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Claims for Patent: 6,997,349

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Claims for Patent: 6,997,349

Title:Indicating device
Abstract:A dispenser for dispensing metered dosages of a substance from a container includes a dispenser housing having a top, a bottom, a longitudinally extending cavity open at the top, and a support block extending from the bottom into the cavity. The container includes an end portion, a valve stem extending from the end portion and a valve moveable between a closed position and an open position. An indicating device is disposed in the cavity of the dispenser housing. The indicating device includes a collar disposed around and secured to the end portion of the container and an indicator including dosage indicia. The indicator is disposed in the cavity beneath the end portion of the container
Inventor(s): Blacker; Richard (London, CA), Engelbreth; Daniel K. (London, CA), Schmidt; James N. (London, CA)
Assignee: Trudell Medical International (London, CA)
Application Number:10/865,531
Patent Claims: 1. A dispenser for dispensing metered dosages of a substance from a container, the dispenser comprising: a dispenser housing comprising a top, a bottom, a longitudinally extending cavity open at said top, and a support block extending from said bottom into said cavity, said support block having a well defining a longitudinal axis and an orifice communicating with said well, wherein said orifice opens from said support block in a direction non-parallel to said longitudinal axis; said container comprising an end portion, a valve stem extending from said end portion and disposed in said well, and a valve moveable between a closed position and an open position, said container dispensing said metered dosages of said substance when said valve is moved to said open position, said container moveably connected to said dispenser housing and moveable relative to said dispenser housing along said longitudinal axis; an indicating device disposed in said cavity of said dispenser housing, said indicating device comprising a collar disposed around and secured to said end portion of said container and an indicator comprising dosage indicia, said indicator disposed in said cavity beneath said end portion of said container.

2. The dispenser of claim 1 wherein said end portion of said container comprises a neck and wherein said collar comprises a locking ring disposed around said neck of said container.

3. The dispenser of claim 2 wherein said locking ring has a longitudinal slit formed therein, whereby said locking ring is expandable to facilitate the disposal of said locking ring around said neck.

4. The dispenser of claim 2 wherein said end portion of said container comprises a hub defining said neck.

5. The dispenser of claim 1 wherein said indicator comprises a mechanical mechanism.

6. The dispenser of claim 5 wherein said mechanical mechanism comprises at least one indicator member having said dosage indicia disposed thereon.

7. The dispenser of claim 6 wherein said at least one indicator member comprises a plurality of coaxially mounted indicator members.

8. The dispenser of claim 7 wherein said indicator members are coaxially mounted about a rotation axis substantially non-parallel to said longitudinal axis.

9. The dispenser of claim 1 wherein said collar comprises a lip portion engaging said end portion.

10. The dispenser of claim 1 where said collar comprises a tubular portion disposed around said end portion of said container.

11. The dispenser of claim 1 wherein said collar comprises a plurality of longitudinally extending arm members engaging said end portion.

12. The dispenser of claim 11 wherein said end portion of said container comprises a neck, and wherein said arm members each comprise a lip portion extending radially inwardly therefrom and engaging said neck.

13. The dispenser of claim 1 wherein said collar comprises a first ring disposed around said end portion of said container and further comprising a second ring disposed radially outward from and peripherally around said first ring.

14. The dispenser of claim 13 wherein said second ring is connected to said first ring.

15. The dispenser of claim 1 wherein said dispenser housing further comprises a longitudinally extending wall defining at least in part said cavity, wherein said support block is spaced from said wall, and wherein said indicating device comprises an indicator housing disposed at least in part in said cavity between said support block and said wall.

16. The dispenser of claim 15 wherein said indicator housing circumferentially surrounds at least a portion of said support block.

17. An indicating device for a dispenser that dispenses metered dosages of a substance from a container having an end portion with a neck and a valve stem extending from the end portion and moveable between a closed position and an open position, the container dispensing the metered dosages when the valve stem is moved to the open position, the indicating device comprising: a locking ring having a longitudinal slit, wherein said locking ring is expandable and adapted to engage the neck of the container; and an indicator supported below said locking ring, wherein said indicator comprises dosage indicia.

18. The indicating device of claim 17 further comprising a housing connected to said locking ring, wherein said indicator is disposed in said housing.

