US20150129439A1 - Dispenser for dispensing material into a container - Google Patents

Dispenser for dispensing material into a container Download PDF

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Publication number
US20150129439A1
US20150129439A1 US14117608 US201214117608A US2015129439A1 US 20150129439 A1 US20150129439 A1 US 20150129439A1 US 14117608 US14117608 US 14117608 US 201214117608 A US201214117608 A US 201214117608A US 2015129439 A1 US2015129439 A1 US 2015129439A1
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Patent type
Prior art keywords
dispenser
cover
portion
storage compartment
collar
Prior art date
Legal status (The legal status is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the status listed.)
Abandoned
Application number
US14117608
Inventor
Bradley Friesen
Alexander Trampolski
Current Assignee (The listed assignees may be inaccurate. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation or warranty as to the accuracy of the list.)
Bottlecap Holdings Ltd
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Bottlecap Holdings Ltd
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    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B65CONVEYING; PACKING; STORING; HANDLING THIN OR FILAMENTARY MATERIAL
    • B65DCONTAINERS FOR STORAGE OR TRANSPORT OF ARTICLES OR MATERIALS, e.g. BAGS, BARRELS, BOTTLES, BOXES, CANS, CARTONS, CRATES, DRUMS, JARS, TANKS, HOPPERS, FORWARDING CONTAINERS; ACCESSORIES, CLOSURES, OR FITTINGS THEREFOR; PACKAGING ELEMENTS; PACKAGES
    • B65D81/00Containers, packaging elements, or packages, for contents presenting particular transport or storage problems, or adapted to be used for non-packaging purposes after removal of contents
    • B65D81/32Containers, packaging elements, or packages, for contents presenting particular transport or storage problems, or adapted to be used for non-packaging purposes after removal of contents for packaging two or more different materials which must be maintained separate prior to use in admixture
    • B65D81/3205Separate rigid or semi-rigid containers joined to each other at their external surfaces
    • B65D81/3211Separate rigid or semi-rigid containers joined to each other at their external surfaces coaxially and provided with means facilitating admixture
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B65CONVEYING; PACKING; STORING; HANDLING THIN OR FILAMENTARY MATERIAL
    • B65DCONTAINERS FOR STORAGE OR TRANSPORT OF ARTICLES OR MATERIALS, e.g. BAGS, BARRELS, BOTTLES, BOXES, CANS, CARTONS, CRATES, DRUMS, JARS, TANKS, HOPPERS, FORWARDING CONTAINERS; ACCESSORIES, CLOSURES, OR FITTINGS THEREFOR; PACKAGING ELEMENTS; PACKAGES
    • B65D25/00Details of other kinds or types of rigid or semi-rigid containers
    • B65D25/38Devices for discharging contents
    • B65D25/40Nozzles or spouts
    • B65D25/48Separable nozzles or spouts
    • B65D25/50Separable nozzles or spouts arranged to be plugged in two alternate positions
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B65CONVEYING; PACKING; STORING; HANDLING THIN OR FILAMENTARY MATERIAL
    • B65DCONTAINERS FOR STORAGE OR TRANSPORT OF ARTICLES OR MATERIALS, e.g. BAGS, BARRELS, BOTTLES, BOXES, CANS, CARTONS, CRATES, DRUMS, JARS, TANKS, HOPPERS, FORWARDING CONTAINERS; ACCESSORIES, CLOSURES, OR FITTINGS THEREFOR; PACKAGING ELEMENTS; PACKAGES
    • B65D41/00Caps, e.g. crown caps or crown seals, i.e. members having parts arranged for engagement with the external periphery of a neck or wall defining a pouring opening or discharge aperture; Protective cap-like covers for closure members, e.g. decorative covers of metal foil or paper
    • B65D41/32Caps or cap-like covers with lines of weakness, tearing-strips, tags, or like opening or removal devices, e.g. to facilitate formation of pouring openings
    • B65D41/56Caps or cap-like covers serving as, or incorporating, drinking or measuring vessels
    • B65D41/565Caps or cap-like covers serving as, or incorporating, drinking or measuring vessels with integral internal sealing means

Abstract

The present disclosure is directed at a dispenser for dispensing material into a container. The dispenser includes a base and a rotatable portion that is rotatable relative to the base along an axis of rotation. The base can be coupled to the container, and includes a storage compartment that has a cover that retains the material in the storage compartment when closed and that is positioned to release the material into the container when opened and when the base is coupled to the container. The rotatable portion includes a cover displacer that is inserted into the storage compartment and that is rotatable from a storage position in which the cover displacer and the cover are positioned such that the cover is closed, to a dispensing position in which the cover displacer has displaced the cover such that the cover is opened. The cover is oblique relative to the axis of rotation. Alternatively, the base includes a storage compartment having a dispensing aperture positioned such that the material stored in the storage compartment falls into the container when the dispensing aperture is uncovered. The rotatable portion includes a cover that rotates in response to rotation of the rotatable portion from being completely closed over the dispensing aperture when the dispenser is in a storage position to leaving the dispensing aperture at least partially uncovered when the dispenser is in a dispensing position.

