Key blank

Definition and Features of Key Blanks
– Key blank is an uncut key with a specific cross-sectional profile.
– It matches the keyway in a lock cylinder.
– Key blanks can be stamped with manufacturer names, logos, or phrases.
– The most common phrase seen is ‘Do not duplicate.’
– Locksmiths stock key blanks for duplicating keys.

Legal Protection and Restrictions
– Keys stamped with ‘Do not duplicate’ or similar phrases may be protected by patents or registered designs.
– Authorized dealers, often locksmiths, are licensed to distribute these keys.
– Once a patent or registered design expires, the key is no longer legally protected.
– License agreements may still restrict distributors.
– Some trade organizations have ethical standards against duplicating such keys.

Regional Variations in Legality
– In some territories, duplicating keys marked ‘Do not duplicate’ is perfectly legal.
– Key blank manufacturers may restrict the sale of their own blanks.
– Some blanks are made in limited quantities and are not widely available.
– The State of California prohibits locksmiths from copying certain marked keys.
– The Associated Locksmiths of America (ALOA) considers such stamps ineffective for security.

Key Blank Manufacturers
– Key blank manufacturers strictly control the sale of their blanks.
– Some manufacturers produce blanks in small volumes.
– Availability of certain blanks may be limited.
– Key blank manufacturers may have their own restrictions and guidelines.
– Some manufacturers prioritize security and restrict access to their blanks.

Related Topics and References
– See also: Key relevance, Lock and key, Lock picking.
– References: Restricted Key Systems, Chubb New Zealand, Master Locksmiths Association of Australasia Limited BY-LAWS, Racines Locksmithing & Security, CA Business and Professions Code Section 6980.54(b)(1), ALOA TECHNICAL STANDARDS.Sources: