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Claims for Patent: 6,938,796

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Claims for Patent: 6,938,796

Title: Indicating device
Abstract:A device for dispensing metered dosages of a substance from a container includes a dispenser housing and an indicating device. The indicating device includes an indicator housing, at least one engagement member disposed in the indicator housing, a plurality of indicator members coaxially mounted in the indicator housing, and an actuator coupled to and moveable with the container relative to the plurality of indicator members and the dispenser housing. The actuator member is selectively engaged with at least one of indicator members and is operative to advance the at least one indicator member an incremental amount. The at least one engagement member is selectively engaged with an advancement member so as to bias the advancement member into operable engagement with at least one of the indicator members and move the at least one indicator member an incremental amount. A method for dispensing metered dosages of the substance is also provided.
Inventor(s): Blacker; Richard (London, CA), Engelbreth; Daniel K. (London, CA), Schmidt; James N. (London, CA)
Assignee: 1263152 Ontario Inc. (London, CA)
Application Number:10/369,091
Patent Claims: 1. A device for dispensing metered dosages of a substance from a container, said device comprising: a dispenser housing having a longitudinally extending cavity defined at least in part by a wall and a support block spaced from said wall, said support block located at a bottom of said cavity, said support block having a well formed therein and an orifice penetrating said support block and communicating with said well, said housing having an exhaust port communicating with said orifice, and said housing being generally open at a top thereof; said container comprising a valve stem extending longitudinally therefrom, said valve stem moveable between a closed position and an open position, said container containing a plurality of metered dosages of said substance, said valve stem dispensing one of said plurality of said metered dosages when said valve stem is moved to the open position, said container disposed in said cavity of said dispenser housing through said top thereof, wherein said valve stem is received within said well, said container reciprocally moveable within said dispenser housing along a longitudinal axis such that said valve stem is moved between said open and closed position by engagement with said well in said support block; and an indicating device disposed in said dispenser housing between said support block and said wall without obstructing said orifice, said indicating device comprising at least one indicator member rotatable about an axis of rotation, and wherein at least a portion of said indicating device is fixedly connected to said container and is reversibly removable with said container from said dispenser housing through said top of said dispenser housing.

2. The device of claim 1 wherein said at least one indicator member comprises a plurality of indicator members coaxially mounted about said axis of rotation.

3. The device of claim 1 wherein said container further comprises a hub, wherein said valve stem extends from said hub and wherein said at least said portion of said indicating device fixedly connected to said container comprises a member having a ring disposed on said hub of said container.

4. The device of claim 1 wherein said axis of rotation is substantially non-parallel to said longitudinal axis.

5. The device of claim 1 wherein said indicating device circumferentially surrounds at least a portion of said support block.

6. The device of claim 1 wherein said dispenser housing comprises a window, wherein said indicator member comprises dosage indicia visible through said window.

7. The device of claim 1 wherein said at least said portion of said indicating device is fixedly connected to said container with an adhesive.

8. The device of claim 1 further comprising a chamber communicating with said exhaust port.

9. A method of assembling a device for dispensing metered dosages of a substance from a container, the method comprising: providing a dispenser housing having a longitudinally extending cavity defined at least in part by a wall and a support block spaced from said wall, said support block located at a bottom of said cavity, said support block having a well formed therein and an orifice penetrating said support block and communicating with said well, said housing having an exhaust port communicating with said orifice, and said housing being generally open at a top thereof; providing said container comprising a valve stem extending longitudinally therefrom, said valve stem moveable along a longitudinal axis between a closed position and an open position, said container containing a plurality of metered dosages of said substance, said valve stem dispensing one of said plurality of said metered dosages when said valve stem is moved to the open position; providing an indicating device comprising at least one indicator member rotatable about an axis of rotation; fixedly securing at least a portion of said indicating device to said container; inserting said indicating device and said container into said cavity of said dispenser housing; disposing said indicating device between said support block and said wall without obstructing said orifice; and inserting said valve stem of said container into said well, wherein said container is reciprocally moveable within said dispenser housing along said longitudinal axis such that said valve stem is moved between said open and closed position by engagement with said well in said support block.

10. The method of claim 9 wherein said at least one indicator member comprises a plurality of indicator members coaxially mounted about said axis of rotation.

11. The method of claim 9 wherein said container comprises a ring, wherein said stem extends from said hub, and wherein said indicating device comprises a ring, and wherein said fixedly securing said at least said portion of said indicating device to said container comprises inserting said hub of said container into said ring.

12. The method of claim 9 wherein said axis of rotation is substantially non-parallel to said longitudinal axis.

13. The method of claim 9 wherein said disposing said indicating device between said support block and said wall without obstructing said orifice comprises circumferentially surrounding at least a portion of said support block with said indicating device.

14. The method of claim 9 wherein said indicator member comprises dosage indicia and wherein said dispenser housing comprises a window, and wherein said inserting said valve stem of said container into said well comprises positioning said indicator member such that said dosage indicia is visible through said window.

15. The method of claim 9 wherein said fixedly securing said at least said portion of said indicating device to said container comprises adhesively securing said at least said portion of said indicating device to said container.

16. A method of dispensing a metered dosage of substance from a container, the method comprising: providing a dispenser housing having a longitudinally extending cavity defined at least in part by a wall and a support block spaced from said wall, said support block located at a bottom of said cavity, said support block having a well formed therein and an orifice penetrating said support block and communicating with said well, said housing having an exhaust port communicating with said orifice, and said housing being generally open at a top thereof; providing said container comprising a valve stem extending longitudinally therefrom, said valve stem moveable along a longitudinal axis between a closed position and an open position, said container containing a plurality of metered dosages of said substance, wherein said valve stem is disposed in said well formed in said support block; providing an indicating device comprising at least one indicator member rotatable about an axis of rotation, wherein at least a portion of said indicating device is fixedly secured to said container and is reversibly removable therewith, and wherein said indicating device is disposed in said dispenser housing between said support block and said wall without obstructing said orifice; reciprocally moving said container relative to said dispenser housing along said longitudinal axis such that said valve stem is moved between said closed and open positions by engagement with said well in said support block; dispensing one of said plurality of said metered dosages through said orifice when said valve stem is moved to the open position; and rotating said at least one indicator member about said axis of rotation in response to a predetermined number of reciprocal movements of said container relative to said dispenser housing.

17. The method of claim 16 wherein said predetermined number of reciprocal movements is one.

18. The method of claim 16 wherein said at least one indicator member comprises a plurality of indicator members coaxially mounted about said axis of rotation.

19. The method of claim 16 wherein said container comprises a hub and wherein said stem extends from said hub, wherein said at least said portion of said indicating device that is fixedly connected to said container comprises a ring mounted on said hub.

20. The method of claim 16 wherein said indicating device circumferentially surrounds at least a portion of said support block.

21. The method of claim 16 wherein said dispenser housing comprises a window and wherein said indicator member comprises dosage indicia visible through said window.

22. The method of claim 16 wherein said at least said portion of said indicating device is fixedly connected to said container with an adhesive.
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