Description

    TECHNICAL FIELD
  • The present disclosure is directed at a dispenser for dispensing material into a container.
  • BACKGROUND
  • Significant numbers of people are interested in supplementing their normal diets with nutrients such as vitamins. One convenient way in which such nutrients can be ingested is by dissolving them in a beverage. Accordingly, research and development continues into ways in which potent, dissolved nutrients can be conveniently provided to consumers.
  • SUMMARY
  • According to a first aspect, there is provided a dispenser for dispensing material into a container. The material may be, for example, powdered nutrients such as vitamins. The dispenser includes a base couplable to the container and a rotatable portion coupled to the base and rotatable about an axis of rotation. The base includes a storage compartment that has a cover that retains the material in the storage compartment when closed and that is positioned to release the material into the container when opened and when the base is coupled to the container. The rotatable portion includes a cover displacer that is inserted into the storage compartment and that is rotatable from a storage position in which the cover displacer and the cover are positioned such that the cover is closed, to a dispensing position in which the cover displacer has displaced the cover such that the cover is opened. The cover is oblique relative to the axis of rotation.
  • The base may be threaded for screwing on to a neck of the container and the storage compartment may extend into the neck of the container when the dispenser is attached to the container.
  • The cover displacer may rotate without moving along the axis of rotation.
  • The cover can include a foil membrane that the cover displacer pierces when the dispenser transitions from the storage to the dispensing positions. Alternatively, the cover may include a piece of plastic that is flipped open when the dispenser transitions from the storage to the dispensing positions.
  • The storage compartment may include a body to which the cover is joined along a seal, and transitioning the dispenser from the storage to the dispensing positions may involve causing the cover displacer to break the seal by applying force, which includes a component parallel to the axis of rotation, against the cover. The body may include a hollow cylindrical segment and the cover can be positioned to cover an end of the hollow cylindrical segment that is closest to the bottom of the container.
  • A portion of the cover may be frangibly coupled to a portion of the body and another portion of the cover may be pivotably coupled to another portion of the body. Consequently, when the cover is pushed open, it may pivotably open relative to the body.
  • The cover displacer can include an arm that extends into the body and that contacts the cover when the dispenser is in the storage position. The cover displacer may include a rotatable displacement member that has an oblique end, a portion of which is oblique relative to the axis of rotation. The oblique end of the rotatable displacement member and the cover may be identically angled relative to the axis of rotation.
  • The seal may include a cover gasket located inside the storage compartment and lining the perimeter of the cover. Alternatively or additionally, the seal may include an edible wax coating.
  • The base can also include a collar having a rim through which the storage compartment is inserted and the storage compartment may include a flange that rests on the rim when the storage compartment is fully inserted into the collar. The flange can include a notch and the rim may have a protrusion inserted into the notch to prevent relative rotation of the collar and the storage compartment.
  • The cover displacer may include a rim that rests on the flange of the storage compartment when the cover displacer is fully inserted into the storage compartment.
  • The dispenser may also include a cover displacer gasket compressed between the rim of the cover displacer and the flange of the storage compartment.
  • The rotatable portion may also include a cap portion and a one-way coupling that couples the cap portion to the rim of the cover displacer such that relative rotational motion between the cap portion and the cover displacer in the direction that transitions the dispenser from the storage to the dispensing positions is prevented. The one-way coupling may include a ratchet, in which teeth on one of the cap portion and the rim of the cover displacer and a pawl on the other of the cap portion and the rim of the cover displacer are present.
  • The dispenser may also include a first set of stopper protrusions extending from the cap portion and a second set of stopper protrusions extending from the rim of the collar such that relative rotatable motion in the direction that transitions the dispenser from the storage to the dispensing positions is prevented when any one of the first set of stopper protrusions is pushed into any one of the second set of stopper protrusions. The first and second sets of stopper protrusions may be positioned such that the maximum relative rotation possible between the cap portion and the collar in the direction that transitions the dispenser from the storage to the dispensing positions corresponds to the rotation required to ensure the cover is completely opened.
  • The dispenser may also include a collar gasket positioned on the underside of the rim of the collar.
  • The collar can include a first flange and the cap portion can include a second flange interlocked with the first flange such that relative motion of the cap portion and the collar along the axis of rotation is prevented.
  • The cap portion can conceals a portion of the collar that is rotatable in the direction that transitions the dispenser from the storage to the dispensing positions. In this way, consumers will naturally grab and twist only the cap portion of the dispenser, and in so doing dispense the material into the container prior to unscrewing the container.
  • According to a further aspect, there is provided an alternative dispenser for dispensing material into a container. The dispenser includes a base couplable to the container and a rotatable portion coupled to the base and rotatable about an axis of rotation. The base includes a storage compartment having a dispensing aperture positioned such that the material stored in the storage compartment falls into the container when the dispensing aperture is uncovered. The rotatable portion includes a cover that rotates in response to rotation of the rotatable portion from being completely closed over the dispensing aperture when the dispenser is in a storage position to leaving the dispensing aperture at least partially uncovered when the dispenser is in a dispensing position.
  • The base may be threaded for screwing on to a neck of the container and the storage compartment may extend into the neck of the container when the base is coupled to the container.
  • The cover may rotate without moving longitudinally along the axis of rotation.
  • The storage compartment may include a hollow cylindrical segment and the dispensing aperture may include a portion of an end face of the hollow cylindrical segment positioned to be closest to the bottom of the container when the dispenser is coupled to the container.
  • The cover may have a shape that is complementary to the dispensing aperture. For example, both the cover and the dispensing aperture may be semi-circular.
  • A portion of the end face around the dispensing aperture may be lined by a cover gasket.
  • The cover and the dispensing aperture may share a boundary that is sealed using an edible wax when the dispenser is in the storage position.
  • The base may also include a collar having a rim through which the storage compartment is inserted and the storage compartment may include a flange that rests on the rim when the storage compartment is fully inserted therethrough. The flange can include a notch and the rim can include a protrusion inserted into the notch to prevent relative rotation of the collar and the storage compartment.
  • The rotatable portion may include an insertable portion inserted into the storage compartment. The insertable portion can include the cover and a rim fixedly coupled to the cover and that rests on the flange of the storage compartment when the insertable portion is fully inserted into the storage compartment.
  • The dispenser may also include a rotatable portion gasket compressed between the rim of the insertable portion and the flange of the storage compartment.
  • The rotatable portion may also include a cap portion and a one-way coupling that couples the cap portion to the rim of the insertable portion such that relative rotational motion between the cap portion and the insertable portion in the direction that transitions the dispenser from the storage to the dispensing positions is prevented. The one-way coupling may include a ratchet, and the ratchet may include teeth on one of the cap portion and the rim of the insertable portion and a pawl on the other of the cap portion and the rim of the insertable portion.
  • The dispenser may also include a first set of stopper protrusions extending from the cap portion and a second set of stopper protrusions extending from the rim of the collar such that relative rotatable motion in the direction that transitions the dispenser from the storage to the dispensing positions is prevented when any one of the first set of stopper protrusions is pushed into any one of the second set of stopper protrusions. The first and second sets of stopper protrusions can be positioned such that the maximum relative rotation possible between the cap portion and the collar in the direction that transitions the dispenser from the storage to the dispensing positions corresponds to the rotation required to completely reveal the dispensing aperture.
