(19)
(11)EP 2 152 193 B1

(12)EUROPEAN PATENT SPECIFICATION

(45)Mention of the grant of the patent:
15.11.2017 Bulletin 2017/46

(21)Application number: 08766962.8

(22)Date of filing:  21.05.2008
(51)Int. Cl.: 
A61D 7/00  (2006.01)
A61M 35/00  (2006.01)
A61M 5/178  (2006.01)
(86)International application number:
PCT/NZ2008/000113
(87)International publication number:
WO 2008/143529 (27.11.2008 Gazette  2008/48)

(54)

APPLICATOR

AUFBRINGVORRICHTUNG

APPLICATEUR


(84)Designated Contracting States:
AT BE BG CH CY CZ DE DK EE ES FI FR GB GR HR HU IE IS IT LI LT LU LV MC MT NL NO PL PT RO SE SI SK TR

(30)Priority: 21.05.2007 NZ 55532707

(43)Date of publication of application:
17.02.2010 Bulletin 2010/07

(60)Divisional application:
17187344.1

(73)Proprietor: Simcro Tech Limited
Frankton, Hamilton 3204 (NZ)

(72)Inventors:
  • WALKER, Rodney Gordon
    Hamilton, 3281 (NZ)
  • EBBETT, Todd Donald
    Hamilton, 3200 (NZ)
  • STANDING, Colin Anthony
    Hamilton, 3210 (NZ)

(74)Representative: Driver, Virginia Rozanne 
Page White & Farrer Bedford House John Street
London WC1N 2BF
London WC1N 2BF (GB)


(56)References cited: : 
EP-A1- 0 769 301
WO-A2-01/66261
WO-A2-2007/026164
US-A- 3 261 243
US-A- 3 905 365
US-A- 4 142 654
US-A- 4 643 059
US-A- 4 717 383
US-A- 4 850 996
US-A- 4 946 446
US-A- 5 300 029
US-A- 5 951 516
US-B1- 6 367 664
WO-A1-2004/000397
WO-A2-2005/030290
US-A- 2 624 338
US-A- 3 517 668
US-A- 4 020 838
US-A- 4 318 559
US-A- 4 695 274
US-A- 4 772 272
US-A- 4 911 693
US-A- 5 049 136
US-A- 5 951 516
US-A1- 2004 200 861
  
      
    Note: Within nine months from the publication of the mention of the grant of the European patent, any person may give notice to the European Patent Office of opposition to the European patent granted. Notice of opposition shall be filed in a written reasoned statement. It shall not be deemed to have been filed until the opposition fee has been paid. (Art. 99(1) European Patent Convention).


    Description


    [0001] The present invention relates to applicators, and in particular, but not exclusively, to applicators of the type used to inject remedies into animals.

    BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION



    [0002] In order to optimise yield from farmed animals, in particular pigs and cattle, a number of remedies may be injected into the animal.

    [0003] The term "remedy" is used herein to include any drug, medicine, remedy, or therapeutic preparation, when in a form suitable for dispensing from an applicator, or more specifically an injector, as the context requires.

    [0004] Injection of the animal can be difficult, and there exists a danger that the user of the injector may be accidentally jabbed with the needle. Accidents of this type are known as "needle stick".

    [0005] In extreme cases the user may even receive an accidental dose or partial dose of the remedy. This is particularly undesirable, as some of the remedies used with this type of applicator may have significant adverse effects on the health and wellbeing of a human being.

    [0006] Some injectors of the prior art attempt to reduce the risk of accidental needle stick by covering the needle of the injector with a retractable shroud. The shroud may be spring loaded so that it retracts automatically as the needle is inserted into the animal.

    [0007] An additional level of safety is provided by injectors such as that described in US patent No. 5,951,516, which discloses an applicator with a needle shroud and a trigger which must be depressed to an intermediate position before the shroud can be retracted. A trigger lock provided on the body of the injector prevents the trigger from being moved to an operational position until the shroud has been retracted by a desired amount, corresponding to a desired penetration of the needle into the animal. Only when this has occurred can the trigger be moved to the operational position and the dose injected.

    [0008] The injector described in US 5,951,516 is powered by a pressurised gas such as a compressed air or liquid petroleum gas. It would be desirable to develop an injector which had a high level of safety but which did not depend on a pressurised gas as a power source. It would also be advantageous if the safety mechanism did not depend on any sharp edge abutment, as these may be prone to wear.

    [0009] Other types of applicator may also benefit from a simple and reliable mechanism which prevents doses of fluid from being dispensed accidentally, as this can cause waste of expensive product. In addition, even if a blunt application means such as a nozzle is used, it may still be desirable to shield the application means with a moveable shroud, for example if the application means is particularly delicate and easily damaged.

    [0010] With injectors, a further potential source of danger to the user is the process of replacing the needle. The needle has a threaded portion with engages a complementary threaded portion provided on the outlet of the injector. The needle is provided with a formation with which a suitable tool, such as a spanner, can be engaged in order to rotate the needle and thereby engage or disengage the needle with the outlet.

    [0011] The injectors of the prior art may require the needle shroud, if provided, to be retracted or removed during this process, leaving the sharp end of the needle exposed.

    OBJECT OF THE INVENTION



    [0012] It is an object of the present invention to provide an applicator which will overcome or ameliorate problems with applicators of the prior art.

    [0013] It is an alternative object of the present invention to provide an injector which will overcome or ameliorate problems with injectors of the prior art.

    [0014] It is a further alternative object to provide a useful choice.

    [0015] Other objects of the present invention may become apparent from the following description, which is given by way of example only.

    SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION



    [0016] According to one aspect of the present invention there is provided an applicator including;

    ▪ an inlet for receiving a fluid to be dispensed;

    ▪ an outlet for dispensing the fluid to be dispensed;

    ▪ flow control means for controlling flow from the inlet to the outlet, the flow control means including a first member and a second member, the arrangement being such that relative movement of the first member towards the second member causes fluid to flow from the outlet;

    ▪ a hinged linkage having, a first end rotatably engaged with the first member, a second end rotatably engaged with the second member, and a hinge intermediate the first and second ends, the linkage moveable between a collapsed position wherein the hinge is on a first side of a notional axis extending between first and second ends, and an over-centre locked position wherein the hinge is on an opposite side of the notional axis between the first and second ends and the hinged linkage prevents relative movement of the first member towards the second member;

    ▪ linkage unlocking means operable to move the hinge from the over-centre locked position to the first side of the notional axis between the first and second ends, so that the hinged linkage can be moved to the collapsed position as the first and second members are moved together.



