There are many benefits of Patented Locks, most if not all revolve around “Key Control” and physical security. Before we can talk about the benefits, we must answer the question, what makes a lock patented?
Lock engineers design a lock that is different than others, this usually starts with the key and the keyway of the lock. They look for unique differences in this new design and what are the benefits. They also design physical security into this new lock. This could be the material the lock is made from or how the internal lock mechanisms work.
Once this process is completed then the lock manufacturer applies for a patent at the USPTO (United States Patent and Trademark Office). This process can take two years or longer and there is no guarantee that a patent will be issued. If a patent is issued, then the lock manufacturer can advertise the benefits of this lock as patented.
Benefits of a patented lock depend on the points and features that were actually patented. Below are some of benefits of a patented lock:
- Key Control is probably the most important benefit. This is achieved by designing a key and keyway that is different and unique form anything else being sold.
- Physical security, this could be construction material, anti-drilling protection on the face or front of the lock and the material of the inner components of the lock.
- Some locks go through UL and if successful get an UL listing.
- Environmental protection, some locks are designed and built to withstand, water intrusion, salt and cold temperatures.
- Electronic Locks, these could have any of the above features and how they communicate with the electronic key and the App. The keyway would be different than a mechanical lock, buy could have unique features that are patentable.
As stated above of all the benefits of a patented lock the key and keyway are the most important. As I have said in the past, “you must control the key to control the security”. This means that the key blanks must be controlled at the factory level. Usually this type of key needs special key cutting machines to cut them. These machines must be controlled also at the factory level.
The price of these locks is usually higher than off the shelf locks. I think that it is easy for you to see why a lot goes into developing a patented lock.