The Corbin Russwin patented Pyramid uses a control pin on the blade of the key to operate a locking pin mechanism. The Pyramid cylinder operates without a proper Pyramid key inserted; the locking pin mechanism engages blocking plate and prevents the plug from turning. With the Pyramid key inserted, the key's control pin depresses the locking pin mechanism and allows the plug to turn. Pyramid lock cylinders are available in high security and security versions. The high security version is certified by Underwriters Laboratories to UL437 standards. Pyramid High Security and Pyramid Security cylinders can be combined on the same master key system and one key can operate both cylinder types. Pyramid cylinders are to be keyed to factory-generated bittings only. Pyramid systems are independent and cannot be keyed into existing and/or conventional systems. Pyramid keys can be originated using standard key originating equipment.
The Kaba Peaks Preferred patented key control system provides protection against unauthorized manufacture or sale of key blanks, cut keys, and pinned cylinders. This six or seven pin system is backwards compatible to Peaks Classic, and requires no special equipment for assembly or to cut keys.
“Kaba Peaks Preferred is built using reliable pin tumbler technology utilizing a patented “peaks” pin as part of the security. The new “peaks” pin has a recess on the bottom that must match the “peak” found on the Peaks Preferred key. If a key without the ”peak“ is inserted, there will be no shear- line created in the cylinder. Therefore, the lock will not open,” says the Kaba Peaks Preferred Patented Key Control System Brochure.
While researching this article, I found that not all lock manufacturers include either the patent number(s) or the date of expiration in their advertising materials. Contact the lock manufacturer to find out what patents are providing protection and the expiration date of the patent that protects the keyway lock mechanism you are interested in selling.
There are generally two method of obtaining patented locks and keys. First, they are purchased by the locksmith, who then decides who can buy them. Second, a large facility can purchase the required amount of product for locks and key blanks that are exclusive to their facility. The locksmith or the facility exclusivity can be by region, area code, zip code, state, time zone, the entire country or worldwide as determined by the lock manufacturer.
For the locksmith, generally, a base level provides access to one keyway. This shared keyway gives a basic level of key control, eliminating key cutters and unauthorized locksmiths.
The next levels provide increasingly limited exclusivity. For example, a locksmith can gain exclusivity to a particular area. The size can vary by population, area code, zip code, state, time zone, etc. For those areas that are less than the entire country, other locksmiths or facilities probably have access to the same keyway, just not in the same geographic area. Depending upon the area, a local or networked locksmith distributor or the lock manufacturer ensures that the contractual agreement is maintained. If the required amount of product is not sold every year, rights can be recanted.
The “not patented” or patent expired restricted and proprietary key blanks for the most part have key blanks and a keyway lock mechanism that is not being used by any other lock manufacturer. The “not patented” lock mechanisms are usually not high security and can usually use standard pin tumblers and key origination by standard key originating machines.
There have been “not patented” restricted keyways for hundreds of years. This is not a new entry for locksmith or large facilities.
Restricted and proprietary key blanks can be restricted to regions of the United States, North America, other countries and combinations or the world. The value of a restricted or proprietary key blank is to minimize the possibility of having an unknowing duplicate made from a “not patented” key blank.
“Not patented” restricted key blanks availabilities are set by the manufacturers and/or the distributors who determine the area and sizes of the restricted region and who can sell them. More than one distributor may be able to sell the same restricted keyway lock mechanism and key blanks. Depending upon the degree of exclusivity, the buy-in and the annual purchase requirements increase in price.
A proprietary keyway is a distributor (or distributor network) wide keyway that only one distributor (or distributor network) can sell. This keyway can also be known as the “National Keyway.” Proprietary keyway lock mechanisms and key blanks have a much higher buy-in and annual purchase requirements.