    [0017] Preferably the linkage is biased towards the over-centre locked position.

    [0018] Preferably the linkage unlocking means includes a trigger.

    [0019] Preferably at least one of the connections between the ends of the hinged linkage and the first and second members allows relative movement between the linkage and the respective member in addition to the rotational movement.

    [0020] Preferably the relative movement includes slideable movement between the respective member and the end of the hinged linkage.

    [0021] Preferably at least one of the connections between the ends of the hinged linkage and the first and second members includes a pin slideably engaged with a slot.

    [0022] Preferably the applicator is suitable for applying an animal remedy to an animal.

    [0023] Preferably the first and second members are handles.

    [0024] Preferably the applicator is an injector.

    [0025] According to a second aspect of the present invention there is provided an applicator including;

    ▪ a body provided with a first handle;

    ▪ an inlet for receiving a remedy to be dispensed;

    ▪ an outlet for dispensing the remedy, the outlet provided with application means connection means for connecting an application means to the outlet;

    ▪ flow control means for controlling flow of the remedy from the inlet to the outlet;

    ▪ a shroud connected to the body and moveable between an extended position wherein the shroud covers an application means attached in use to the application means connection means, and a retracted position wherein a required length of the application means protrudes from the shroud;

    ▪ a first hinged linkage having a first end rotatably engaged with the shroud, a second end rotatably engaged with the first handle, and a hinge intermediate the first and second ends, the first hinged linkage moveable between a collapsed position wherein the hinge is on a first side of a notional axis extending between the first and second ends, and an over-centre locked position wherein the hinge is on an opposite side of the notional axis between the first and second ends, the arrangement being such that the hinged linkage prevents the shroud from moving from the extended position when in the over-centre locked position;

    ▪ biasing means to bias the first hinged linkage towards the over-centre locked position; and

    ▪ linkage unlocking means operable to move the hinge from the over-centre locked position to the first side of the notional axis between the first and second ends, so that the linkage can be moved to the collapsed position as the shroud is moved to the retracted position.



    [0026] Preferably the flow control means includes a second handle, wherein relative movement of the second handle towards the first handle causes the remedy to flow from the outlet, and the applicator includes a second hinged linkage having a first end rotatably engaged with the first handle, a second end rotatably engaged with the second handle, and a hinge intermediate the first and second ends, the second linkage moveable between a collapsed position wherein the hinge is on a first side of a notional axis extending between first and second ends, and an over-centre locked position wherein the hinge is on an opposite side of the notional axis between the first and second ends and the second hinged linkage prevents relative movement of the second handle towards the first handle, the arrangement being such that movement of the first hinged linkage to the collapsed position causes the hinge of the second hinged linkage to move from the over-centre locked position to the first side of the notional axis between the first and second ends of the second hinged linkage, so that the second hinged linkage can be moved to the collapsed position as the first and second handles are moved together.

    [0027] Preferably at least one of the connections between the ends of the second hinged linkage and the handles allows relative movement between the linkage and the respective handle in addition to the rotational movement.

    [0028] Preferably the relative movement includes slideable movement between the end of the second hinged linkage and the respective handle.

    [0029] Preferably at least one of the connections between the ends of the second hinged linkage and the handles includes a pin slideably engaged with a slot.

    [0030] Preferably the body is connected to a first end of the first handle.

    [0031] Preferably the second handle is rotatably connected to the first handle at a distal end to the body.

    [0032] Preferably the shroud is biased towards the extended position.

    [0033] Preferably the applicator is an injector and the application means is a needle.

    [0034] Preferably the shroud is detachable from the injector and is operable in a second mode of operation as a means for removing the needle from the injector, the shroud including a body provided with a cavity shaped and dimensioned to receive the needle when in use in the second mode of operation, the cavity including a formation adapted to engage a complementary formation of the needle so that rotation of the needle shroud causes rotation of the needle, thereby allowing disengagement of the needle from the injector with the needle housed in the cavity.

    [0035] Further aspects of the invention, which should be considered in all its novel aspects, will become apparent from the following description given by way of example of possible embodiments of the invention.

    BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE FIGURES



    [0036] 
    Figure 1
    Is a diagrammatic cross-section side view of an applicator of the present invention configured as an injector, with the first and second linkages in their over-centre locked positions and the needle shroud in an extended position.
    Figure 1A
    Is a diagrammatic end view of the needle shroud of the injector of Figure 1.
    Figure 2
    Is a diagrammatic cross-section side view of the injector of Figure 1, with the first linkage moved away from the over-centre locked position.
    Figure 3
    Is a diagrammatic cross-section side view of the injector of Figure 1, with the first linkage in a collapsed position, the needle shroud in the retracted position and the second linkage moved away from the over-centre locked position.
    Figure 4
    Is a diagrammatic cross-section side view of the injector of Figure 1 with both linkages in their collapsed positions, and the handles moved together.
    Figure 5
    Is a perspective view of a more preferred embodiment of the first and second hinged linkages, both in an over-centre locked position.
    Figure 6
    Is an exploded diagrammatic cross-section side view of the injector of Figure 1 showing the needle shroud component in position for use in removing the needle from the injector.

    BEST MODES FOR PERFORMING THE INVENTION



    [0037] Referring first to Figure 1, an applicator is shown according to one embodiment of the present invention. The applicator is configured as an injector, generally referenced 100.

    [0038] The injector 100 has a body 1 which is provided with a first handle 2. The handle 2 is typically formed as an integral component with the body 1. The body is provided with a cylinder or barrel 3 within which a plunger 3a is reciprocable in order to move fluid from an inlet 4 to an outlet 5 of the injector 100. The plunger is actuated by relative movement of the first handle 2 towards the second handle 6, which causes a remedy in the barrel 3 to move through the outlet 5 and hence through a needle 7 which is attached to the outlet 5.

    [0039] A needle shroud 8 is connected to the body 1 so as to be slideable between the extended position shown in Figure 1, and the retracted position shown in Figures 3 and 4. The needle shroud 8 is preferably biased towards the extended position by a suitable biasing means such as a spring 9 positioned between the needle shroud 8 and the body 1.

    [0040] In order to reduce the risk of a user accidentally injuring themselves on the needle 7, a mechanism is provided to lock the needle shroud 8 in the extended position when the injector 100 is not in use.

