Please update me on restricted keyway patent protection

It is my understanding that the more popular restricted keyway systems
(Medeco, Primus) relied on patents controlling their manufacture, giving the
manufacturer control over dealer stock. Eventually the patents expire and
anyone can legally produce all those blanks, etc.
So, is an old Medeco (Primus, etc.) now unprotected and worthless due to
copycat key sources?
What's the next twist to milk the idea for another decade?
Scott
Reply to
Scott Berg
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Interesting that the entertainment industry has been able to gain greatly increased legal protection of its intellectual property in recent years (eg via the DCMA) than the lock industry protection of restricted keyways. The Federal Government has been quite happy to protect certain keyways (starting with the 'reverse' Yale) by legislation, but has not extended this protection to its citizens.
Looks as if the lock industry is going to have to think of trivial variations and add ons of little real value but sufficient to get past cursory patent office examination (which nowadays does not seem that difficult). Good business too, they can put the wind up customers to buy new cylinders every 10 years or so by explaining the patents on the old ones are about to expire and every store in town will henceforth be able to copy keys.
Reply to
Peter
"Peter" wrote in message:
Correct, the government protects the reverse Yale keyway which is installed in post office boxes so that it doesn't have to spend millions of the taxpayers dollars every ten years to replace every mailbox lock in the entire postal system in order to keep them secure...
There are a few other keyways that are used in federal government buildings that are protected in a similar way...
Ah... :"Trival variations" LOL... The new Medeco M3 design adds a third interlock into the design in addition to the sidebar... That is not very trival...
The "new" Primus keyway family uses thicker key blanks to prevent key breakage...
Depending on how often the lock is used 10 years in a heavily traveled office building or school would be about time in my opinion to replace the cylinder, as a worn cylinder has more play in it and would be a lot easier to pick even after it has been rekeyed than a brand new one...
The problem here is that not every building has someone hanging around that can offer the owners good sound information... 10 years is a long time in the life of a building, locks get replaced with the cheapest brand available that can be keyed into the system...
A smart building owner would install mortise type locks and be able to "more easily" change to a new keyway or add "high security" by swapping out the cylinder with a new one rather than getting involved in trying to see if the high security upgrade they want offers a retrofit for the hardware they have installed...
Evan, ~~formerly a maintenance man, now a college student...
Reply to
Evan
In a Church complex I am involved with, we fitted mortise locks with Australian style oval cylinders. In the future we can have pretty well any cylinder we choose - Medeco, Bi-lock, Primus, etc. I also ensured that we pre-wired for access control.
I am assuming a re-key after five years (we have unfortunately already lost an important key, but in circumstances where a change-out was not warranted).
Reply to
Peter
Schlage Pirmus 2005
Everest Pirmus 2014
ASSA Exclusive 2020
I only know that because I'm an ASSA dealer and had to compete with the other two for a good sized job recently.
Reply to
Bob DeWeese, CML
I believe a utility patent is good for 17 years. That's a good long time for a restricted keyway. It is unfortunate the government wont let Best and others patent their keyway any more. I think it would be good for everyone.
The Medeco Biaxial patent has run it's course and been replaced by the Medeco M3. Schlage Everest has had better sucess than the Primus. It's great because keys and cylinders can be added to any Schlage "c" keyway master key system, thereby protecting vital access points.
I don't know much about Assa/Abloy High Security.
Bob
Reply to
Bob B.
Not so. Schlage's "Classic" ("C", "E", etc) keyway Primus loses it's patent protection this year (2005). Almost found that out the hard way a couple weeks ago.
Schlage's _Everest_ Primus is good until 2014, but it won't key into existing "C" (or other "Classic") keyways MK systems. :(
Darn shame. That was cool.
Bobby
Reply to
Bob DeWeese, CML
Patenting a keyway does not protect the systems against the advanced hobbyist, it takes just an hour or even less to produce a blank for almost all kinds of keyways...with a milling machine for 200$ or even less.
regards - Ralph
Reply to
Ralph A. Schmid, DK5RAS
Crap. Thanks Bobby. I trained on Primus maybe 6 years ago, but never marketed it. Had no idea they are loosing patent already. The largest, and almost only builder's hardware house in Knoxville only offers the Schlage line with Everest keys/cylinders. There is no Everest keyway compatible w/ Schlage "c" or "e"? Geeze.
Bob
Reply to
Bob B.
The law was changed a few years ago. It used to be patents were good for 17 years from date of issue, now they are good for 20 years from the date the application is filed. BBE.
"Bob B." wrote: > > I believe a utility patent is good for 17 years. That's a good long time > for a restricted keyway. It is unfortunate the government wont let Best and > others patent their keyway any more. I think it would be good for everyone. > > The Medeco Biaxial patent has run it's course and been replaced by the > Medeco M3. Schlage Everest has had better sucess than the Primus. It's > great because keys and cylinders can be added to any Schlage "c" keyway > master key system, thereby protecting vital access points. > > I don't know much about Assa/Abloy High Security. > > Bob >
> > It is my understanding that the more popular restricted keyway systems > > (Medeco, Primus) relied on patents controlling their manufacture, giving > > the manufacturer control over dealer stock. Eventually the patents expire > > and anyone can legally produce all those blanks, etc. > > > > So, is an old Medeco (Primus, etc.) now unprotected and worthless due to > > copycat key sources? > > > > What's the next twist to milk the idea for another decade? > > > > Scott > > > >
Reply to
Billy B. Edwards Jr.
Two problems here: 1. Making keys in this way is not commercially viable in the normal way of trade. 2. If a user is caught with such a key, it is obviously an unauthorized copy.
Agreed that restricted keyways do not eliminate unauthorised duplicated, but reduce the chances of one being made by a factor of 100 to 1000.
Reply to
Peter
Yes, of course - but when this is automated, it can be done, and it can be a profitable thing.
So what? Depending of the laws in a country you can do nothing against it in the worst case. You can fire him, if he is an employee...
Agreed.
regards - Ralph
Reply to
Ralph A. Schmid, DK5RAS

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