19. The indicating device of claim 18 wherein said indicator comprises a mechanical mechanism.

20. The indicating device of claim 19 wherein said indicator comprises at least one indicator member rotatably supported in said housing, wherein said at least one indicator member comprises said dosage indicia.

21. A dispenser for dispensing metered dosages of a substance from a container, the dispenser comprising: a dispenser housing having a cavity; said container comprising an end portion having a neck and a valve moveable between a closed position and an open position, said container dispensing said metered dosages of said substance when said valve is moved to said open position, said container moveably connected to said dispenser housing and moveable relative said dispenser housing along a longitudinal axis; an indicating device disposed in said cavity of said dispenser housing, said indicating device comprising an indicator comprising dosage indicia and a locking ring having a longitudinal slit, wherein said locking ring is disposed around and engaged with said neck of said container, and wherein said indicator is moveable relative to said locking ring.

22. The dispenser of claim 21 further comprising a housing disposed adjacent to said locking ring, wherein said indicator is disposed in said housing.

23. The dispenser of claim 22 wherein said locking ring comprises a tubular sleeve portion shaped to surround the end portion of the container.

24. The dispenser of claim 22 wherein said indicator comprises a mechanical mechanism.

25. The indicating device of claim 24 wherein said indicator comprises at least one indicator member rotatably supported in said housing, wherein said at least one indicator member comprises said dosage indicia.

26. An indicating device for a dispenser that dispenses metered dosages of a substance from a container having an end portion with a neck and a valve stem extending from the end portion and moveable between a closed position and an open position, the container dispensing the metered dosages when the valve stem is moved to the open position, the indicating device comprising: a collar comprising a first ring shaped to be disposed around the neck of the container and a second ring disposed radially outward from and peripherally around said first ring, said first ring defining a lip portion extending radially inwardly from said second ring, wherein said lip portion is adapted to engage the neck of the container; and an indicator supported below said collar, wherein said indicator comprises dosage indicia.

27. The indicating device of claim 26 wherein said second ring is connected to said first ring.

28. A kit capable of being assembled into a dispensing system for dispensing metered dosages of a substance from a container, the kit comprising: a dispenser housing comprising a top, a bottom, a longitudinally extending wall defining at least in part a cavity open at said top, and a support block extending from said bottom into said cavity, said support block having a well, wherein said support block is spaced from said wall; said container comprising an end portion and a valve stem extending from said end portion, said valve stem moveable between a closed position and an open position, said container dispensing said metered dosages of said substance when said valve stem is moved to said open position, wherein said stem of said container is shaped to be received in said well of said support block; and an indicating device comprising a mounting portion configured for engagement with said end portion of said container, said indicating device comprising an indicator comprising dosage indicia, wherein at least a portion of said indicating device is shaped to be received in said bottom of said dispenser housing between said support block and said wall.

29. The kit of claim 28 wherein said end portion of said container comprises a neck and wherein said mounting portion comprises a locking ring configured to be disposed around said neck of said container.

30. The kit of claim 29 wherein said locking ring has a longitudinal slit formed therein, whereby said locking ring is expandable to facilitate the disposal of said locking ring around said neck.

31. The kit of claim 28 wherein said indicator comprises a mechanical mechanism.

32. The kit of claim 31 wherein said mechanical mechanism comprises at least one indicator member having said dosage indicia disposed thereon.

33. The kit of claim 32 wherein said at least one indicator member comprises a plurality of coaxially mounted indicator members.

34. The kit of claim 33 wherein said indicator members are coaxially mounted about a rotation axis substantially non-parallel to said longitudinal axis.

35. The kit of claim 28 wherein said mounting portion comprises a lip portion adapted to engage said end portion of said container.

36. The kit of claim 28 where said mounting portion comprises a tubular portion shaped to be disposed around said end portion of said container.

37. The kit of claim 28 wherein said mounting portion comprises a plurality of longitudinally extending arm members adapted to engage said end portion.

38. The kit of claim 37 wherein said end portion of said container comprises a neck, and wherein said arm members each comprise a lip portion extending radially inwardly therefrom so as to be oriented to engage said neck.

39. The kit of claim 28 wherein said mounting portion comprises a first ring shaped to be disposed around said end portion of said housing and further comprising a second ring disposed radially outward from and peripherally around said first ring.

40. The kit of claim 39 wherein said second ring is connected to said first ring.

41. The kit of claim 28 wherein said indicating device comprises an indicator housing shaped to circumferentially surround at least a portion of said support block.