    [0041] A linkage 10 is rotatably connected to the needle shroud 8 at a first end 11 and to the first handle 2 at a second end 12. The linkage 10 is provided with a hinge 13 between the first and second ends which divides the linkage into a first segment 10a connected to the shroud 8 and a second segment 10b connected to the first handle 2.

    [0042] With the needle shroud 8 in the extended position, a biasing means such as a torsion spring 14 biases the linkage 10 towards an over-centre locked position, as illustrated in Figure 1. Any suitable means of locking the linkage when it is in this position may be used, but in a preferred embodiment the first segment 10a of the linkage 10 is provided with a stop portion 15, best seen in Figure 2. The stop portion 15 engages a portion of the second segment 10b and prevents the hinge 13 from rotating so as to move the hinge 13 any further away from a notional axis A which extends between the centres of the rotatable connections at the first and second ends of the linkage 10. With the linkage 10 in the over-centre locked position the linkage 10 acts as a substantially rigid strut when subject to a force aligned with the notional axis A. The linkage 10 therefore prevents the needle shroud 8 from moving away from its extended position when in the over-centre locked position.

    [0043] When the user requires the needle shroud 8 to be moved to the retracted position, a linkage unlocking means moves the linkage 10 against the action of the biasing means 14 so that the hinge 13 is on the opposite side of the notional axis A, as shown in Figure 2. In a preferred embodiment the linkage unlocking means is a trigger 16 which is slideably connected to the first handle 2 and is positioned so as to move into engagement with the linkage 10 when operated by the user, thereby moving the hinge 13 away from the locked position. However, other suitable means of moving the linkage 10 away from the over-centre locked position will be apparent to those skilled in the art.

    [0044] With the linkage 10 in the position shown in Figure 2 the needle shroud 8 can be retracted to the position shown in Figure 3, for example as the needle 7 is inserted into the subject animal.

    [0045] Referring next to Figures 1 and 2, in a preferred embodiment a second hinged linkage 17 is provided between the first handle 2 and second handle 6. The second linkage 17 is rotatably connected at a first end 18 to the first handle 2 and at a second, opposite end 19 to the second handle 6.

    [0046] The second linkage 17 is biased towards the over-centre locked position shown in Figures 1 and 2 by a suitable biasing means such as a torsion spring 20. A first segment 17a of the second linkage 17 is provided with a stop portion 21 which engages a suitable portion of a second segment 17b of the linkage 17, and prevents the hinge 22 from rotating so as to move the hinge 22 any further away from a notional axis B which extends between the centres of the rotatable connections at the first and second ends of the linkage 17. With the second linkage 17 in the over-centre locked position shown in Figures 1 and 2 the second linkage 17 is substantially rigid to forces aligned with axis B, and the first handle 2 and second handle 6 cannot be moved together. In this way the chances of accidental dispensing of the remedy are greatly reduced.

    [0047] In order to unlock the handles 2, 6, the needle shroud 8 must be moved to the fully retracted position shown in Figure 3. When the needle shroud 8 reaches the fully retracted position a second linkage unlocking portion of the first linkage 10, for example the stop portion 15, engages the second linkage 17 and moves it from the over-centre locked position shown in Figures 1 and 2, to the unlocked position shown in Figure 3.

    [0048] The first linkage 10 and second linkage 17 may have a pivot axis in common, as seen in the figures. This is not essential, but it does assist in positioning the linkages 10, 17 so that the first linkage 10 can be used to unlock the second linkage 17 when the first linkage 10 moves to the collapsed position.

    [0049] With the second linkage 17 in the unlocked position the handles 2, 6 can be moved together to the position shown in Figure 4, thereby delivering a dose of the remedy. A dosage control means may be provided to allow adjustment of the dose delivered. A suitable dosage control means is described in the applicant's New Zealand patent No. 521084.

    [0050] Once the dose or remedy has been delivered, the needle 7 is withdrawn from the animal and the handles 2, 6 are allowed to move apart under the action of a suitable biasing means such as a torsion spring 23, thereby drawing a new dose of the remedy from a suitable source through the inlet 4 and into the barrel 3. Biasing means 9 move the needle shroud 8 back to the extended position, and biasing means 14 and 20 move the linkages 10, 17 back to their over-centre locked positions. The injector 100 is therefore reset and ready to dispense a further dose.

    [0051] In some embodiments the over-centre action of the linkage 17 may mean that the linkage 17 determines the position of the plunger when in the reset position, rather than the plunger returning to a hard stop. This may lead to small deviations in the dose delivered by the applicator. To prevent this, in a preferred embodiment the connection between the end 19 of the second linkage 17 and the second handle 6 may allow a small amount of relative movement. In some embodiments an additional linkage (not shown) may be provided between the end 19 and the second handle 6 to allow for this movement.

    [0052] A more preferred method of allowing relative movement is described with reference to the preferred embodiment of the first and second linkages shown in Figure 5, with similar reference numerals indicating similar features as in the other figures. In this embodiment the end 19 of the second linkage 17 is provided with an elongate or slotted aperture 26 within which a pin 27 is provided. The pin 27 is connected to the second handle. The elongate or slotted aperture 26 allows a small amount of sliding movement between handle and the second linkage 17 in addition to allowing rotational movement. Other variations of this system will be apparent to those skilled in the art. For example the second linkage 17 may be provided with projecting pins or similar (not shown) which engage with slots provided in the second handle. In some embodiments a similar system may be used at the opposite end of the second linkage. In other embodiments the aperture may simply be oversized relative to the pin, rather than slotted.

    [0053] In the embodiment of the linkages shown in Figure 5, the stop portion 15 is connected to the second segment 10b of the first linkage 10, rather than to the first segment 10a as shown in the embodiment shown in Figures 1-4. In the embodiment shown in Figure 5, the second segment 10b of the first linkage is provided with means to unlock the second segment which includes at least one abutment portion 28 which abuts an abutment portion 29 provided on the first segment 17a of the second linkage 17 when the first linkage 10 is collapsed. This abutment causes the second linkage 17 to move away from its over-centre locked position to its collapsed position.

    [0054] While the present invention has been described with reference to an embodiment in which the dose is applied by squeezing the handles 2, 6 together to manually actuate a plunger, those skilled in the art will appreciate that in some other embodiments of the invention the injector may be adapted so that the plunger is actuated by an alternative means, such as a pressurised gas. In a still further alternative embodiment the remedy may be supplied to the inlet under pressure and the movement of the handles may actuate a valve which allows the remedy to flow from the inlet to the outlet. Suitable means for controlling the volume of remedy delivered may be required with this embodiment.