  • A collar gasket may be positioned on the underside of the rim of the collar.
  • The collar can include a first flange and the cap portion can include a second flange interlocked with the first flange such that relative motion of the cap portion and the collar along the axis of rotation is prevented.
  • The cap portion can conceal a portion of the collar that is rotatable in the direction that transitions the dispenser from the storage to the dispensing positions.
  • The cover may be slanted such that the material slides out of the dispensing aperture.
  • The cover may be rotatable between the storage and dispensing positions repeatedly.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • In the accompanying drawings, which illustrate one or more exemplary embodiments:
  • FIG. 1 is a side elevation view of a dispenser, according to different embodiments, screwed on to a neck of a container.
  • FIGS. 2( a) and 2(b) are side elevation and perspective views, respectively, of one embodiment of the dispenser in a storage position.
  • FIGS. 3( a)-(c) are perspective, top plan, and bottom plan views, respectively, of a collar that forms part of the dispenser of FIG. 2.
  • FIGS. 4( a)-(c) are perspective, top plan, and bottom plan views, respectively, of a storage compartment that forms part of the dispenser of FIG. 2.
  • FIGS. 5( a)-(c) are perspective, top plan, and bottom plan views, respectively, of a cover displacer that forms part of the dispenser of FIG. 2.
  • FIGS. 6( a)-(c) are perspective, top plan, and bottom plan views, respectively, of the cover displacer of FIGS. 5( a)-(c) inserted completely within the storage compartment of FIGS. 4( a)-(c).
  • FIGS. 7( a)-(c) are top perspective, side elevation, and bottom perspective views, respectively, of the cover displacer of FIGS. 5( a)-(c) inserted completely within the storage compartment of FIG. 4( a)-(c), which in turn is inserted within the collar of FIGS. 3( a)-(c).
  • FIGS. 8( a) and (b) are bottom plan and perspective views, respectively, of a cap portion that forms part of the dispenser of FIG. 2.
  • FIGS. 9( a) and (b) are side elevation and perspective views, respectively, of the dispenser of FIG. 2 in a dispensing position.
  • FIG. 10( a) is a perspective view of a base of the dispenser according to a second embodiment.
  • FIG. 10( b) is a sectional view of a rotatable portion of the second embodiment of the dispenser.
  • FIG. 10( c) is a perspective view of the second embodiment of the dispenser in the dispensing position.
  • FIGS. 11( a) and 11(b) are side elevation and perspective views, respectively, of the dispenser according to a third embodiment.
  • FIGS. 12( a)-(c) are perspective, top plan, and bottom plan views, respectively, of a storage compartment that forms part of the dispenser of FIGS. 11( a) and 11(b).
  • FIGS. 13( a)-(c) are perspective, top plan, and bottom plan views, respectively, of an insertable portion that includes a cover and that forms part of the dispenser of FIGS. 11( a) and 11(b).
  • FIGS. 14( a)-(c) are perspective, top plan, and bottom plan views, respectively, of the insertable portion of FIGS. 13( a)-(c) inserted completely within the storage compartment of FIGS. 12( a)-(c).
  • FIGS. 15( a)-(c) are top perspective, side elevation, and bottom perspective views, respectively, of the insertable portion of FIG. 13( a)-(c) inserted completely within the storage compartment of FIG. 12( a)-(c), which in turn is inserted within the collar of FIGS. 3( a)-(c).
  • FIGS. 16( a) and (b) are perspective and side sectional views, respectively, of the dispenser according to a fourth embodiment.
  • FIG. 16( c) is a sectional view taken along line 16(c)-16(c) of FIG. 16( b).
  • FIG. 17( a) is a perspective view of a base of the dispenser according to a fifth embodiment.
  • FIG. 17( b) is a perspective view of a rotatable portion of the fifth embodiment of the dispenser.
  • FIG. 17( c) is a sectional view of the fifth embodiment of the dispenser.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION
  • Directional terms such as “top”, “bottom”, “upwards”, “downwards”, “vertically” and “laterally” are used in the following description for the purpose of providing relative reference only, and are not intended to suggest any limitations on how any article is to be positioned during use, or to be mounted in an assembly or relative to an environment.
  • Increasingly, people are supplementing their diets with beverages infused with some form of nutrients (“infused beverages”). Such beverages include, for example, water that has dissolved in it vitamins or other antioxidants, and protein drinks. In response to such demand, beverage producers have begun producing and selling infused beverages to consumers.
  • One problem encountered in producing and selling infused beverages is maintaining the potency of dissolved nutrients. For example, some vitamins and antioxidants oxidize and lose their effectiveness in water over time, which is detrimental to product shelf life. Similarly, some dissolved proteins tend to turn rancid over time. In order to overcome this problem, the nutrients and the liquid can be kept separate until the consumer is ready to drink the infused beverage. For example, the nutrients may be kept separately from the liquid in powdered form such that it can be stored indefinitely. When the consumer is ready to drink the infused beverage, he or she can dispense the powdered nutrients into the liquid and then drink.
  • The powdered nutrients can conventionally be dispensed into the container in several ways. For example, the powdered nutrients may be stored in the cap of the container and dispensed into the container by pushing the cap along the container's longitudinal axis. This is cumbersome, however, in that pushing the cap is not how to open the container. Consequently, people may remove the cap from the container (e.g.: by unscrewing it) only to annoyingly discover that they have not dispensed the powdered nutrients.
  • While some caps dispense the powdered nutrients into the container in response to being unscrewed, such caps typically do so by torquing a lever arm to pierce a foil membrane in response to unscrewing. This can be problematic in that torquing the lever arm deforms it, and consequently increases the likelihood the lever arm will break; this prejudices the robustness and reusability of such caps. Furthermore, the lever arm may be positioned such that using gaskets to seal the cap is difficult.
  • The embodiments described herein are directed at a dispenser for dispensing material, such as powdered nutrients, into a container. The dispenser can be used in place of a typical container cap, and automatically dispenses the material into the container in response to a normal cap unscrewing motion. Following dispensing, continuing with the normal unscrewing motion unscrews the dispenser from the container, allowing the liquid contained within the container to be poured or drunk.
  • Referring now to FIG. 1, there is shown a dispenser 10, 110 for dispensing material into a container 12. The dispenser 10, 110 is screwed on to a neck of the container and, as discussed in further detail below, can be unscrewed similarly to a conventional cap. However, in the process of unscrewing the dispenser 10, 110 the material stored in the dispenser 10, 110 is emptied down and into the container 12.
  • Referring now to FIGS. 2( a) and (b), there are shown side elevation and perspective views of one embodiment of the dispenser 10. The dispenser 10 includes a rotatable portion 23, which includes a cap portion 48 and other components illustrated and discussed in more detail, below. The rotatable portion 23 rests on a base (not labelled in FIGS. 1 to 9, but labelled 21 in FIGS. 10( a)-(c)) that includes a collar 34. As visible in FIG. 2( b), the interior of the base is threaded and can be screwed on to the neck of the container 12. The base also includes a storage compartment 16 in which the material is stored prior to being dispensed. When the dispenser 10 is screwed on to the container 12, the storage compartment 16 extends into the neck of the container 12. In the present embodiment, the storage compartment 16 has a body that is shaped as a cylinder with an oblique end 30; the plane in which the oblique end 30 lies is oblique relative to the axis of rotation of the rotatable portion. In FIGS. 2( a) and (b), the oblique end 30 is covered by a cover 22. A portion of the cover 22 is frangibly coupled to one portion of the body of the storage compartment 16 (a portion of the periphery of the oblique end 30 of the storage compartment 16), while another portion of the cover 22 is pivotably coupled to another portion of the body of the storage compartment 16 (another portion of the periphery of the oblique end 30 of the storage compartment 16). Consequently, when the cover 22 is pushed open from within the storage compartment 16 the frangible connection breaks and the cover 22 pivots open into an opened position, as depicted in and discussed with reference to FIGS. 9( a) and (b) below. When the cover 22 is sealed over the oblique end 30 of the storage compartment 16 as it is in FIGS. 2( a) and (b), the material stored in the storage compartment 16 cannot fall into the container 12 and the dispenser 10 is therefore in the “storage position”. When the cover 22 has been pushed or otherwise displaced open as it is in FIGS. 9( a) and (b), any material in the storage compartment 16 is free to fall into the container 12 and the dispenser is therefore in the “dispensing position”.
  • Referring now to FIGS. 3( a)-(c), there are shown perspective, top plan, and bottom plan views, respectively, of the collar 34, which is substantially cylindrical in shape. Threads (unlabelled, but visible in FIG. 3( a)) lining the interior of the collar 34 are used to screw the collar 34 on to the neck of the container 12. In the depicted embodiment, the collar 34 is screwed on to the container 12 in a clockwise direction. Lining the interior of a ring 74 at the base of the collar 34 are teeth 64 that interface with a pawl (not shown) lining the base of the neck of the container 12. The teeth 64 and pawl collectively form a one-way coupling in the form of a ratchet that allows the collar 34 to be screwed on to the container 12 in one direction (in the depicted exemplary embodiment, clockwise), but that does not allow the ring 74 to be rotated in the other direction (in the depicted exemplary embodiment, counterclockwise). As discussed in further detail below, the ring 74 is frangibly coupled to the remainder of the collar 34 such that when the collar 34 is screwed counterclockwise, the remainder of the collar 34 can break free from the ring 74 and be removed from the container 12. A first flange 60 that forms part of this remainder of the collar 34 is lockable around a second flange 62 on the interior of the cap portion 48 (shown in FIG. 8); interlocking the first and second flanges 60, 62 allows the collar 34 to be lifted off the container 12.
  • At the top of the collar 34, which in this exemplary embodiment is the end of the collar 34 opposite the end that has the ring 74, is a rim 36. The storage compartment 16 rests on the rim 36 and is accordingly prevented from falling down the neck of the container 12. As discussed in more detail below with respect to FIGS. 4( a)-(c), 7(a)-(c), and 8(a)-(b), the rim 36 has on it a U-shaped protrusion 42 that prevents relative rotational motion between the storage container 16 and the collar 34, and first and second stoppers 56 a, 58 a that can be used to indicate when the dispenser 10 is in the dispensing position and to twist the collar 34 off of the container 12.
  • Referring now to FIGS. 4( a)-(c), there are depicted perspective, top plan, and bottom plan views of the storage compartment 16. In FIGS. 4( a)-(c), the body of the storage compartment 16 is a hollow cylindrical segment 28 that has the oblique end 30 at one end and that is capped with a flange 38 at its other end. The hollow cylindrical segment 28 is insertable through the opening defined by the rim 36 of the collar 34, and the hollow cylindrical segment 28 is fully inserted into the collar 34 when the bottom of the flange 38 is pressing against the top of the rim 36. The flange 38 includes a notch 40 into which the protrusion 42 on the rim 36 fits. When the protrusion 42 is fitted inside the notch 40, the storage compartment 16 and the collar 34 are rotationally locked together and relative rotation of the collar 34 and the storage compartment 16 is prevented.
  • At the end of the storage compartment 16 opposite the flange 38 is the oblique end 30 of the storage compartment 16, through which material can be dispensed from the storage compartment 16. As shown in FIGS. 4( a)-(c) the oblique end 30 is covered by the cover 22, as it is when the dispenser 10 is in the storage position; the cover 22 is consequently also oblique relative to the axis of rotation, which in the depicted exemplary embodiment is collinear with the longitudinal axis of the hollow cylindrical segment 28. While in the depicted embodiment the cover 22 is a resilient piece of material that is frangibly connected to the rest of the storage compartment 16, in alternative embodiments (not depicted) the cover 22 may take other forms, such as a foil membrane. A cover displacer 20, which is shown and discussed in respect of FIGS. 5( a)-(c) below, is used to push or otherwise displace the cover 22 from its closed position shown in FIGS. 4( a)-(c) to its opened position, which is the position of the cover 22 when the dispenser 10 is in the dispensing position.
  • Perspective, top plan, and bottom plan views of the cover displacer 20 are depicted in FIGS. 5( a)-(c). The cover displacer 20 forms part of the rotatable portion 23, is insertable into the storage compartment 16, and rotates in response to rotation of the cap portion 48 when the cap portion 48 is being twisted in the direction that transitions the dispenser 10 from the storage to the dispensing positions. At one end of the cover displacer 20 is a rim 46. Extending from the underside of the rim 46 is a rotatable displacement member 68 which, in the depicted embodiment, is a rotatable arm that has a T-shaped cross-section. The rotatable arm is sufficiently long such that when the cover 22 is closed, the end of the rotatable arm is flush against the cover 22. Because the cover 22 is oblique relative to the axis of rotation of the rotatable portion 23, a portion of the end of the rotatable arm is shaved (“shaved edge 27”) such that it and the cover are identically angled relative to the axis of rotation and is able to be pressed flush against it. The shaved edge 27 and the cover 22, when it is closed, accordingly have the same slope.
  • On the top side of the rim 46 are teeth 52, which form part of a one-way coupling that is used to rotatably power the cover displacer 20. As discussed further in respect of FIG. 8 below, the underside of the cap portion 48 includes pawls 54 (not shown in FIGS. 5( a)-(c)) that mesh with the teeth 52 and that allow rotation of the cap portion 48 to rotate the cover displacer 20.
  • Referring now to FIGS. 6( a)-(c), there are depicted perspective, top plan, and bottom plan views of the cover displacer 20 fully inserted into the storage compartment 16. The hollow cylindrical segment 28 of the storage compartment 16 is sized large enough to allow the rotatable displacement member 68 of the cover displacer 20 to be inserted inside of it. In FIGS. 6( a)-(c), the cover displacer 20 is fully inserted into the storage compartment 16 and the rim 46 of the cover displacer 20 accordingly rests on the flange 38 of the storage compartment 16. The position of the cover 22 in FIGS. 6( a)-(c) corresponds to the dispenser 10 being in the storage position as the oblique end 30 of the storage compartment 16 is completely covered by the cover 22. Accordingly, in the bottom plan view of FIG. 6( c) the cover 22 is shown entirely overlapping the oblique end 30. In order to facilitate alignment during assembly, the rim 46 of the cover displacer 20 has a notch that corresponds to the notch 40 in the storage compartment 16. When the two notches align, the dispenser 10 of the depicted exemplary embodiment is in the storage position.
  • Referring now to FIGS. 7( a)-(c), there are depicted top perspective, side elevation, and bottom perspective views of all the components of the depicted exemplary embodiment of the dispenser 20, with the exception of the cap portion 48. The cover displacer 20 is fully inserted into the storage compartment 16, and the notch in the rim 46 of the cover displacer 20 is aligned with the notch 40 in the storage compartment 16 such that the dispenser 10 is in the storage position. The storage compartment 16 is fully inserted into the collar 34, and the notch 40 in the storage compartment 16 is aligned with the protrusion 42 on the rim 36 of the collar 34 such that the storage compartment 16 and the collar 34 cannot rotate relative to each other. The storage compartment 16, the cover 22, and the collar 34 collectively form the “base” of the dispenser 10.
  • In the fully assembled dispenser 10, on top of the assembly depicted in FIGS. 7( a)-(c) is the cap portion 48, which is depicted in FIG. 8. On the underside of the cap portion 48 are the four pawls 54 that together with the teeth 52 on the cover displacer 20 form a one-way coupling in the form of a ratchet. The one-way coupling allows clockwise rotation of the cap portion 48 relative to the cover displacer 20, but counterclockwise rotation of the cap portion 48 results in analogous counterclockwise rotation of the cover displacer 20. This counterclockwise rotation, which in this exemplary embodiment is also the direction the dispenser 10 is unscrewed from the container 12, rotates and causes the cover displacer 20 to push open the cover 22; this accordingly causes a transition from the storage position to the dispensing position. As the cover displacer 20 is rotated, the rotatable arm presses against the cover 22 and because the cover 22 is oblique relative to the axis of rotation, the force that the rotatable arm applies against the cover 22 has a component that is parallel to the axis of rotation. When this component of force becomes sufficiently large to break the frangible connection between the cover 22 and the hollow cylindrical segment 28 of the storage compartment 16, the dispenser 10 is in the dispensing position as shown in FIGS. 9( a) and (b).
  • Also visible on the underside of the cap portion 48 are first and second stoppers 56 b,58 b. The first and second stoppers 56 b,58 b on the cap portion 48 are positioned 180° apart, just as the first and second stoppers 56 a,58 a are on the collar 34. When the cap portion 48 is positioned on the collar 34 in preparation for use by the consumer, the first and second stoppers 56 b,58 b on the cap portion 48 are located immediately adjacent to and counterclockwise of the first and second stoppers 56 a,58 a on the collar 34, respectively.
  • As mentioned above, the cap portion 48 also includes the second flange 62 that interlocks with the first flange 60 on the collar 34 when the cap portion 48 is mounted on the base. Locking the two flanges 60,62 together prevents relative movement of the collar 34 and the cap portion 48 longitudinally along the axis of rotation, and as described below allows the collar 34 to be lifted off the contained 12 by simply lifting off the cap portion 48.
  • In order to couple the base of the dispenser 10 to the container 12, the collar 34 can be screwed in a clockwise direction on to the neck of the container 12. As the collar 34 progresses down the neck, the teeth located on the interior of the ring 74 on the collar 34 will pass over the pawls (not shown) on the neck of the container 12. As mentioned above, the teeth and pawls will form a one-way coupling in the form of a ratchet, preventing the ring 74 from being unscrewed from the container 12.
  • Once the dispenser 10 is on the container 12 and the storage compartment 16 has been filled with the material, the consumer dispenses the material into the container 12 by screwing the cap portion 48 counterclockwise. The one-way coupling between the cap portion 48 and the rim 46 of the cover displacer 20 causes the rim 46 to correspondingly turn counterclockwise, which in turn causes the cover displacer 20 to push open the cover 22. After the cap portion 48 has been turned by 180°, the first stopper 56 b on the cap portion 48 abuts and pushes against the second stopper 58 a on the collar 34, and the second stopper 58 b on the cap portion 48 abuts and pushes against the first stopper 56 a on the collar 34. This prevents further relative counterclockwise rotation between the cap portion 48 and the collar 34.
  • The 180° that separates the pairs of stoppers 56 a,58 a and 56 b,58 b corresponds to the 180° rotation that brings the rotatable arm closest to the pivot point of the cover 22, which is also the position that ensures the cover 22 is as open as possible and that any material being dispensed from the storage compartment 16 is meeting relatively minimal resistance; when the cover 22 is in this position, which is depicted in FIGS. 9( a) and (b), it is in the “completely opened” position. Consequently, when stoppers 56 a,b and 58 a,b abut and push against each other, the consumer feels significant rotational resistance on account of the ring 74 of the collar 34 being prevented from turning counterclockwise. In order to continue to rotate the collar 34 counterclockwise, the consumer increases the amount of applied force such that the frangible connection between the ring 74 and the remainder of the collar 34 is broken. This increased resistance after 180° of rotation indicates to the consumer that the cover 22 is completely open, and that the material is being or has been dispensed into the container 12. The consumer can accordingly shake the container 12 to promote mixing.
  • When the consumer is ready to drink the infused beverage that results from mixing the nutrients into the container 12, he or she can rotate the cap portion 48 counterclockwise with sufficient force to break the frangible connection between the ring 74 and the remainder of the collar 34. This force is transmitted to the collar by the stoppers 56 a,b and 58 a,b, which are thicker and better able to transfer relatively large forces than the pawls 54 on the cap portion 48. Once the frangible connection is broken, the consumer can completely unscrew the collar 34 from the container 12 and, because the flanges 60,62 of the cap portion 48 and collar 34 are locked together, lift both the collar 34 and the cap portion 48 off the container 12. The consumer is then free to drink the infused beverage.
  • Beneficially, the dispenser 10 described above allows the consumer to wait until just before he or she wishes to drink the infused beverage to introduce the material to the liquid in the container 12. This limits the degradation of the nutrients that can occur, thus helping to maintain nutrient potency.
  • Although one particular embodiment has been depicted and described, alternative embodiments are possible. For example, in one alternative embodiment (not shown) the dispenser 10 may include one or both of a collar gasket and a cover gasket. The collar gasket is located underneath the rim 36 of the collar 34 such that when the collar 34 is screwed on to the neck of the container 12, the collar gasket 78 is compressed between the collar 34 and the neck. The collar gasket helps create a fluid tight seal between the collar 34 and the storage compartment 16, which can prevent liquid from escaping between the collar 34 and the storage compartment 16 when the container 12 is shaken. The cover gasket lines the interior of the perimeter of the oblique end 30 of the storage compartment 16. The cover gasket helps create a fluid tight seal around the cover 22 at the oblique end 30 of the storage compartment 16, which can prevent liquid from entering the storage compartment 16 when the dispenser 10 is in the storage position.
  • Optionally, a rotatable portion gasket (not shown) can line the boundary between the rim 46 of the cover displacer 20 and the flange 38 of the storage compartment 16 to prevent liquid from escaping between the cover displacer 20 and the storage compartment 16, if desired.
  • Additionally, in another alternative embodiment the boundary shared between the periphery of the oblique end 30 and the cover 22 can be lined with an edible wax, such as beeswax. This can help create a liquid-tight seal around the cover 22.
  • Additionally, in the embodiment depicted in FIGS. 1 to 9 the rotatable displacement member 26 takes the form of the rotatable arm. In alternative embodiments the rotatable displacement member 26 may take any other suitable form, such as one or more rods or plates. Furthermore, the end of the rotatable displacement member 26 in alternative embodiments may not form an oblique angle for its axis of rotation or otherwise share an identical slope with the cover 22. For example, the rotatable displacement member 26 may be a rod having flat ends that are perpendicular to its axis of rotation, yet still serve to displace the cover 22 into its open position when turned.
  • In the foregoing embodiments, the cover displacer 20, cap portion 48, storage compartment 16, and collar 34 are separate components. In an alternative embodiment, such as that depicted in FIGS. 10( a)-(c), these components may be merged or integrally formed together to promote robustness or for manufacturing simplicity. In the embodiment of FIGS. 10( a)-(c), the base 21 is an integrally formed component that performs the functions of both the collar 34, storage compartment 16, and cover 22 depicted in the embodiments of FIGS. 1 to 9, and the rotatable portion 23 is an integrally formed component that performs the functions of the cap portion 48 and the cover displacer 20 depicted in the embodiments of FIGS. 1 to 9.
  • The embodiment shown in FIGS. 10( a)-(c) also shows a shape for the rotatable displacement member 26 that differs from the shape used in the embodiments of FIGS. 1 to 9. In FIGS. 1 to 9, the rotatable displacement member 26 is the rotatable arm. In the alternative embodiment shown in FIGS. 10( a)-(c), the rotatable displacement member 26 is a rotatable hollow cylindrical segment that is nested within the hollow cylindrical segment 28. As with the rotatable arm, the rotatable hollow cylindrical segment is sufficiently long such that when the cover displacer 20 is fully inserted into the storage compartment 16, the end of the rotatable hollow cylindrical segment is flush with the cover 22 when the cover 22 is closed. The end of the rotatable hollow cylindrical segment is also oblique, forms the same angle with the axis of rotation of the dispenser 10 as the oblique end 30 does, and accordingly has the same slope as the oblique end 30. As shown in FIG. 10( c), rotation of the rotatable hollow cylindrical segment by 180° results in the cover 22 being displaced to its completely opened position.
  • In the foregoing embodiments, the cover displacer 20 rotates without moving longitudinally along its axis of rotation. For the cover displacer 20 to move along its axis of rotation in response to rotation of the cap portion 48, a relatively complex gear arrangement would typically be used, or the material used to fabricate the rotatable portion 23 would deform in some way. Both of these ways of introducing axial movement increase the cost and complexity, and decrease the robustness, of the dispenser 10.
  • The cap portion 48 in the embodiments discussed above conceals from the consumer the portion of the collar 34 that is rotatable in the direction that transitions the dispenser 10 from the storage to the dispensing positions (counterclockwise in the exemplary embodiments). For the collar 34, the cap portion 48 conceals the entire collar 34 except for the ring 74, which cannot rotate counterclockwise because of the one-way coupling between it and the neck of the container 12. Because the collar 34 is concealed, when the consumer goes to unscrew the dispenser 10 he or she will only grab and twist the cap portion 48, thereby dispensing the material into the container 12 while unscrewing the dispenser 10. This prevents the consumer from inadvertently unscrewing the dispenser 10 without having dispensed the material into the container 12.
  • The body of the storage compartment 16 in the foregoing embodiments has a circular cross-section. In alternative embodiments (not depicted), the body may have differently shaped cross-sections, such as a polygonal (e.g.: square, rectangle, etc.) shaped cross-section. In order to allow the rotatable portion 23 to rotate within the body, the radius of rotation swept out by the rotatable displacement member 26 can be made small enough to lie entirely within the open volume within the storage compartment 16. Similarly, in an alternative embodiment (not shown), the rotatable displacement member 26 may follow a non-circular path when rotated.
