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1. EP0526576 - TABLET DISPENSER WITH LOCKING MEANS

Note: Text based on automatic Optical Character Recognition processes. Please use the PDF version for legal matters
Claims

1. A tablet dispersing container (20) having: (a) a housing (24) having a dispensing aperture (50) and a reciprocating element aperture (30) opposing each other therein; (b) a reciprocating element (26) having a means for accommodating a tablet (88) and an upper surface (60) opposite to said means for accommodating a tablet, the reciprocating element being attached to the housing and extending through the reciprocating element aperture and being biased such that the means for accommodating a tablet blocks the dispensing aperture of the housing when at rest forming an enclosure, the tablet accommodating means being adapted to receive a tablet from inside the enclosure and, upon reciprocation of the reciprocating element, pass the tablet from inside the enclosure to the exterior of the enclosure through the dispensing aperture, thereby dispensing a tablet; characterized in that the dispensing container includes: a locking means (22) for selectively preventing reciprocation of the reciprocating element; the locking means being selectively manually moveable between a locked and an unlocked position, the locking means being adapted to remain in either the locked or the unlocked position until manually moved to the other position,
wherein the locking means is associated with the lower end of the reciprocating element and is a locking wheel attached to the lower end of the tubular sleeve (24), wherein the upper portion of the wheel has a wall (95) parallel and similar in shape to the bottom wall (32) of the housing (24) and which includes a dispensing opening (96) therein, the reciprocating element being able to pass through the dispensing opening when the wheel is turned to the unlocked position and, when the wheel is turned to the locked position, the wall (95) preventing lull reciprocation of the reciprocating element thereby preventing a tablet from being dispensed.
  2. A tablet dispensing container (120) having: (a) a housing (124) having a dispensing aperture and a reciprocating element aperture opposing each other therein; (b) a reciprocating element (126) having a means for accommodating a tablet (180) and an upper surface (160) opposite to said means for accommodating a tablet, the reciprocating element being attached to the housing and extending through the reciprocating element aperture and being biased such that the means for accommodating a tablet blocks the dispensing aperture of the housing when at rest forming an enclosure, the tablet accommodating means being adapted to receive a tablet from inside the enclosure and, upon reciprocation of the reciprocating element, pass the tablet from inside the enclosure to the exterior of the enclosure through the dispensing aperture, thereby dispensing a tablet; characterised in that the dispensing container includes: a locking means (122) for selectively preventing reciprocation of the reciprocating element; the locking means being selectively manually moveable between a locked and an unlocked position, the locking means being adapted to remain in either the locked or the unlocked position until manually moved to the other position, wherein the locking means is associated with the upper end of the reciprocating element and wherein the reciprocating element further comprises an outer annular wall (168) depending from the upper surface, and wherein the locking means includes a female part (127) located on one of either the outer depending wall of the reciprocating element or the upper end of the housing, and a cooperating male part (125) extending from the other of the outer depending wall of the reciprocating element or the upper end of the housing, the male and the female parts being aligned in the unlocked position permitting reciprocation of the reciprocating element and being offset in the locked position preventing reciprocation of the reciprocating element.
  3. A tablet dispensing container according to Claim 2 wherein the female part is located on the outer depending wall of the reciprocating element and the male part is located on the housing.
  4. A tablet dispensing container according to any one of Claims 1-3 wherein the locking means includes a tactile signal and an audible signal indicating arrival of the locking means at the unlocked position.
  5. A tablet dispensing container according to Claim 4 wherein the tactile signal and the audible signal are provided by an offset annular ring attached to the locking means and having a notch therein which is forced against a ridge attached to the interior of the housing creating the signals.
  6. A tablet dispensing container according to any one of Claims 1-5 wherein the locking means includes a visual signal indicating when the locking means is in the unlocked position.