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Claims for Patent: 8,978,966

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Claims for Patent: 8,978,966

Title:Dose counters for inhalers, inhalers and methods of assembly thereof
Abstract: A manually operated metered dose inhaler includes a dose counter chamber including a dose display tape driven by a ratchet wheel which is driven in turn by an actuator pawl actuated by movement of a canister, the tape unwinding from a stock bobbin during use of the inhaler, a rotation regulator being provided for the stock bobbin and including a wavelike engagement surface with concavities which engage against control elements in the form of protrusions on resilient forks of a split pin thereby permitting incremental unwinding of the stock bobbin yet resisting excessive rotation if the inhaler is dropped onto a hard surface.
Inventor(s): Walsh; Declan (Co. Kilkenny, IE), Fenlon; Derek (Co. Wexford, IE), Kaar; Simon (Co. Cork, IE), Hazenberg; Jan Geert (Co. Kilkenny, IE), Buck; Dan (Co. Waterford, IE), Clancy; Paul (Waterford City, IE), Uschold; Robert Charles (Leominster, MA), Karg; Jeffrey A. (Hopkinton, MA)
Assignee: Teva Pharmaceuticals Ireland (Utrecht, NL) Norton Waterford (Utrecht, NL) IVAX Pharmaceuticals Ireland (Utrecht, NL)
Application Number:13/110,532
Patent Claims: 1. A dose counter for a metered dose inhaler having a body arranged to retain a medicament canister of predetermined configuration for movement of the canister relative thereto; the dose counter comprising: an incremental counting system for counting doses, the incremental counting system having a main body, an actuator arranged to be driven in response to canister motion and to drive an incremental output member in response to canister motion, the actuator and incremental output member being configured to have predetermined canister fire and count configurations in a canister fire sequence, the canister fire configuration being determined by a position of the actuator relative to a datum at which the canister fires medicament and the count configuration being determined by a position of the actuator relative to the datum at which the incremental count system makes an incremental count, wherein the actuator is arranged to reach a position thereof in the count configuration at or after a position thereof in the canister fire configuration, and a display tape arranged to be incrementally driven from a tape stock bobbin onto an incremental tape take-up drive shaft that is connected to the incremental output member, the bobbin having an internal bore supported by and for rotation about a support shaft, one of the bore and support shaft having protrusions at pre-determined positions, the other of the bore and support shaft having a wavelike engagement surface including incrementally spaced formations located around a periphery thereof, wherein the protrusions are resiliently biased into frictional engagement with the wavelike engagement surface with longitudinally extending mutual frictional interaction for limiting inadvertent rotation of the bobbin about the support shaft either during transit or upon being dropped, while permitting controlled rotation of the bobbin about the support shaft in two different rotational directions in order to adjust a position of the display tape during assembly of the dose counter.

2. An Inhaler comprising a main body arranged to retain a medicament canister of predetermined configuration and a dose counter, as recited in claim 1, mounted in the main body.

3. The dose counter of claim 1, wherein the incrementally spaced formations of the engagement surface comprise a series of alternating concavities and convex portions.

4. The dose counter of claim 3, wherein the concavities and convex portions have substantially the same radii.

5. The dose counter of claim 4, wherein the radii of the concavities and convex portions is substantially equal to the radii of the protrusions.

6. A dose counter for an inhaler, the dose counter having a display tape arranged to be incrementally driven from a tape stock bobbin onto an incremental tape take-up drive shaft, the bobbin having an Internal bore supported by and for rotation about a support shaft, one of the bore and support shaft having protrusions at pre-determined positions, the other of the bore and support shaft having a wavelike engagement surface including incrementally spaced formations located around a periphery thereof, wherein the protrusions are resiliently biased into frictional engagement with the wavelike engagement surface with longitudinally extending mutual frictional interaction for limiting inadvertent rotation of the bobbin about the support shaft either during transit or upon being dropped, while permitting controlled rotation of the bobbin about the support shaft in two different rotational directions in order to adjust a position of the display tape during assembly of the dose counter.

7. The dose counter of claim 6, wherein the incrementally spaced formations of the engagement surface comprise a series of alternating concavities and convex portions.

8. The dose counter of claim 7, wherein the concavities and convex portions have substantially the same radii.

9. The dose counter of claim 8, wherein the radii of the concavities and convex portions is substantially equal to the radii of the protrusions.

10. A dose counter for an inhaler, the dose counter having a counter display arranged to indicate dosage information, a drive system arranged to move the counter display incrementally in a first direction from a first station to a second station in response to actuation input, wherein a regulator is provided which is arranged to act upon the counter display at the first station to regulate motion of the counter display at the first station to incremental movements, and a display tape arranged to be incrementally driven from a tape stock bobbin onto an incremental tape take-up drive shaft that is connected to the incremental output member, the bobbin having an internal bore supported by and for rotation about a support shaft, one of the bore and support shaft having protrusions at pre-determined positions, the other of the bore and support shaft having a wavelike engagement surface including incrementally spaced formations located around a periphery thereof, wherein the protrusions are resiliently biased into frictional engagement with the wavelike engagement surface with longitudinally extending mutual frictional interaction for limiting inadvertent rotation of the bobbin about the support shaft either during transit or upon being dropped, while permitting controlled rotation of the bobbin about the support shaft in two different rotational directions in order to adjust a position of the display tape during assembly of the dose counter.

11. The dose counter of claim 10, wherein the incrementally spaced formations of the engagement surface comprise a series of alternating concavities and convex portions.

12. The dose counter of claim 11, wherein the concavities and convex portions have substantially the same radii.

13. The dose counter of claim 12, wherein the radii of the concavities and convex portions is substantially equal to the radii of the protrusions.
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