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Claims for Patent: 7,780,038

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Claims for Patent: 7,780,038

Title:Dispensing apparatus with dosage counter
Abstract: A dispensing apparatus (1) comprising a housing containing a dosage counter comprising at least two annular members (11, 13) and a cog (12), each being mounted rotationally. The housing is suitable for receiving, in use, a container (1) containing a product for dispensation. Each actuation of the apparatus causes the first annular member to incrementally rotate which, after a predetermined number of actuations of the apparatus, causes the cog to rotate, the rotation of the cog causing the second annular member to incrementally rotate.
Inventor(s): Ingram; Simon (Northampton, GB), Campling; Nick (Cambridgeshire, GB), Bradley; Duncan (Cambridgeshire, GB)
Assignee: Consort Medical plc (Hertfordshire, GB)
Application Number:11/597,354
Patent Claims: 1. A dispensing apparatus comprising a housing containing a dosage counter comprising first and second annular members, each mounted rotationally, the housing being suitable for receiving, in use, a container containing a product for dispensation, the container being locatable to pass within holes/apertures of the first and second annular members characterised in that the apparatus further comprises a cog, the axis of rotation of the cog being offset from the axes of rotation of the first and second annular members and the axis of rotation of the cog being located outside the first and second annular members whereupon each actuation of the apparatus causes the first annular member to incrementally rotate which, after a predetermined number of actuations of the apparatus, causes the cog to rotate, the rotation of the cog causing the second annular member to incrementally rotate.

2. A dispensing apparatus as claimed in claim 1, wherein a longitudinal actuation force applied, in use, to the container is converted to a rotational force applied to the first annular member by way of co-operating formations having angled abutment surfaces.

3. A dispensing apparatus as claimed in claim 2, wherein the first annular member is provided with angled abutment surfaces.

4. A dispensing apparatus as claimed in claim 2, wherein the dispensing apparatus further comprises a cap or sleeve, for surrounding at least part of a container locatable in the dispensing apparatus, the cap or sleeve being provided with angled abutment surfaces.

5. A dispensing apparatus as claimed in claim 3, wherein the first annular member, and/or the cap or sleeve is/are provided with one or more sets of angled abutment surfaces at different diameters.

6. A dispensing apparatus as claimed in claim 5, wherein respective sets of angled abutment surfaces of the first annular member, and the cap or sleeve co-operate, in use, to provide an incremental rotation of the first annular member upon a longitudinal actuation of the sleeve or cap.

7. A dispensing apparatus as claimed in claim 5, wherein a first set of co-operating portions of the first annular member, and the sleeve or cap co-operate to provide a partial-incremental rotation of the annular member upon a down-stroke longitudinal actuation of the dispensing apparatus and a second set of co-operating portions of the first annular member, and the sleeve or cap co-operate to provide a second and final partial-incremental rotation of the first annular member upon a reciprocal up-stroke longitudinal actuation of the dispensing apparatus.

8. A dispensing apparatus as claimed in claim 1, wherein the first annular member is provided with means for affecting rotation of the cog.

9. A dispensing apparatus as claimed in claim 8, wherein, when the rotation means of the first annular member is a notch or protrusion positioned on an outer edge of the first annular member, the notch or protrusion is capable of interacting with a correspondingly-shaped portion of the cog.

10. A dispensing apparatus as claimed in claim 9, wherein the rotation means of the first annular member is a notch, the cog is turned by way of a tooth catching the notch of the first annular member as the member rotates upon actuation of the apparatus.

11. A dispensing apparatus as claimed in claim 9, wherein, the rotation means of the first annular member is a protrusion and the cog has a correspondingly-shaped notch.

12. A dispensing apparatus as claimed in claim 8, wherein three rotation means are positioned on the outer edge of the first annular member.

13. A dispensing apparatus as claimed in claim 8, wherein respective rotation means are positioned ten increments of rotation apart.

14. A dispensing apparatus as claimed in claim 1, wherein each respective part of the cog which interacts with the first and second annular members has a different number of teeth.