    [0055] Those skilled in the art will appreciate that in an alternative embodiment of the injector (not shown) the first linkage 10 may be omitted, and some other means of locking the needle shroud may be provided, if required. In these embodiments the second linkage 17 may be unlocked by some other suitable means such as, for example, a trigger. This method of locking the flow control means may also be used with dispensing means other than injectors, for example pour on applicators and the like.

    [0056] In a further embodiment (not shown) the applicator may be provided with the first linkage 10, but the second linkage 17 may be omitted. This configuration may be useful where the applicator has a particularly delicate application means, such as a needle or a delicate nozzle, but where the remedy being dispensed is not harmful to humans.

    [0057] Referring next to Figures 1, 1 a and in particular Figure 6, in a preferred embodiment the needle shroud 8 is provided with means for assisting with the removal of the needle 7.

    [0058] In this embodiment the needle shroud 8 is detachable from the body of the injector 100. In addition to the aperture 24 in the body 25 of the shroud 8, through which the needle 7 can extend when the shroud 8 is attached to the injector 100, the shroud 8 is also provided with a cavity 30 shaped and dimensioned to receive the needle 7 when the user wishes to remove the needle 7 from the injector 100.

    [0059] The cavity 30 has a formation 31, best seen in Figure 1A, preferably provided at or adjacent the mouth 32 of the cavity 30, which is shaped and dimensioned to engage a complementary formation 33 of the needle 7. In a preferred embodiment the formation may be a square drive formation as shown in Figure 1A.

    [0060] The provision of the cavity 30 and formation 31 allows the point of the needle 7 to covered when the needle 7 is removed from the injector 100. The cavity mouth 32 may be provided at either end of the body of the shroud 8. In some embodiments (not shown) the cavity may extend through the body of the shroud 8, but it is preferred that the cavity is shaped so that the needle point 34 can not protrude from the cavity 30.

    [0061] Some needles for use with such injectors are supplied in a two-part plastic sheath (not shown). One part of the sheath has a socket for the needle hub and the needle sits into the socket with the needle cannula protruding into the sheath so that the sharp end of needle is protected. The sheath can be held and used as a tool to attach the needle to the luer lock of an injector.

    [0062] The aperture 24 in the needle shroud 8 of the present invention is preferably dimensioned to allow such a sheath to be inserted through the front of the shroud so that the needles can be fitted and removed without having to remove the shroud 8 from the injector 100.

    [0063] Those skilled in the art will appreciate that the needle shroud 8 described above may be used with other injectors of the prior art, but when used in association with the injector 100 described above there is provided an injector which allows a user to inject a remedy into an animal, and to change a needle of the injector, with minimal risk of needle stick or of accidental delivery of the remedy into the user.

    [0064] While the applicator shown in the figures is adapted for use with a remote supply of remedy, for example from a backpack, those skilled in the art will appreciate that the invention may also be used with applicators which are provided with a bottle mount on which a bottle containing the remedy may be mounted. Still other embodiments may be loaded with a cartridge or vial.

    [0065] Where in the foregoing description, reference has been made to specific components or integers of the invention having known equivalents, then such equivalents are herein incorporated as if individually set forth.

    [0066] Although this invention has been described by way of example and with reference to possible embodiments thereof, it is to be understood that modifications or improvements may be made thereto without departing from the scope of the appended claims.


    Claims

    1. An applicator (100) including;

    ▪ an inlet (4) for receiving a fluid to be dispensed;

    ▪ an outlet (5) for dispensing the fluid to be dispensed; and

    ▪ flow control means for controlling flow from the inlet (4) to the outlet (5), the flow control means including a first member (2) and a second member (6), the arrangement being such that relative movement of the first member (2) towards the second member (6) causes fluid to flow from the outlet (5);

    characterised in that the applicator (100) further includes:

    ▪ a hinged linkage (17) having a first end (18) rotatably engaged with the first member (2), a second end (19) rotatably engaged with the second member (6), and a hinge (22) intermediate the first and second ends (18), (19), the linkage moveable (17) between a collapsed position wherein the hinge (22) is on a first side of a notional axis (B) extending between first and second ends (18), (19), and an over-centre locked position wherein the hinge (22) is on an opposite side of the notional axis (B) between the first and second ends (18), (19) and the hinged linkage (17) prevents relative movement of the first member (2) towards the second member (6); and

    ▪ linkage unlocking (16) means operable to move the hinge (22) from the over-centre locked position to the first side of the notional axis (B) between the first and second ends (18), (19), so that the hinged linkage (17) can be moved to the collapsed position as the first and second members (2), (6) are moved together.


     
    2. The applicator (100) of claim 1 wherein the linkage (17) is biased towards the over-centre locked position.
     
    3. The applicator (100) of claim 1 or 2 wherein the linkage unlocking means (16) includes a trigger.
     
    4. The applicator (100) of claim 1, 2 or 3, wherein at least one of the connections between the ends of the hinged linkage (17) and the first and second members (2), (6) allows relative movement between the linkage (17) and the respective member in addition to the rotational movement.
     
    5. The applicator (100) of claim 4 wherein the relative movement includes slideable movement between the respective member and the end of the hinged linkage (17).
     
    6. The applicator (100) of any one of the claims 4 or 5 wherein at least one of the connections between the ends of the hinged linkage (17) and the first and second members (2), (6) includes a pin (27) slideably engaged with a slot (26).
     
    7. The applicator (100) of any one of claims 1 to 6, wherein the applicator (100) is suitable for applying an animal remedy to an animal.
     