  • Referring now to FIGS. 11( a) and (b), there are shown side elevation and perspective views of an alternative embodiment of a dispenser 110 for use with container 12. In the present embodiment, the cap portion 48 and the collar 34 are the same as discussed above with reference to FIGS. 3( a)-(c) and FIGS. 8( a) and (b) respectively. The dispenser 110 includes a storage compartment 116 which is cylindrical in shape. At an end face 130 of the storage compartment 116 is a dispensing aperture 118, which leads to the interior of the storage compartment 116. As it is depicted in FIG. 11( b), the dispensing aperture 118 is covered by a cover 122. As discussed in more detail below, the cover 122 and the cap portion 48 form part of the rotatable portion 123. The cover 122 is rotatable between completely closed and completely opened positions. When the cover 122 is completely closed, as it is in FIG. 11( b), the cover 122 covers the entirety of the dispensing aperture 118 and consequently the material contained within the storage compartment 116 cannot fall into the container 12; in this state, the dispenser 110 is in the “storage position”. When the cover 122 is partially or completely opened, the material contained within the storage compartment 116 can fall down into the container 12; consequently, in this state the dispenser 110 is in the “dispensing position”. Beneficially, the cover 122 is movable between the completely opened and completely closed positions repeatedly, which facilitates reuse of the dispenser 110.
  • Referring now to FIGS. 12( a)-(c), there are depicted perspective, top plan, and bottom plan views of the storage compartment 116. The storage compartment 116 includes a hollow cylindrical segment 128 that is capped with a flange 138. The hollow cylindrical segment 128 is insertable through the opening defined by the rim 36 of the collar 34, and the hollow cylindrical segment 128 is fully inserted into the collar 34 when the bottom of the flange 138 is pressing against the top of the rim 36. The flange 138 includes a notch 140 into which the protrusion 42 on the rim 36 fits. When the protrusion 42 is fitted inside the notch 140, the storage compartment 116 and the collar 34 are rotationally locked together and relative rotation of the collar 34 and the storage compartment 116 is prevented.
  • At the end of the storage compartment 116 opposite the flange 138 is the end face 130 of the storage compartment 116, through which is the dispensing aperture 118. In the depicted exemplary embodiment, the dispensing aperture 118 is semi-circular and has an area of approximately half the end face 130. At the centre of the end face 130 is a hollow tubular protrusion 166 that extends outwards from the storage compartment 116 and that acts as a point of rotation for an insertable portion 120, which is discussed in more detail below in respect of FIGS. 13( a)-(c).
  • Perspective, top plan, and bottom plan views of the insertable portion 120 are depicted in FIGS. 13( a)-(c). The insertable portion 120 forms part of the rotatable portion 123, is insertable within the storage compartment 116, and rotates in response to rotation of the cap portion 48 when the cap portion 48 is being twisted in the direction that transitions the dispenser 110 from the storage to the dispensing position. At one end of the insertable portion 120 is a rim 146. At the other end of the insertable portion 120 is the cover 122, which in the depicted embodiment is semi-circular in shape and complementary to the dispensing aperture 118 in that it has substantially the same shape as the dispensing aperture 118. Connecting the rim 146 to the cover 122 is a rotatable hollow cylindrical segment 168. The cover 122 is located at the end of the rotatable hollow cylindrical segment 168 that is opposite the rim 146. In the depicted embodiment, the cover 122 is slanted so that material contained within the storage compartment 116 will tend to slide out the dispensing aperture 118. Beside the cover 122 on the end of the rotatable hollow cylindrical segment 168 is an aperture 176 that allows access to the interior of the hollow cylindrical segment 168. Between the aperture 176 and the cover 122, and located along the axis of rotation of the insertable portion 120, is a tubular protrusion 170 that is insertable into the hollow tubular protrusion 166 of the storage compartment 116 and about which the insertable portion 120 can rotate.
  • On the top side of the rim 146 are teeth 152, which form part of a one-way coupling that is used to rotatably power the insertable portion 120. The underside of the cap portion 48 includes pawls 54 (as shown in FIG. 8( a)) that mesh with the teeth 152 and that allow rotation of the cap portion 48 to rotate the insertable portion 120.
  • Referring now to FIGS. 14( a)-(c), there are depicted perspective, top plan, and bottom plan views of the insertable portion 120 fully inserted into the storage compartment 116. The hollow cylindrical segment 128 of the storage compartment 116 has a slightly larger diameter than the rotatable hollow cylindrical segment 168 of the insertable portion 120; this allows the rotatable hollow cylindrical segment 168 to fit snugly within the storage compartment 116. In FIGS. 14( a)-(c), the insertable portion 120 is fully inserted into the storage compartment 116 and the rim 146 of the insertable portion 120 accordingly rests on the flange 138 of the storage compartment 116. In FIGS. 14( a)-(c), the dispenser 110 is in the storage position as the dispensing aperture 118 is completely covered by the cover 122. Accordingly, in the top plan view of FIG. 14( b) the cover 122 is visible as well as the portion of the end face 130 visible through the aperture 176 in the insertable portion 120. Similarly, in the bottom plan view of FIG. 14( c), the cover 122 is visible through the dispensing aperture 118. In order to facilitate alignment during assembly, the rim 146 of the insertable portion 120 has a notch that corresponds to the notch 140 in the storage compartment 116. When the two notches align, the dispenser 110 of the depicted exemplary embodiment is in the storage position.
  • Referring now to FIGS. 15( a)-(c), there are depicted top perspective, side elevation, and bottom perspective views of all the components of the depicted exemplary embodiment of the dispenser 110, with the exception of the cap portion 48. The insertable portion 120 is fully inserted into the storage compartment 116, and the notch in the rim 146 of the insertable portion 120 is aligned with the notch 140 in the storage compartment 116 such that the dispenser 110 is in the storage position. A lid 172 is placed on top of the insertable portion 120 to cover the top end of the rotatable hollow cylindrical segment 168; this helps retain the material to be dispensed within the storage compartment 116. The lid 172 may be ultrasonically welded to the insertable portion 120. The storage compartment 116 is fully inserted into the collar 34, and the notch 140 in the storage compartment 116 is aligned with the protrusion 42 on the rim 36 of the collar 34 such that the storage compartment 116 and the collar 34 cannot rotate relative to each other. The storage compartment 116 and the collar 34 collectively form the “base” of the dispenser 110.
  • In the fully assembled dispenser 110, on top of the assembly depicted in FIGS. 15( a)-(c) is the cap portion 48, which is depicted in FIG. 8. On the underside of the cap portion 48 are the four pawls 54 that together with the teeth 152 on the insertable portion 120 form a one-way coupling in the form of a ratchet. The one-way coupling allows clockwise rotation of the cap portion 48 relative to the insertable portion 120, but counterclockwise rotation of the cap portion 48 results in analogous counterclockwise rotation of the insertable portion 120. This counterclockwise rotation, which in this exemplary embodiment is also the direction the dispenser 110 is unscrewed from the container 12, rotates and opens the cover 122 and accordingly causes a transition from the storage position to the dispensing position.
  • As mentioned above, also visible on the underside of the cap portion 48 are first and second stoppers 56 b,58 b. The first and second stoppers 56 b,58 b on the cap portion 48 are positioned 180° apart, just as the first and second stoppers 56 a,58 a are on the collar 34. When the cap portion 48 is positioned on the collar 34 in preparation for use by the consumer, the first and second stoppers 56 b,58 b on the cap portion 48 are located immediately adjacent to and counterclockwise of the first and second stoppers 56 a,58 a on the collar 34, respectively. As mentioned above, the cap portion 48 also includes the second flange 62 that interlocks with the first flange 60 on the collar 34 when the cap portion 48 is mounted on the base. Locking the two flanges 60,62 together prevents relative movement of the collar 34 and the cap portion 48 longitudinally along the axis of rotation, and as described below allows the collar 34 to be lifted off the container 12 by simply lifting off the cap portion 48.
  • In order to couple the base of the dispenser 110 to the container 12, the collar 34 can be screwed in a clockwise direction on to the neck of the container 12. As the collar 34 progresses down the neck, the teeth located on the interior of the ring 74 on the collar 34 will pass over the pawls (not shown) on the neck of the container 12. As mentioned above, the teeth and pawls will form a one-way coupling in the form of a ratchet, preventing the ring 74 from being unscrewed from the container 12.
  • Once the dispenser 110 is on the container 12 and the storage compartment 116 has been filled with the material, the consumer dispenses the material into the container 12 by screwing the cap portion 48 counterclockwise. The one-way coupling between the cap portion 48 and the rim 146 of the insertable portion 120 causes the rim 146 to correspondingly turn counterclockwise, which in turn causes the cover 122 to correspondingly turn counterclockwise. After the cap portion 48 has been turned by 180°, the first stopper 56 b on the cap portion 48 abuts and pushes against the second stopper 58 a on the collar 34, and the second stopper 58 b on the cap portion 48 abuts and pushes against the first stopper 56 a on the collar 34. This prevents further relative counterclockwise rotation between the cap portion 48 and the collar 34.