15. A dispensing apparatus as claimed in claim 14, wherein the ratio of teeth on respective parts of the cog which interact with the first and second annular member is 1:2.

16. A dispensing apparatus as claimed in claim 1, wherein the cog is made of resilient material.

17. A dispensing apparatus as claimed in claim 1, wherein the cog is resiliently positioned against an outer edge of the first annular member.

18. A dispensing apparatus as claimed in claim 1, wherein the first and/or second annular members are provided with one or more sets of markings indicative of the amount or number of doses of product dispensed from, or remaining in, a container received within the apparatus.

19. A dispensing apparatus as claimed in claim 18, wherein the sets of markings are numbering or variations of colour and/or tone.

20. A dispensing apparatus as claimed in claim 19, wherein numbering on the first annular member ranges from 0 to 9 and that of the second annular member from 00 to 20, so that when both are seen in combination, a three-figure number is shown.

21. A dispensing apparatus as claimed in claim 19, wherein each actuation of the apparatus causes the value of numbering to decrease or augment by a value of one.

22. A dispensing apparatus as claimed in claim 18, wherein the second annular member is provided with an extended portion which is positioned on the second annular member so as to cover the markings of the first annular member when a container locatable in the housing is empty.

23. A dispensing apparatus as claimed in claim 1 comprising means for locking-out operation of a container located in the housing.

24. A dispensing apparatus as claimed in claim 1, wherein the dispensing apparatus is provided with a mouthpiece which is detachable from the housing.

25. A dispensing apparatus as claimed in claim 4, wherein a portion of the sleeve or cap and a portion of the housing are adapted to provide resistance to actuation of the dispensing apparatus.

26. A dispensing apparatus as claimed in claim 25, wherein the portion of the sleeve or cap is a resilient member.

27. A dispensing apparatus as claimed in claim 25, wherein the portion of the housing is a static abutment surface which, during use, is temporarily abutable by the portion of the sleeve or cap.

28. A dispensing apparatus as claimed in claim 1, wherein the apparatus further comprises third and subsequent annular members, a cog being provided for each additional annular member.

29. A dispensing apparatus as claimed in claim 28, wherein a predetermined number of rotations of the second or previous annular member causes an incremental rotation of the third or subsequent annular member.

30. A dispensing apparatus as claimed in claim 1, wherein the cog comprises a hub, with a pivot hole situated in the centre thereof, and a plurality of teeth outwardly-extending from the centre of the cog, the cog being rotatable about a longitudinal axis through the hole, wherein one or more teeth have a reduced height in the direction of the longitudinal axis, in that upper and lower edges of the tooth are not inline with both upper and lower faces of the cog.

31. A dispensing apparatus as claimed in claim 30, wherein the one or more teeth having a reduced height are half the height of the other teeth.

32. A dispensing apparatus as claimed in claim 30, wherein the cog comprises a reduced-height tooth interspaced between each pair of non-reduced-height teeth.

33. A dispensing apparatus as claimed in claim 30, wherein all the reduced-height teeth are positioned at either an upper or lower edge of the cog.

34. A dispensing apparatus as claimed in 30, wherein portions of the one or more teeth are separated by a non-toothed spacer, such that, in use, a first end of the cog, including one or more teeth of reduced height, interacts with the first annular member and a second end of the cog, which is not provided with one or more teeth of reduced height, interacts with the second annular member.

35. A dispensing apparatus as claimed in claim 34, wherein the one or more teeth having reduced height are half the height of the non-reduced-height teeth, which non-reduced-height teeth extend from the spacer to the face of the first end of the cog.

36. A dispensing apparatus as claimed in claim 34, wherein the cog comprises a reduced-height tooth interspaced between each pair of non-reduced-height teeth.

37. A dispensing apparatus as claimed in claim 1 further comprising a container located in the housing of the dispensing apparatus.

38. A dispensing apparatus as claimed in claim 37, wherein the annular members are located around the container.

39. A dispensing apparatus as claimed in claim 37, wherein the container is pressurised.
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