    8. The applicator (100) of any one of claims 1 to 7 wherein the first and second members (2), (6) are handles.
     
    9. The applicator (100) of any one of claims 1 to 8 wherein the applicator (100) is an injector.
     
    10. An applicator (100) including;

    ▪ a body (1) provided with a first handle (2);

    ▪ an inlet (4) for receiving a remedy to be dispensed;

    ▪ an outlet (5) for dispensing the remedy, the outlet (5) provided with application means connection means for connecting an application means (7) to the outlet (5);

    ▪ flow control means for controlling flow of the remedy from the inlet (4) to the outlet (5); and

    ▪ a shroud (8) connected to the body (1) and moveable between an extended position wherein the shroud (8) covers an application means (7) attached in use to the application means connection means, and a retracted position wherein a required length of the application means (7) protrudes from the shroud (8); characterised in that the applicator (100) further includes:

    ▪ a first hinged linkage (10) having a first end (11) rotatably engaged with the shroud (8), a second end (12) rotatably engaged with the first handle (2), and a hinge (13) intermediate the first and second ends (11), (12), the first hinged linkage (10) moveable between a collapsed position wherein the hinge (13) is on a first side of a notional axis (A) extending between the first and second ends (11), (12), and an over-centre locked position wherein the hinge (13) is on an opposite side of the notional axis (A) between the first and second ends (11), (12), the arrangement being such that the hinged linkage (10) prevents the shroud (8) from moving from the extended position when in the over-centre locked position;

    ▪ biasing means (14) to bias the first hinged linkage (10) towards the over-centre locked position; and

    ▪ linkage unlocking means (16) operable to move the hinge (13) from the over-centre locked position to the first side of the notional axis (A) between the first and second ends (11), (12), so that the linkage (10) can be moved to the collapsed position as the shroud (8) is moved to the retracted position.


     
    11. The applicator (100) of claim 10 wherein the flow control means includes a second handle (6), and wherein relative movement of the second handle (6) towards the first handle (2) causes the remedy to flow from the outlet (5), and the applicator (100) includes a second hinged linkage (17) having a first end (18) rotatably engaged with the first handle (2), a second end (19) rotatably engaged with the second handle (6), and a hinge (22) intermediate the first and second ends (18), (19), the second hinged linkage (17) moveable between a collapsed position wherein the hinge (22) is on a first side of a notional axis (B) extending between first and second ends (18), (19), and an over-centre locked position wherein the hinge (22) is on an opposite side of the notional axis (B) between the first and second ends (18), (19) and the second hinged linkage (17) prevents relative movement of the second handle (6) towards the first handle (2), the arrangement being such that movement of the first hinged linkage (10) to the collapsed position causes the hinge (22) of the second hinged linkage (17) to move from the over-centre locked position to the first side of the notional axis (B) between the first and second ends (18), (19) of the second hinged linkage (17), so that the second hinged linkage (17) can be moved to the collapsed position as the first and second handles (2), (6) are moved together.
     
    12. The applicator (100) of claim 11 wherein at least one of the connections between the ends of the second hinged linkage (17) and the handles (2), (6) allows relative movement between the linkage (17) and the respective handle in addition to the rotational movement.
     
    13. The applicator (100) of claim 12 wherein the relative movement includes slideable movement between the end of the second hinged linkage (17) and the respective handle.
     
    14. The applicator (100) of claim 11, 12 or 13 wherein at least one of the connections between the ends of the second hinged linkage (17) and the handles (2), (6) includes a pin (27) slideably engaged with a slot (26).
     
    15. The applicator (100) of any one of claims 10 to 14 wherein the body (1) is connected to a first end (11) of the first handle (2).
     
    16. The applicator (100) of claim 15 wherein the second handle (6) is rotatably connected to the first handle (2) at a distal end (12) to the body.
     
    17. The applicator (100) of any one of claims 10 to 16 wherein the shroud (8) is biased towards the extended position.
     
    18. The applicator (100) of any one of claims 10 to 17 wherein the applicator (100) is an injector (100) and the application means (7) is a needle (7).
     
    19. The applicator (100) of claim 18 wherein the shroud (8) is detachable from the injector (100) and is operable in a second mode of operation as a means for removing the needle (7) from the injector (100), the shroud (8) including a body (25) provided with a cavity (30) shaped and dimensioned to receive the needle (7) when in use in the second mode of operation, the cavity (30) including a formation (31) adapted to engage a complementary formation (33) of the needle (7) so that rotation of the needle (7) shroud causes rotation of the needle (7), thereby allowing disengagement of the needle (7) from the injector (100) with the needle (7) housed in the cavity (30).
     


    Ansprüche

    1. Verabreichungsvorrichtung (100), die Folgendes umfasst;

    ▪ einen Einlass (4) zum Aufnehmen eines auszugebenden Fluids;

    ▪ einen Auslass (5) zum Ausgeben des auszugebenden Fluids;

    ▪ ein Durchflussregelmittel zum Regeln des Flusses von dem Einlass (4) zu dem Auslass (5), wobei das Durchflussregelmittel ein erstes Element (2) und ein zweites Element (6) umfasst, wobei die Anordnung derart ist, dass Relativbewegung des ersten Elements (2) in Richtung des zweiten Elements (6) bewirkt, dass Fluid aus dem Auslass (5) fließt;

    dadurch gekennzeichnet, dass die Verabreichungsvorrichtung (100) weiter Folgendes umfasst:

    ▪ ein gelenkiges Gestänge (17) mit einem ersten Ende (18), das sich drehbar mit dem ersten Element (2) im Eingriff befindet, einem zweiten Ende (19), das sich drehbar mit dem zweiten Element (6) im Eingriff befindet, und ein Gelenk (22) zwischen dem ersten und dem zweiten Ende (18), (19), wobei das Gestänge (17) zwischen einer zusammengeklappten Stellung, in der das Gelenk (22) auf einer ersten Seite einer sich zwischen dem ersten und dem zweiten Ende (18), (19) erstreckenden imaginären Achse (B) liegt, und einer verknieten verriegelten Stellung, in der das Gelenk (22) auf einer gegenüberliegenden Seite der imaginären Achse (B) zwischen dem ersten und dem zweiten Ende (18), (19) liegt, und das gelenkige Gestänge (17) die Relativbewegung des ersten Elements (2) in Richtung des zweiten Elements (6) verhindert, bewegbar ist; und

    ▪ ein Gestängeentriegelungsmittel (16), das betätigbar ist, um das Gelenk (22) aus der verknieten verriegelten Stellung zu der ersten Seite der imaginären Achse (B) zwischen dem ersten und dem zweiten Ende (18), (19) zu bewegen, sodass das gelenkige Gestänge (17) in die zusammengeklappte Stellung bewegt werden kann, wenn das erste und das zweite Element (2), (6) aufeinander zu bewegt werden.


     
    2. Verabreichungsvorrichtung (100) nach Anspruch 1, wobei das Gestänge (17) in Richtung der verknieten verriegelten Stellung vorgespannt ist.
     
