Medeco® High Security Locks was born as “Mechanical Development Company,” a small tool & die shop in Salem, Virginia. In 1968, the owners and employees of the company developed a unique locking principle of angled key cuts and elevating and rotating pin tumblers that provided millions of key combinations and a level of security that was unmatched in its time. The angled cuts on the key were used to rotate unique bottom pins. Hardened steel inserts and a sidebar were used to produce a cylinder that was highly resistant to virtually all forms of attack. Soon after, Medeco was officially formed and immediately set the standard for high security and key control.
The angled cuts on the Medeco key and the design of the cylinder were so unique that a utility patent was issued. This utility patent protected the operation of the cylinder and also covered the key so that no other manufacturer could produce the cylinder or the key blank. The principle of exclusive manufacturing rights over key blanks was successfully proven in court many times over the life of the original patent, validating the concept of utility patents as an effective method of key control.
Medeco’s use of utility patents to provide the ultimate in key control was so successful that in1985 a new design called Biaxial® was developed. It also provided high security and key control through the use of the elevating and rotating tumbler design and provided even greater master keying capability due to double cuts on the keys and special offset tips on the pins. Additionally, hardened steel inserts were strategically placed to defend against virtually any form of physical attack. A utility patent on both the key and the cylinder was – and still is – used to provide protection against unauthorized manufacture and duplication of key blanks.