  • The 180° that separates the pairs of stoppers 56 a,58 a and 56 b,58 b corresponds to the 180° rotation the transitions the semi-circular cover 122 from completely closed to completely opened. Consequently, when stoppers 56 a,b and 58 a,b abut and push against each other, the consumer feels significant rotational resistance on account of the ring 74 of the collar 34 being prevented from turning counterclockwise. In order to continue to rotate the collar 34 counterclockwise, the consumer increases the amount of applied force such that the frangible connection between the ring 74 and the remainder of the collar 34 is broken. This increased resistance after 180° of rotation indicates to the consumer that the cover 122 is completely open, and that the material is being or has been dispensed into the container 12. The consumer can accordingly shake the container 12 to promote mixing.
  • As described above, when the consumer is ready to drink the infused beverage that results from mixing the nutrients into the container 12, he or she can rotate the cap portion 48 counterclockwise with sufficient force to break the frangible connection between the ring 74 and the remainder of the collar 34. This force is transmitted to the collar by the stoppers 56 a,b and 58 a,b, which are thicker and better able to transfer relatively large forces than the pawls 54 on the cap portion 48. Once the frangible connection is broken, the consumer can completely unscrew the collar 34 from the container 12 and, because the flanges 60,62 of the cap portion 48 and collar 34 are locked together, lift both the collar 34 and the cap portion 48 off the container 12. The consumer is then free to drink the infused beverage.
  • Beneficially, the dispenser 110 described above allows the consumer to wait until just before he or she wishes to drink the infused beverage to introduce the material to the liquid in the container 12. This limits the degradation of the nutrients that can occur, thus helping to maintain nutrient potency.
  • Although one particular embodiment of dispenser 110 has been depicted and described, alternative embodiments are possible. For example, FIGS. 16( a)-(c) show another embodiment of the dispenser 110. FIG. 16( a) shows a perspective view and FIG. 16( b) shows a side sectional view of this alternative embodiment of the dispenser 110. FIG. 16( c) is a sectional view of this alternative embodiment of the dispenser 110 taken along line 16(c)-16(c) of FIG. 16( b).
  • The embodiment shown in FIGS. 16( a)-16(c) is substantially similar to the embodiment depicted in FIGS. 11 to 15 with a few exceptions. In the embodiment of FIGS. 11 to 15, the hollow tubular protrusion 166 of the storage compartment 116 and the tubular protrusion 170 of the insertable portion 120 both extend away from the interior of the storage compartment 116. Consequently, the end face 130 of the storage compartment 116 of the embodiment of FIGS. 11 to 15 is not smooth, but has the hollow tubular protrusion 166 extending from it. In the embodiment of FIGS. 16( a)-(c), both the tubular protrusion 170 and the hollow tubular protrusion 166 extend inwards into the interior of the storage compartment 116. The end face 130 accordingly has no projections extending outwardly from it. Having the end face 130 be smooth can facilitate easier assembly on certain types of assembly lines.
  • Additionally, the embodiment shown in FIGS. 16( a)-(c) includes a collar gasket 178 and a cover gasket 180. As shown in FIG. 16( b), the collar gasket 178 is located underneath the rim 36 of the collar 34 such that when the collar 34 is screwed on to the neck of the container 12, the collar gasket 178 is compressed between the collar 34 and the neck. The collar gasket 178 helps create a fluid tight seal between the collar 34 and the storage compartment 116, which can prevent liquid from escaping between the collar 34 and the storage compartment 116 when the container 12 is shaken.
  • As shown in FIG. 16( c), the cover gasket 180 lines the interior of the end face 130 of the storage compartment 116. The cover 122 is rotatably slidable over the top of the cover gasket 180 when the dispenser 110 is transitioning between the storage and dispensing positions. The cover gasket 180 helps create a fluid tight seal at the end face 130 of the storage compartment 116, which can prevent liquid from entering the storage compartment 116 when the dispenser 110 is in the storage position.
  • Optionally, a rotatable portion gasket (not shown) can line the boundary between the rim 146 of the insertable portion 120 and the flange 138 of the storage compartment 116 to prevent liquid from escaping between the insertable portion 120 and the storage compartment 116, if desired. As discussed above, the lid 172 is ultrasonically welded to the rim 146 of the insertable portion 120; consequently, no gasket is used in the depicted exemplary embodiments to prevent liquid from escaping through the storage compartment 116 and out the lid 172. In an undepicted alternative embodiment, such a gasket may be present.
  • Additionally, in another alternative embodiment the boundary between the dispensing aperture 118 and the cover 122 can be lined with an edible wax, such as beeswax. This can help create a liquid-tight seal around interior of the storage compartment 116.
  • Additionally, in the depicted embodiment above the rim 146 and the cover 122 of the insertable portion 120 are fixedly coupled by the rotatable hollow cylindrical segment 168. However, in an alternative embodiment any suitable connector can be used to connect the rim 146 and the cover 122, such as one or more rods or plates.
  • In the foregoing embodiments, the lid 172, insertable portion 120, cap portion 48, storage compartment 116, and collar 34 are separate components. In an alternative embodiment, such as that depicted in FIGS. 17( a)-(c), these components may be merged or integrally formed together to promote robustness or for manufacturing simplicity. In the embodiment of FIGS. 17( a)-(c), base 121 is an integrally formed component that performs the functions of both the collar 34 and storage compartment 116 depicted in the embodiments of FIGS. 11 to 16, and the rotatable portion 123 is an integrally formed component that performs the functions of the cap portion 48, the insertable portion 120, the rotatable hollow cylindrical segment 168, and the cover 122 depicted in the embodiments of FIGS. 11 to 16. As shown in FIG. 17( c), the lid 172 can be ultrasonically welded to the rotatable portion 123 after filling the storage compartment 116 with the material to be dispensed into the container 12.
  • The embodiment shown in FIGS. 17( a)-(c) also shows a shape for the dispensing aperture 118 that differs from the shape used in the embodiments of FIGS. 11 to 16. In FIGS. 11 to 16, the dispensing aperture 118 is semi-circular and the stoppers 56 a,b and 58 a,b are 180° apart. In alternative embodiments such as the embodiment shown in FIGS. 17( a)-(c), the dispensing aperture 118 may take a different shape, and the number and position of stoppers may accordingly change. For example, in FIGS. 17( a)-(c) the dispensing aperture 118 and the cover 122 take the shape of vertically opposite quarter circles; in this alternative embodiment, a 90° counterclockwise rotation is sufficient to transition the cover 122 from completely closed to completely open. The number of stoppers is accordingly increased from two to four, and is accordingly positioned every 90° around the cap portion 48. In a further alternative embodiment (not depicted), the dispensing aperture 118 and the cover 122 may not be complementary in shape; for example, the dispensing aperture 118 may be a quarter-circle, while the dispensing aperture may be semi-circular.
  • In the foregoing embodiments, the cover 122 rotates without moving longitudinally along its axis of rotation. For the cover 122 to move along its axis of rotation in response to rotation of the cap portion 48, a relatively complex gear arrangement would typically be used, or the material used to fabricate the rotatable portion 123 would deform in some way. Both of these ways of introducing axial movement increase the cost and complexity, and decrease the robustness, of the dispenser 110.
  • The cap portion 48 in the embodiments discussed above conceals from the consumer the portion of the collar 34 that is rotatable in the direction that transitions the dispenser 110 from the storage to the dispensing positions (counterclockwise in the exemplary embodiments). For the collar 34, the cap portion 48 conceals the entire collar 34 except for the ring 74, which cannot rotate counterclockwise because of the one-way coupling between it and the neck of the container 12. Because the collar 34 is concealed, when the consumer goes to unscrew the dispenser 110 he or she will only grab and twist the cap portion 48, thereby dispensing the material into the container 12 while unscrewing the dispenser 110. This prevents the consumer from inadvertently unscrewing the dispenser 110 without having dispensed the material into the container 12.
  • While particular embodiments have been described in the foregoing, it is to be understood that other embodiments are possible and are intended to be included herein. It will be clear to any person skilled in the art that modifications of and adjustments to the foregoing embodiments, not shown, are possible.