    3. Verabreichungsvorrichtung (100) nach Anspruch 1 oder 2, wobei das Gestängeentriegelungsmittel (16) einen Auslöser umfasst.
     
    4. Verabreichungsvorrichtung (100) nach Anspruch 1, 2 oder 3, wobei mindestens eine der Verbindungen zwischen den Enden des gelenkigen Gestänges (17) und dem ersten und dem zweiten Element (2), (6) die Relativbewegung zwischen dem Gestänge (17) und dem jeweiligen Element zusätzlich zur Drehbewegung zulässt.
     
    5. Verabreichungsvorrichtung (100) nach Anspruch 4, wobei die Relativbewegung die schiebbare Bewegung zwischen dem jeweiligen Element und dem Ende des gelenkigen Gestänges (17) umfasst.
     
    6. Verabreichungsvorrichtung (100) nach einem der vorangehenden Ansprüche 4 oder 5, wobei mindestens eine der Verbindungen zwischen den Enden des gelenkigen Gestänges (17) und dem ersten und dem zweiten Element (2), (6) einen schiebbar mit einem Schlitz (26) im Eingriff befindlichen Zapfen (27) umfasst.
     
    7. Verabreichungsvorrichtung (100) nach einem der Ansprüche 1 bis 6, wobei die Verabreichungsvorrichtung (100) zum Verabreichen eines Tierheilmittels an ein Tier geeignet ist
     
    8. Verabreichungsvorrichtung (100) nach einem der Ansprüche 1 bis 7, wobei es sich bei dem ersten und dem zweiten Element (2), (6) um Griffe handelt.
     
    9. Verabreichungsvorrichtung (100) nach einem der Ansprüche 1 bis 8, wobei es sich bei der Verabreichungsvorrichtung (100) um eine Injektionsvorrichtung handelt.
     
    10. Verabreichungsvorrichtung (100), der Folgendes umfasst;

    ▪ einen Körper (1), der mit einem ersten Griff (2) versehen ist;

    ▪ einen Einlass (4) zum Aufnehmen eines auszugebenden Heilmittels;

    ▪ einen Auslass (5) zum Ausgeben des Heilmittels, wobei der Auslass (5) mit einem Verabreichungsmittel-Verbindungsmittel zum Verbinden eines Verabreichungsmittels (7) mit dem Auslass (5) versehen ist;

    ▪ ein Durchflussregelmittel zum Regeln des Flusses des Heilmittels von dem Einlass (4) zu dem Auslass (5); und

    ▪ eine Abdeckhülse (8), die mit dem Körper (1) verbunden ist und zwischen einer ausgefahrenen Stellung, in der die Abdeckhülse (8) ein in Gebrauch an dem Verabreichungsmittel-Verbindungsmittel angebrachtes Verabreichungsmittel (7) abdeckt, und einer eingezogenen Stellung, in der eine benötigte Länge des Verabreichungsmittels (7) von der Abdeckhülse (8) vorsteht, bewegbar ist; dadurch gekennzeichnet, dass die Verabreichungsvorrichtung (100) weiter folgendes umfasst:

    ▪ ein erstes gelenkiges Gestänge (10) mit einem ersten Ende (11), das sich drehbar mit der Abdeckhülse (8) im Eingriff befindet, einem zweiten Ende (12), das sich drehbar mit dem ersten Griff (2) im Eingriff befindet, und ein Gelenk (13) zwischen dem ersten und dem zweiten Ende (11), (12), wobei das erste gelenkige Gestänge (10) zwischen einer zusammengeklappten Stellung, in der das Gelenk (13) auf einer ersten Seite einer sich zwischen dem ersten und dem zweiten Ende (11), (12) erstreckenden imaginären Achse (A) liegt, und einer verknieten verriegelten Stellung, in der das Gelenk (13) auf einer gegenüberliegenden Seite der imaginären Achse (A) zwischen dem ersten und dem zweiten Ende (11), (12) liegt, wobei die Anordnung derart ist, dass das gelenkige Gestänge (10) in der verknieten verriegelten Stellung die Abdeckhülse (8) daran hindert, sich aus der ausgefahrenen Stellung zu bewegen;

    ▪ ein Vorspannmittel (14), um das erste gelenkige Gestänge (10) in Richtung der verknieten verriegelten Stellung vorzuspannen; und

    ▪ ein Gestängeentriegelungsmittel (16), das betätigbar ist, um das Gelenk (13) aus der verknieten verriegelten Stellung zu der ersten Seite der imaginären Achse (A) zwischen dem ersten und dem zweiten Ende (11), (12) zu bewegen, sodass das Gestänge (10) in die zusammengeklappte Stellung bewegt werden kann, wenn die Abdeckhülse (8) in die eingezogene Stellung bewegt wird.


     
    11. Verabreichungsvorrichtung (100) nach Anspruch 10, wobei das Durchflussregelmittel einen zweiten Griff (6) umfasst, und wobei die Relativbewegung des zweiten Griffs (6) in Richtung des ersten Griffs (2) bewirkt, dass das Heilmittel aus dem Auslass (5) fließt, und die Verabreichungsvorrichtung (100) ein zweites gelenkiges Gestänge (17) mit einem drehbar mit dem ersten Griff (2) im Eingriff befindlichen ersten Ende (18), einem drehbar mit dem zweiten Griff (6) im Eingriff befindlichen zweiten Ende (19) und einem Gelenk (22) zwischen dem ersten und dem zweiten Ende (18), (19) umfasst, wobei das zweite gelenkige Gestänge (17) zwischen einer zusammengeklappten Stellung, in der das Gelenk (22) auf einer ersten Seite einer sich zwischen dem ersten und dem zweiten Ende (18), (19) erstreckenden imaginären Achse (B) liegt, und einer verknieten verriegelten Stellung, in der das Gelenk (22) auf einer gegenüberliegenden Seite der imaginären Achse (B) zwischen dem ersten und dem zweiten Ende (18), (19) liegt, und das zweite gelenkige Gestänge (17) die Relativbewegung des zweiten Griffs (6) in Richtung des ersten Griffs (2) verhindert, bewegbar ist, wobei die Anordnung derart ist, dass die Bewegung des ersten gelenkigen Gestänges (10) in die zusammengeklappte Stellung das Gelenk (22) des zweiten gelenkigen Gestänges (17) veranlasst, sich aus der verknieten verriegelten Stellung zu der ersten Seite der imaginären Achse (B) zwischen dem ersten und dem zweiten Ende (18), (19) des zweiten gelenkigen Gestänges (17) bewegt, sodass das zweite gelenkige Gestänge (17) in die zusammengeklappte Stellung bewegt werden kann, wenn der erste und der zweite Griff (2), (6) aufeinander zu bewegt werden.
     
