embodiment of an apparatus 100 according to the present disclosure. The embodiment of the apparatus 100 shown in Fig. 9 has features in common with the embodiment shown and described above in relation to Figs. 3 and 4, with the following exceptions: the positions of the check valve 6 and liquid passageways and/or holes 7, 7a are reversed, and the mode of connecting the apparatus to the chamber to be filled with E-liquid container is also different. These and other features of the embodiment shown in Fig. 9 are described below.

[0072] In the embodiment shown in Fig. 9, the housing 4 of the apparatus 100 comprises a base 1 with a flange 11. The base has an opening 60 through which E-liquid may travel. The base 1 is connected at its first end to a first lateral wall 41 and at its second end to a second lateral wall 42. The first lateral wall 41 and second lateral wall 42 join to the top 8 of the housing 4 at opposite sides thereof. The top 8 of the housing 4 may be shaped in any suitable way to be engaged with the open portion of a chamber to be filled with E-liquid (not shown). In the embodiment shown in Fig. 9, the top 8 of the housing 4 has a frustoconical shape so that it may be inserted into the mouth of an E-liquid storage bottle (not shown).

[0073] The opening 60 in the base of the apparatus in Fig. 9 is reversibly sealed by a check valve 6. Check valves of use may comprise a closing member having any suitable shape, including, but not limited to: spherical, hemispherical, rectangular, conical, or frusticonical. In the embodiment shown in Fig. 9, the check valve 6 comprises a closing member 16 that is spherical. The check valve 6 shown in Fig. 9 is in the closed position.
In the closed position, the closing member 16 is seated against the opening 60 by a biasing member. In the embodiment shown in Fig. 9, the biasing member is a spring 2, which is connected at a first end 21 to the closing member 16 and at a second end 22 to the base 1 of an interior wall 53 of the housing 4. The movement of the check valve 6 may be restricted such that it will maintain the position of the biasing member 2, and the movement of the closing member 16, In the embodiment shown in Fig. 9, a base support 3 is configured to maintain the spring 2 position.

[0074] In embodiments like the one shown in Fig. 9, the housing 4 encloses a void 50, which may contain E-liquid, and/or through which E-liquid may pass. Like the embodiment shown and described in relating to Figs. 4 and 5, the volume of the void 50 in the present embodiment may be adjusted by re-configuring the thickness of the lateral walls 42 and interior walls 51, 53 and/or adding additional internal wall(s). In general, the volume of the void 50 may be adjusted in order to store and/or deliver a predetermined amount of E-liquid into the chamber 200.

[0075] In embodiments like the one shown in Fig. 9, the top 8 of the housing comprises at least one passageway in communication with the void 50, and through which liquid may travel.
In the embodiment shown in Fig. 9, two liquid passageways 7 extend through an interior wall 51a of the housing 4 adjacent to the top 8 of the housing 4, and end at holes 7a in the top 8 of the housing 4. In general, the liquid passageway and/or holes may be discrete structures or integral structures. Like the embodiment shown and described in relating to Figs. 4 and 5, the liquid passageway and/or holes in the presently described embodiment may be formed in any suitable way using structural means. Non-limiting examples of useful structural means may be selected from: o-rings; ports; metal rings;
rubber rings;
silicone rings; and combinations thereof.

[0076] As shown in Fig. 10, the base 1 of the apparatus 100 shown in Fig. 9, may be inserted into the opening 401 of an E-liquid storage container 400, which in the depicted embodiment is a storage bottle containing the E-liquid 300 to be dispensed into the chamber 200. The flange 11 on the base 1 of the apparatus 100 may hold the storage bottle 400 and apparatus 100 together, such as by engaging an inside thread in the mouth of the bottle. In some embodiments, the flange may flare so that the apparatus may no longer be disengaged from the storage bottle without irreversibly damaging the inside thread(s) in the mouth of the storage bottle The storage bottle 400 and apparatus 100 may then be inverted, and the top 8 of the apparatus 100 aligned with the open top 301 of the chamber 200 to be filled with E-liquid 300. Alignment of the top 8 of the apparatus 100 and open top 301 of the chamber 200 may be accomplished using any suitable means, including by shaping the top 8 of the housing 4 of the apparatus 100 to fit snugly inside the open top 301 of the chamber 200 as shown in Fig. 10, or alternatively, by shaping the top 8 of the housing 4 to fit snugly on the outside of the open top of the chamber (not shown) to be filled with E-Liquid 300.

[0077] As can be seen in Fig. 11, the top 8 of the apparatus 100 and the metal ring 234 on the top of the chamber 200 are aligned together and engaged such that the interior wall 51a of the housing 4 adjacent to the top 8 of the housing 4, presses against the vapor chimney 231, and seals it against entry of E-liquid 300, and potential contamination of the vapor chimney 231.

[0078] E-liquid may then be dispensed into the cartomizer 520 as follows. When the biasing force of the spring 2 against the closing member 6 is overcome by a force exerted by a consumer squeezing the storage bottle 400 containing the E-liquid, the closing member 6 is unseated and the opening 60 is unsealed. E-Liquid 300 is then free to pass into the chamber 200, after which it is gravity fed and/or pushed by squeezing the bottle through the apparatus and into the chamber to be filled. By virtue of the vapor chimney 231 pressing against the closing member 6, the vapor chimney 231 is sealed off so that no E-liquid 300 may pass into the vapor chimney 231 and potentially contaminate the heat source, in this embodiment, an atomizer (not shown).

[0079] The same apparatus 100 may likewise be used to dispense E-liquid into a bottom-filled chamber. Referencing Figs. 3a-c, the top of the apparatus would be attached to the open bottom 512 of a chamber at the hollow metal ring 234 that otherwise serves as the attachment point for the atomizer assembly 230.

[0080] Once the desired amount of E-liquid 300 is dispensed into the chamber 200, the force exerted by squeezing the storage bottle 400 is removed, such as by the consumer relaxing his or her grip on the storage bottle 400. Removal of this force allows the biasing force of the spring 2 to force the closing member 6 back into the opening 60. Once the closing member 6 is re-seated in the opening 60, the apparatus 100 is re-sealed, and no E-liquid 300 remaining therein may escape. Generally, E-liquid is prevented from escaping from the fluid passageways 7 in the top 8 of the apparatus 100 by capillary action acting on the viscous E-liquid and by the exertion of negative pressure on the E-liquid in the fluid passageways 7 resulting from the consumer relaxing his or her grip on the storage bottle 400. Moreover, no E-liquid 300 may flow from the storage bottle 400 into the apparatus 100. Likewise, no E-liquid 300 may accidentally leak or spill from the storage bottle 400.

[0081] Once the apparatus 100 and the chamber 200 are disengaged, the chamber 200 may be re-sealed such as by screwing the mouthpiece (not shown) of the chamber 200 back into place. The apparatus 100 may be retained in an engaged position with the E-liquid storage bottle 400 until such time as the storage bottle 400 is emptied of its E-liquid 300 contents. Should the bottle 400 accidentally be squeezed while the apparatus 100 and storage bottle 400 are engaged, no leakage of the E-liquid 300 outside of the storage bottle 400 may occur, thus preventing any unwanted contact with the E-liquid 300.

[0082] EVDs 500 that are currently on the market vary in shape and size. In order for the apparatus 100 to be used with a wide variety of EVDs 500, the apparatus may further comprise one or more adapters 600. The adapter 600 may be integral to the apparatus 100 or may be attached thereto as needed. For example, a relatively short adapter 600 may be useful for connecting the apparatus 100 to a chamber 200 having a relatively tall vapor chimney 231 so that the vapor chimney 231 is effectively sealed off by the closing member 16 during E-liquid dispensing as discussed above. Likewise, a relatively longer adapter 600 may be useful for connecting the apparatus 100 to a chamber 200 having a relatively short vapor chimney 231. In a further example, the apparatus 100 may have a smaller or larger width or diameter than the top of the chamber 200, and as such, an adapter would enable the apparatus 100 to be inserted into or around a chamber 200 that it would not otherwise fit. By utilizing an adapter 600 that is universal or a set of adapters 600 having different sizes, in conjunction with the apparatus 100, a variety of chambers 200, such as chambers 200 made by different manufacturers, may be filled using a single apparatus 100.

[0083] For instance, Fig. 12 shows an adaptor 600 for use with a top-filled EVD 500.
Adaptor 600 comprises a top 602, a bottom 608, and a wall 610 extending between the top 602 and the bottom 608. Adaptor 600 further comprises a tube 630 extending centrally through the adaptor 600. The top 602 includes an opening 604 configured to receive the top 8 of the apparatus 100. When the apparatus 100 is coupled with the adapter 600, the closing member 16 of the apparatus is aligned with the tube 630 of the adapter 600. The bottom 608 of the adapter 600 is then coupled with the chamber 200 of the EVD
500 such that the chimney 231 is aligned with the tube 630 of the adapter 600. With chimney 231 aligned with tube 630 and closing member 16, chimney 231 is sealed off so that no E-liquid 300 may pass into the chimney 231 and potentially contaminate the heat source, in this embodiment, an atomizer (not shown). The height of tube 630 thereby allows adapter 600 to account for chimneys 231 of varying heights.

[0084] As also shown in Fig. 12, the diameter of the EVD 500 is larger than the diameter of the apparatus 100. Accordingly, the diameter of the bottom 608 of the adapter 600 is sized to 01/25/2018 0 5 : 46 PM
Page: 9 correspond to the diameter of the EVD 500, while the diameter of the opening 604 of the top 602 is sized to correspond to the diameter of the apparatus 100. In other embodiments, the diameter of the EVD 500 is smaller than the diameter of the apparatus 100.
The opening 604 and the bottom 608 of the adapter 600 can be adjusted to accommodate this.
Adapter 600 thereby allows an apparatus 100 to be used with EVDs 500 of varying sizes relative to the apparatus 100.

[0085] Fig. 13 shows another adapter 600 that is similar to the adapter 600 described above, except that the adapter 600 of Fig. 13 is for use with a bottom-filled EVD
500. Referencing Figs. 3a-c, the bottom of the adapter 608 would be attached to the open bottom 512 of a chamber at the hollow metal ring 234 that otherwise serves as the attachment point for the atomizer assembly 230.

[0086] While particular embodiments of the present invention have been illustrated and described, it would be obvious to those skilled in the art that various other changes and modifications can be made without departing from the scope of the invention.
It is therefore intended to cover in the appended claims all such changes and modifications that are within the scope of this invention.

Claims (20)

What is claimed is:

1. An apparatus for dispensing E-liquid into a chamber of an electronic vaporization device, the apparatus comprising:
(a) a housing comprising a top and a base and enclosing a void that is configured to contain the E-liquid, wherein:
ii. the top comprises:
1. a first fluid passageway in fluid communication with the void and through which the E-liquid is dispensed into the chamber; and 2. a first engagement means configured to attach the apparatus to the chamber so that the first fluid passageway is in fluid communication with the chamber; and ii. the base comprises:
1. a second fluid passageway in fluid communication with the void and through which E-liquid from an E-liquid container is dispensed into the apparatus; and 2. a second engagement means configured to attach the base to an E-liquid container so that the second fluid passageway is in fluid communication with the E-liquid container;
(b) a check valve that regulates flow of the E-liquid through the first fluid passageway into the chamber or through the second passageway into the apparatus, the check valve comprising:
i. a closing member; and ii. a biasing member that biases the closing member into a sealing relationship with the first fluid passageway.
2. The apparatus according to claim 1, wherein the check valve regulates flow of the E-liquid through the first fluid passageway and wherein the chamber of the electronic vaporization device contains a vapor chimney and the closing member is configured to seal the vapor chimney when the apparatus is attached to the chamber, while allowing E-liquid to be dispensed into the chamber through the first fluid passageway.
3. The apparatus according to claim 1 or 2, wherein the check valve regulates flow of the E-liquid through the first fluid passageway and wherein the first fluid passageway comprises an opening in the top of the apparatus, and the biasing member biases the closing member into a sealing relationship with the opening.
4. The apparatus according to any of claims 1 to 3, wherein the check valve regulates flow of the E-liquid through the first fluid passageway and wherein the closing member has a shape selected from the group of: spherical, hemispherical, rectangular, conical, cubical, pyramidal, prismatic, and frusticonical.
5. The apparatus according to any of claims 1 to 4, wherein the check valve regulates flow of the E-liquid through the first fluid passageway and wherein the biasing member is selected from the group of: springs; sealed air chambers; and combinations thereof.
6. The apparatus according to any of claims 1 to 5, wherein the check valve regulates flow of the E-liquid through the first fluid passageway and which further comprises an E-liquid container attached to the base of the apparatus.
7. The apparatus according to any of claims 1 to 6, wherein the check valve regulates flow of the E-liquid through the first fluid passageway and wherein the first engagement means is selected from the group of: slots; silicone seals; and combinations thereof.
8. The apparatus according to any of claims 1 to 7, wherein the check valve regulates flow of the E-liquid through the first fluid passageway and wherein the second fluid passageway comprises a structure selected from the group of; a hole; o-ring; port; metal ring; rubber ring;
silicone ring; and combinations thereof.
9. The apparatus according to any of claims 1 to 8, wherein the E-liquid contains a substance to be vaporized, wherein the substance is selected from the group of: glycerin;
propylene glycol; flavorings; nicotine; medicaments; and combinations thereof.
10. The apparatus according to any of claims 1 to 9, further comprising an adapter that is configured to couple the apparatus with the chamber.
11. The apparatus according to claim 1, wherein the check valve regulates flow of the E-liquid through the second passageway into the apparatus and wherein at least a portion of the top is configured to insert into an opening in the chamber when the apparatus is attached to the chamber.
12. The apparatus according to claim 1 or 11, wherein the check valve regulates flow of the E-liquid through the second passageway into the apparatus and wherein chamber comprises a vapor chimney, and the at least a portion of the top is configured to seal the vapor chimney when the apparatus is attached to the chamber while allowing E-liquid to be dispensed into the chamber through the first fluid passageway.
13. The apparatus according to any of claims 1 and 11 to 12, wherein the check valve regulates flow of the E-liquid through the second passageway into the apparatus and wherein the second fluid passageway comprises an opening in the base of the apparatus, and the biasing member biases the closing member into a sealing relationship with the opening.
14. The apparatus according to any of claims 1 and 11 to 13, wherein the check valve regulates flow of the E-liquid through the second passageway into the apparatus and which further comprises an E-liquid storage container attached to the bottom of the apparatus.
15. The apparatus according to any of claims 1 and 11 to 14, wherein the check valve regulates flow of the E-liquid through the second passageway into the apparatus and wherein the biasing member is selected from the group of: springs; sealed air chambers;
and combinations thereof.
16. A method of dispensing an E-liquid into the chamber of an electronic vaporization device, the method comprising the steps of:
(a) providing an apparatus comprising a top and a base, and enclosing a void that is configured to contain the E-liquid, wherein:
ii. the top comprises:
1. a first fluid passageway in fluid communication with the void and through which the E-liquid is dispensed into the chamber; and 2. a first engagement means configured to attach the apparatus to the chamber so that the first fluid passageway is in fluid communication with the chamber;
ii. the base comprises:
1. a second fluid passageway in fluid communication with the void and through which E-liquid from an E-liquid container is dispensed into the apparatus; and 2. a second engagement means configured to attach the base to an E-liquid container so that the second fluid passageway is in fluid communication with the E-liquid container; and wherein flow of the E-liquid through the apparatus is regulated by a check valve comprising:
i. a closing member; and ii. a biasing member;

(b) attaching the apparatus to the chamber via the first engagement means to form a first assembly; and (c) dispensing the E-liquid through the first fluid passageway into the chamber.
17. The method according to claim 16, wherein the chamber contains a vapor chimney, the method further comprising the step of sealing the vapor chimney with the closing member.
18. The method according to claim 16 or 17, further comprising the step of attaching an E-liquid container to the base of the apparatus via the second engagement means to form a second assembly.
19. The method according to claim 18, further comprising inverting the second assembly and dispensing E-liquid from the E-liquid container into the first fluid passageway, through the void, through the second passageway and into the chamber.
20. The method according to any of claims 16 to 19, wherein the void is pre-filled with E-liquid prior to attaching the apparatus to the chamber to form the first assembly.
CA2943439A 2014-04-07 2015-04-07 Apparatus and methods for dispensing e-liquid Active CA2943439C (en)

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CN106659245A (en) 2017-05-10
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JP2017513673A (en) 2017-06-01
US20150282530A1 (en) 2015-10-08
DOP2016000272A (en) 2017-02-15
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EP3129089A1 (en) 2017-02-15
AU2015244011A1 (en) 2016-10-06

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