Claims (42)

  1. 1. A dispenser for dispensing material into a container, the dispenser comprising:
    (a) a base couplable to the container, wherein the base comprises a storage compartment having a cover that retains the material in the storage compartment when closed and that is positioned to release the material into the container when opened and when the base is coupled to the container; and
    (b) a rotatable portion coupled to the base and rotatable about an axis of rotation, wherein the rotatable portion comprises a cover displacer inserted into the storage compartment and rotatable from a storage position wherein the cover displacer and the cover are positioned such that the cover is closed, to a dispensing position wherein the cover displacer has displaced the cover such that the cover is opened,
    wherein the cover is oblique relative to the axis of rotation.
  2. 2. A dispenser as claimed in claim 1 wherein the base is threaded for screwing on to a neck of the container and the storage compartment extends into the neck of the container.
  3. 3. A dispenser as claimed in claim 1 wherein the cover displacer rotates without moving along the axis of rotation.
  4. 4. A dispenser as claimed in claim 1 wherein the cover comprises a foil membrane that the cover displacer pierces when the dispenser transitions from the storage to the dispensing positions.
  5. 5. A dispenser as claimed in claim 1 wherein the storage compartment comprises a body to which the cover is joined along a seal, and wherein transitioning the dispenser from the storage to the dispensing positions causes the cover displacer to break the seal by applying force comprising a component parallel to the axis of rotation against the cover.
  6. 6. A dispenser as claimed in claim 5 wherein the body comprises a hollow cylindrical segment and the cover is positioned to cover an end of the hollow cylindrical segment that is closest to the bottom of the container.
  7. 7. A dispenser as claimed in claim 5 wherein a portion of the cover is frangibly coupled to a portion of the body and another portion of the cover is pivotably coupled to another portion of the body.
  8. 8. A dispenser as claimed in claim 4 wherein the cover displacer comprises an arm that extends into the body and that contacts the cover when the dispenser is in the storage position.
  9. 9. A dispenser as claimed in claim 1 wherein the cover displacer comprises a rotatable displacement member having an oblique end, a portion of which is oblique relative to the axis of rotation.
  10. 10. A dispenser as claimed in claim 9 wherein the oblique end of the rotatable displacement member and the cover are identically angled relative to the axis of rotation.
  11. 11. A dispenser as claimed in claim 5 wherein the seal comprises a cover gasket located inside the storage compartment and lining the perimeter of the cover.
  12. 12. A dispenser as claimed in claim 5 wherein the seal comprises an edible wax coating.
  13. 13. A dispenser as claimed in claim 1 wherein the base further comprises a collar having a rim through which the storage compartment is inserted and wherein the storage compartment comprises a flange that rests on the rim when the storage compartment is fully inserted therethrough, the flange comprising a notch and the rim comprising a protrusion inserted into the notch to prevent relative rotation of the collar and the storage compartment.
  14. 14. A dispenser as claimed in claim 13 wherein the cover displacer comprises a rim that rests on the flange of the storage compartment when the cover displacer is fully inserted into the storage compartment.
  15. 15. A dispenser as claimed in claim 14 further comprising a cover displacer gasket compressed between the rim of the cover displacer and the flange of the storage compartment.
  16. 16. A dispenser as claimed in claim 14 wherein the rotatable portion further comprises a cap portion and a one-way coupling that couples the cap portion to the rim of the cover displacer such that relative rotational motion between the cap portion and the cover displacer in the direction that transitions the dispenser from the storage to the dispensing positions is prevented.
  17. 17. A dispenser as claimed in claim 16 wherein the one-way coupling comprises a ratchet, wherein the ratchet comprises teeth on one of the cap portion and the rim of the cover displacer and a pawl on the other of the cap portion and the rim of the cover displacer.
  18. 18. A dispenser as claimed in claim 16 further comprising a first set of stopper protrusions extending from the cap portion and a second set of stopper protrusions extending from the rim of the collar such that relative rotatable motion in the direction that transitions the dispenser from the storage to the dispensing positions is prevented when any one of the first set of stopper protrusions is pushed into any one of the second set of stopper protrusions.
  19. 19. A dispenser as claimed in claim 18 wherein the first and second sets of stopper protrusions are positioned such that the maximum relative rotation possible between the cap portion and the collar in the direction that transitions the dispenser from the storage to the dispensing positions corresponds to the rotation required to ensure the cover is completely opened.
  20. 20. A dispenser as claimed in claim 13 further comprising a collar gasket positioned on the underside of the rim of the collar.
  21. 21. A dispenser as claimed in claim 16 wherein the collar comprises a first flange and the cap portion comprises a second flange interlocked with the first flange such that relative motion of the cap portion and the collar along the axis of rotation is prevented.
  22. 22. A dispenser as claimed in claim 16 wherein the cap portion conceals a portion of the collar that is rotatable in the direction that transitions the dispenser from the storage to the dispensing positions.
  23. 23. A dispenser for dispensing material into a container, the dispenser comprising:
    (a) a base couplable to the container, wherein the base comprises a storage compartment having a dispensing aperture positioned such that the material stored in the storage compartment falls into the container when the dispensing aperture is uncovered; and
    (b) a rotatable portion coupled to the base and rotatable about an axis of rotation, wherein the rotatable portion comprises a cover that rotates in response to rotation of the rotatable portion from being completely closed over the dispensing aperture when the dispenser is in a storage position to leaving the dispensing aperture at least partially uncovered when the dispenser is in a dispensing position.
  24. 24. A dispenser as claimed in claim 23 wherein the base is threaded for screwing on to a neck of the container and the storage compartment extends into the neck of the container.
  25. 25. A dispenser as claimed in claim 23 wherein the cover rotates without moving longitudinally along the axis of rotation.
  26. 26. A dispenser as claimed in claim 23 wherein the storage compartment comprises a hollow cylindrical segment and the dispensing aperture comprises a portion of an end face of the hollow cylindrical segment positioned to be closest to the bottom of the container when the dispenser is coupled to the container.
  27. 27. A dispenser as claimed in claim 26 wherein the cover has a shape that is complementary to the dispensing aperture.
  28. 28. A dispenser as claimed in claim 27 wherein the cover and the dispensing aperture are semi-circular.
  29. 29. A dispenser as claimed in claim 26 wherein a portion of the end face around the dispensing aperture is lined by a cover gasket.
  30. 30. A dispenser as claimed in claim 23 wherein the cover and the dispensing aperture share a boundary that is sealed using an edible wax when the dispenser is in the storage position.
  31. 31. A dispenser as claimed in claim 23 wherein the base further comprises a collar having a rim through which the storage compartment is inserted and wherein the storage compartment comprises a flange that rests on the rim when the storage compartment is fully inserted therethrough, the flange comprising a notch and the rim comprising a protrusion inserted into the notch to prevent relative rotation of the collar and the storage compartment.
  32. 32. A dispenser as claimed in claim 31 wherein the rotatable portion comprises an insertable portion inserted into the storage compartment, the insertable portion comprising the cover and a rim fixedly coupled to the cover and that rests on the flange of the storage compartment when the insertable portion is fully inserted into the storage compartment.
  33. 33. A dispenser as claimed in claim 32 further comprising a rotatable portion gasket compressed between the rim of the insertable portion and the flange of the storage compartment.
  34. 34. A dispenser as claimed in claim 32 wherein the rotatable portion further comprises a cap portion and a one-way coupling that couples the cap portion to the rim of the insertable portion such that relative rotational motion between the cap portion and the insertable portion in the direction that transitions the dispenser from the storage to the dispensing positions is prevented.
  35. 35. A dispenser as claimed in claim 34 wherein the one-way coupling comprises a ratchet, wherein the ratchet comprises teeth on one of the cap portion and the rim of the insertable portion and a pawl on the other of the cap portion and the rim of the insertable portion.
  36. 36. A dispenser as claimed in claim 34 further comprising a first set of stopper protrusions extending from the cap portion and a second set of stopper protrusions extending from the rim of the collar such that relative rotatable motion in the direction that transitions the dispenser from the storage to the dispensing positions is prevented when any one of the first set of stopper protrusions is pushed into any one of the second set of stopper protrusions.
  37. 37. A dispenser as claimed in claim 36 wherein the first and second sets of stopper protrusions are positioned such that the maximum relative rotation possible between the cap portion and the collar in the direction that transitions the dispenser from the storage to the dispensing positions corresponds to the rotation required to completely reveal the dispensing aperture.
  38. 38. A dispenser as claimed in claim 31 further comprising a collar gasket positioned on the underside of the rim of the collar.
  39. 39. A dispenser as claimed in claim 34 wherein the collar comprises a first flange and the cap portion comprises a second flange interlocked with the first flange such that relative motion of the cap portion and the collar along the axis of rotation is prevented.
  40. 40. A dispenser as claimed in claim 36 wherein the cap portion conceals a portion of the collar that is rotatable in the direction that transitions the dispenser from the storage to the dispensing positions.
  41. 41. A dispenser as claimed in claim 23 wherein the cover is slanted such that the material slides out of the dispensing aperture.
  42. 42. A dispenser as claimed in claim 23 wherein the cover is rotatable between the storage and dispensing positions repeatedly.
US14117608 2011-05-16 2012-05-16 Dispenser for dispensing material into a container Abandoned US20150129439A1 (en)

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US201161486668 true 2011-05-16 2011-05-16
US201161486663 true 2011-05-16 2011-05-16
US14117608 US20150129439A1 (en) 2011-05-16 2012-05-16 Dispenser for dispensing material into a container
PCT/CA2012/000468 WO2012155249A1 (en) 2011-05-16 2012-05-16 Dispenser for dispensing material into a container

Applications Claiming Priority (1)

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US14117608 US20150129439A1 (en) 2011-05-16 2012-05-16 Dispenser for dispensing material into a container

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US20150129439A1 true true US20150129439A1 (en) 2015-05-14

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US14117608 Abandoned US20150129439A1 (en) 2011-05-16 2012-05-16 Dispenser for dispensing material into a container

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US (1) US20150129439A1 (en)
CA (1) CA2835309A1 (en)
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CN205661828U (en) * 2016-01-22 2016-10-26 托普史密斯有限公司 Sealing part for container

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CA2835309A1 (en) 2012-11-22 application

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