42. A method of assembling a dispenser for dispensing metered dosages of a substance from a container, the method comprising: providing a dispenser housing comprising a top, a bottom and a wall defining at least in part a cavity open at the top; securing a collar portion of an indicating device to an end portion of the container, said container comprising a moveable valve stem extending from said end portion; disposing said indicating device in said cavity at the bottom of said dispenser housing, wherein said indicating device further comprises an indicator comprising dosage indicia, wherein said indicator is moveable relative to said collar portion; inserting the container into the cavity of the dispenser housing through the top thereof; and connecting the valve stem of said container to said dispenser housing wherein said container is moveable relative to said dispenser housing along a longitudinal axis.

43. The method of claim 42 wherein said end portion of said container comprises a neck and wherein said collar portion comprises a locking ring, and wherein said securing said collar portion to said end portion comprises disposing said locking ring around said neck of said container.

44. The method of claim 43 wherein said locking ring has a longitudinal slit formed therein, wherein said disposing said locking ring around said neck comprises expanding said locking ring at said slit.

45. The method of claim 42 wherein said indicator comprises a mechanical mechanism.

46. The method of claim 45 wherein said mechanical mechanism comprises at least one indicator member having said dosage indicia disposed thereon.

47. The method of claim 46 wherein said at least one indicator member comprises a plurality of coaxially mounted indicator members.

48. The method of claim 47 wherein said indicator members are coaxially mounted about a rotation axis substantially non-parallel to said longitudinal axis.

49. The method of claim 42 wherein said collar comprises a lip portion, wherein said securing said collar portion to said end portion comprises engaging said end portion with said lip portion.

50. The method of claim 42 where said collar comprises a tubular portion, wherein said securing said collar portion to said end portion comprises disposing said tubular portion around said end portion of said container.

51. The method of claim 42 wherein said collar comprises a plurality of longitudinally extending arm members, wherein said securing said collar portion to said end portion comprises engaging said end portion with said arm members.

52. The method of claim 51 wherein said end portion of said container comprises a neck, and wherein said arm members each comprise a lip portion extending radially inwardly therefrom, wherein said engaging said end portion with said arm members comprises engaging said neck with said lip portions.

53. A method of assembling a dispenser for dispensing metered dosages of a substance from a container, the method comprising: providing a dispenser housing comprising a top, a bottom and a wall defining at least in part a cavity open at the top; securing a collar portion of an indicating device to an end portion of the container, said container comprising a moveable valve stem extending from said end portion, wherein said collar portion comprise a first ring, and wherein said securing said collar portion to said end portion comprises disposing said first ring around said end portion of said container, and wherein said collar portion further comprises a second ring disposed radially outward from and peripherally around said first ring; disposing said indicating device in said cavity at the bottom of said dispenser housing, wherein said indicating device further comprises an indicator comprising dosage indicia; inserting the container into the cavity of the dispenser housing through the top thereof; and connecting the valve stem of said container to said dispenser housing wherein said container is moveable relative to said dispenser housing along a longitudinal axis.

54. The method of claim 53 wherein said second ring is connected to said first ring.

55. A method of assembling a dispenser for dispensing metered dosages of a substance from a container, the method comprising: providing a dispenser housing comprising a top, a bottom and a wall defining at least in part a cavity open at the top; securing a collar portion of an indicating device to an end portion of the container, said container comprising a moveable valve stem extending from said end portion; disposing said indicating device in said cavity at the bottom of said dispenser housing, wherein said indicating device further comprises an indicator comprising dosage indicia; inserting the container into the cavity of the dispenser housing through the top thereof; and connecting the valve stem of said container to said dispenser housing wherein said container is moveable relative to said dispenser housing along a longitudinal axis, wherein said dispenser housing further comprises a support block extending from said bottom into said cavity, wherein said support block is spaced from said wall and wherein said support block has a well formed therein, and wherein said connecting the valve stem of said container to said dispenser housing comprises inserting said valve stem into said well of said support block, and wherein said indicating device further comprises an indicator housing, wherein said disposing said indicating device in said cavity at the bottom of said dispenser housing comprises disposing said indicator housing at least in part in said cavity between said support block and said wall.

56. The method of claim 55 wherein said indicator housing circumferentially surrounds at least a portion of said support block.
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