Best practice guide on key copy protection

The Door & Hardware Federation (DHF) has launched a Best Practice Guide entitled ‘How to obtain Key Copy Protection: security and protection advice regarding copying of keys’, which it says offers information on minimising the risk of a security breach by preventing the unauthorised copying of keys.

The DHF explains: “To copy a key, one has to obtain a suitable key ‘blank’ onto which the individual key code can be copied. Many generic key blanks are readily available to UK locksmiths and key cutters, making obtaining key copies convenient, but a risk to security. 

For some installations, that risk is unacceptable, and there is a need to prevent unauthorised key copying.  One effective way is where the lock manufacturer restricts the availability of suitable key blanks, but this is only if it can prevent anyone else supplying the blanks without its permission.” 

The DHF’s Best Practice Guide goal is ‘to clarify this complicated area of law, to enable claims about security and protection against unauthorised copying to be appropriately evaluated’.

“There is a definite misunderstanding about the most effective way to provide protection for a key,” explains DHF’s CEO, Bob Perry. “It’s important to understand that this level of key control cannot be offered through key copyright or design registration; the most effective way manufacturers can restrict availability of key blanks is by using a patented lock and key mechanism (cylinder and lock together). DHF’s new Best Practice Guide offers concise, comprehensive direction on achieving key copy protection.”