    12. Verabreichungsvorrichtung (100) nach Anspruch 11, wobei mindestens eine der Verbindungen zwischen den Enden des zweiten gelenkigen Gestänges (17) und den Griffen (2), (6) die Relativbewegung zwischen dem Gestänge (17) und dem jeweiligen Griff zusätzlich zur Drehbewegung zulässt.
     
    13. Verabreichungsvorrichtung (100) nach Anspruch 12, wobei die Relativbewegung die schiebbare Bewegung zwischen dem Ende des zweiten gelenkigen Gestänges (17) und dem jeweiligen Griff umfasst.
     
    14. Verabreichungsvorrichtung (100) nach Anspruch 11, 12 oder 13, wobei mindestens eine der Verbindungen zwischen den Enden des zweiten gelenkigen Gestänges (17) und den Griffen (2), (6) einen schiebbar mit einem Schlitz (26) im Eingriff befindlichen Zapfen (27) umfasst.
     
    15. Verabreichungsvorrichtung (100) nach einem der Ansprüche 10 bis 14, wobei der Körper (1) mit einem ersten Ende (11) des ersten Griffs (2) verbunden ist.
     
    16. Verabreichungsvorrichtung (100) nach Anspruch 15, wobei der zweite Griff (6) an einem distalen Ende (12) des Körpers drehbar mit dem ersten Griff (2) verbunden ist.
     
    17. Verabreichungsvorrichtung (100) nach einem der Ansprüche 10 bis 16, wobei die Abdeckhülse (8) in Richtung der ausgefahrenen Stellung vorgespannt ist.
     
    18. Verabreichungsvorrichtung (100) nach einem der Ansprüche 10 bis 17, wobei es sich bei der Verabreichungsvorrichtung (100) um eine Injektionsvorrichtung (100) handelt und es sich bei dem Verabreichungsmittel (7) um eine Nadel (7) handelt.
     
    19. Verabreichungsvorrichtung (100) nach Anspruch 18, wobei die Abdeckhülse (8) von der Injektionsvorrichtung (100) abtrennbar ist und in einem zweiten Betriebsmodus als Mittel zum Abnehmen der Nadel (7) von der Injektionsvorrichtung (100) betätigbar ist, wobei die Abdeckhülse (8) einen Körper (25) umfasst, der mit einer zum Aufnehmen der Nadel (7), wenn sie sich im zweiten Betriebsmodus in Gebrauch befindet, geformten und dimensionierten Aushöhlung (30) versehen ist, wobei die Aushöhlung (30) ein Gebilde (31) umfasst, das dazu angepasst ist, mit einem komplementären Gebilde (33) der Nadel (7) in Eingriff zu treten, sodass die Drehung der Nadel(7)-Abdeckhülse die Drehung der Nadel (7) bewirkt und dadurch das Lösen der Nadel (7) von der Injektionsvorrichtung (100) mit in der Aushöhlung (30) untergebrachter Nadel (7) ermöglicht.
     


    Revendications

    1. Applicateur (100) comprenant :

    une entrée (4) pour recevoir le fluide à injecter ;

    une sortie (5) pour distribuer le fluide à injecter ; et

    un moyen de contrôle de débit pour contrôler le flux de liquide de l'entrée (4) à la sortie (5), le moyen de contrôle de débit comportant un premier élément (2) et un deuxième élément (6), l'agencement étant tel que le mouvement relatif du premier élément (2) vers le deuxième élément (6) entraîne un écoulement du fluide à partir de la sortie (5) ;

    caractérisé en ce que l'applicateur (100) est en outre doté :

    d'une tige articulée (17) comportant une première extrémité (18) en prise rotative avec le premier élément (2), une deuxième extrémité (19) en prise rotative avec le deuxième élément (6), et une articulation (22) intermédiaire entre la première et la deuxième extrémité (18), (19), la tige déplaçable (17) entre une position escamotée, dans lequel l'articulation (22) se trouve sur un premier côté d'un axe notionnel (B) déployé entre la première et deuxième extrémités (18), (19), et une position de verrouillage géométrique dans lequel l'articulation (22) se trouve sur le côté opposé de l'axe notionnel (B) entre la première et la deuxième extrémités (18), (19), et la tige articulée (17) empêche le mouvement relatif du premier élément (2) vers le deuxième élément (6) ; et

    d'un moyen de déverrouillage de tige (16) que l'on peut utiliser pour déplacer l'articulation (22) de la position de verrouillage géométrique sur le premier côté de l'axe notionnel (B) entre la première et la deuxième extrémités (18), (19), de sorte que la tige articulée (17) puisse être déplacée sur la position escamotée au moment du déplacement conjoint du premier et du deuxième éléments (2), (6).


     
    2. Applicateur (100) selon la revendication 1, dans lequel la tige (17) est inclinée en direction de la position de verrouillage géométrique.
     
    3. Applicateur (100) selon, soit la revendication 1, soit la revendication 2, dans lequel le moyen de déverrouillage de tige (16) comprend un déclencheur.
     
    4. Applicateur (100) selon, soit la revendication 1, soit la revendication 2, soit la revendication 3, dans lequel au moins l'une des raccords entre les extrémités de la tige articulée (17) et le premier et le deuxième éléments (2), (6) permet un mouvement relatif entre la tige (17) et l'élément respectif en plus du mouvement de rotation.
     
    5. Applicateur (100) selon la revendication 4, dans lequel le mouvement relatif comprend un mouvement coulissant entre l'élément respectif et l'extrémité de la tige articulée (17).
     
    6. Applicateur (100) selon, soit la revendication 4, soit la revendication 5, dans lequel au moins un des raccords entre les extrémités de la tige articulée (17) et le premier et le deuxième éléments (2), (6) comprend une broche (27) en prise par coulissement avec un évidement (26).
     
    7. Applicateur (100) selon l'une quelconque des revendications 1 à 6, dans lequel l'applicateur (100) est adapté pour appliquer un remède sur un animal.
     
    8. Applicateur (100) selon l'une quelconque des revendications 1 à 7, dans lequel le premier et le deuxième éléments (2), (6) sont des poignées.
     
    9. Applicateur (100) selon l'une quelconque des revendications 1 à 8, dans lequel l'applicateur (100) est un injecteur.
     
    10. Applicateur (100) comprenant :

    un corps (1) doté d'une première poignée (2);

    une entrée (4) pour recevoir un remède à injecter ;

    une sortie (5) pour distribuer le remède, la sortie (5) dotée d'un moyen de raccordement du moyen d'application pour relier le moyen d'application (7) à la sortie (5) ;

    un moyen de contrôle de débit pour contrôler l'écoulement du remède de l'entrée (4) à la sortie (5) ; et

    un protecteur (8) connecté au corps (1) et déplaçable entre une position déployée dans lequel le protecteur (8) recouvre un moyen d'application (7) fixé, à l'utilisation, au moyen de raccordement du moyen d'application, et une position rétractée dans lequel une longueur requise du moyen d'application (7) dépasse du protecteur (8) ;

    caractérisé en ce que l'applicateur (100) comprend en outre :

    une première tige articulée (10) comportant une première extrémité (18) en prise rotative avec le protecteur (12), une deuxième extrémité (12) en prise rotative avec la première poignée (2), et une articulation (13) intermédiaire entre la première et la deuxième extrémités (11), (12), la première tige (10) déplaçable entre une position escamotée, dans lequel l'articulation (13) se trouve sur un premier côté d'un axe notionnel (A) déployé entre la première et la deuxième extrémités (11), (12), et une position de verrouillage géométrique dans lequel l'articulation (13) se trouve sur le côté opposé de l'axe notionnel (A) entre la première et la deuxième extrémités (11), (12), l'agencement étant tel que la tige articulée (10) empêche le protecteur (8) de se déplacer de la position déployée lorsqu'il est en position de verrouillage géométrique ;

    un moyen d'inclinaison (14) pour incliner la première tige articulée (10) vers la position de verrouillage géométrique ; et

    un moyen de déverrouillage de tige (16) que l'on peut utiliser pour déplacer l'articulation (13) de la position de verrouillage géométrique sur le premier côté de l'axe notionnel (A) entre la première et la deuxième extrémités (11), (12), de sorte que la tige (10) puisse être déplacée sur la position escamotée au moment du déplacement de protecteur (8) sur la position rétractée.


     
    11. Applicateur (100) selon la revendication 10, dans lequel le moyen de contrôle de débit comprend une deuxième poignée (6), et dans lequel le mouvement relatif de la deuxième poignée (6) vers la première poignée (2) entraîne un écoulement du remède à partir de la sortie (5), et l'applicateur (100) comprend une deuxième tige articulée (17) comportant une première extrémité (18) en prise rotative avec la première poignée (2), une deuxième extrémité (19) en prise rotative avec la deuxième poignée (6), et une articulation (22) intermédiaire entre la première et la deuxième extrémités (18), (19), la deuxième tige articulée (17) déplaçable entre une position escamotée, dans lequel l'articulation (22) se trouve sur un premier côté d'un axe notionnel (B) déployé entre la première et deuxième extrémités (18), (19), et une position de verrouillage géométrique dans lequel l'articulation (22) se trouve sur le côté opposé de l'axe notionnel (B) entre la première et la deuxième extrémités (18), (19), et la deuxième tige articulée (17) empêche le mouvement relatif de la deuxième poignée (6) vers la première poignée (2), l'agencement étant tel que le mouvement de la première tige articulée (10) vers la position escamotée entraîne le déplacement de l'articulation (22) de la deuxième tige articulée (17) de la position de verrouillage géométrique sur le premier côté de l'axe notionnel (B) entre la première et la deuxième extrémités (18), (19) de la deuxième tige articulée (17), de sorte que la deuxième tige articulée (17) puisse être déplacée sur la position escamotée au moment du déplacement conjoint de la première et de la deuxième poignées (2), (6).
     
    12. Applicateur (100) selon la revendication 11, dans lequel au moins l'un des raccords entre les extrémités de la deuxième tige articulée (17) et les poignées (2), (6) permet un mouvement relatif entre la tige (17) et la poignée respective en plus du mouvement de rotation.
     
    13. Applicateur (100) selon la revendication 12, dans lequel le mouvement relatif comprend un mouvement coulissant entre l'extrémité de la deuxième tige articulée (17) et la poignée respective.
     
    14. Applicateur (100) selon, soit la revendication 11, soit la revendication 12, soit la revendication 13, dans lequel au moins un des raccords entre les extrémités de la deuxième tige articulée (17) et les poignées (2), (6) comprend une broche (27) en prise par coulissement avec un évidement (26).
     
    15. Applicateur (100) selon l'une quelconque des revendications 10 à 14, dans lequel le corps (1) est raccordé à la première extrémité (11) de la première poignée (2).
     
    16. Applicateur (100) selon la revendication 15, dans lequel la deuxième poignée (6) est reliée de manière pivotante à la première poignée (2) à une extrémité distale (12) du corps.
     
    17. Applicateur (100) selon l'une quelconque des revendications 10 à 16, dans lequel le protecteur est incliné vers la position déployée.
     
    18. Applicateur (100) selon l'une quelconque des revendications 10 à 17, dans lequel l'applicateur (100) est un injecteur (100) et le moyen d'application (1) est une aiguille (7).
     
    19. Applicateur (100) selon la revendication 18, dans lequel il est possible de détacher le protecteur (8) de l'injecteur (100), pour l'utiliser selon un deuxième mode en tant que moyen d'enlèvement de l'aiguille (7) de l'injecteur (100), le protecteur (8) comprenant un corps (25) doté d'une cavité (30) dont la forme et la dimension permettent de loger l'aiguille (7) lorsque utilisée en deuxième mode d'utilisation, la cavité (30) comprenant une formation (31) conçue pour prévoir une formation complémentaire (33) de l'aiguille (7) de sorte que la rotation du protecteur de l'aiguille (7) entraîne la rotation de l'aiguille (7), permettant ainsi à l'aiguille (7) de se désengager de l'injecteur (100) l'aiguille (7) étant logée dans la cavité (30).
     




    Drawing





















    REFERENCES CITED IN THE DESCRIPTION



    This list of references cited by the applicant is for the reader's convenience only. It does not form part of the European patent document. Even though great care has been taken in compiling the references, errors or omissions cannot be excluded and the EPO disclaims all liability in this regard.

    Patent documents cited in the description