Search Images Maps Play YouTube News Gmail Drive More »
Sign in
Screen reader users: click this link for accessible mode. Accessible mode has the same essential features but works better with your reader.

Patents

  1. Advanced Patent Search
Publication numberUS3824815 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJul 23, 1974
Filing dateOct 16, 1972
Priority dateOct 16, 1972
Publication numberUS 3824815 A, US 3824815A, US-A-3824815, US3824815 A, US3824815A
InventorsDarling W
Original AssigneeDarling W
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Labyrinth locking apparatus
US 3824815 A
Abstract
A locking apparatus to prevent unauthorized unlocking movement between a first member and a second member, a labyrinth employed between the members, the labyrinth requiring a known combination by an authorized person to produce the desired unlocking movement.
Images(6)
Previous page
Next page
Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

I United States Patent 11 1 1111 3,824,815 Darling July 23, 1974 [5 LABYRINTH LOCKING APPARATUS 2.305.111 12/1942 Schueren et al. 70/232 x [76} Inventor: William A. Darling, 18554 Lanark X St., Reseda, Calif. 91335 FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS [22] Filed. Oct 16 1972 245,319 ll/l94fl Switzerland 273/l56 [2l] Appl. No: 297,609 Primary Examiner-Robert L. Wolfe Assistant Examiner-Richard P. Tremblay [52] U S Cl 70/18 70/259 70/290 Attorney, Agenl, 0r Firm-Robert E. Geauque 70/331, 215/98 51 Int. Cl EOSb 31/20 [571 ABSTRACT {58} Field of Search 70/289, 290, 232, 18, 259, A locking apparatus to prevent unauthorized unlock- 70/331; 206/15; 215/93 ing movement between a first member and a second member, a labyrinth employed between the members, [56] References Cited the labyrinth requiring a known combination by an au- UNITED STATES PATENTS thorized person to produce the desired unlocking 615,381 12/[898 Brockett 70/290 ux movement 785,132 3/1905 Vieweg 70/290 X 21 Claims, 25 Drawing Figures PAIENTEflmzawn 24, 15

FIG. 2/. 22B 226 PATENTEDJULZSISH 3.824.815

FIG. [5. P-

1 LABYRIN'IH LOCKING APPARATUS BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION The designing of a satisfactory lock has long been a difficult problem. There is really no lock that cannot be opened by a skilled unauthorized person who has enough time and/or the right tools to break the lock. The main purpose of a lock is to insure that so much time is absorbed in the breaking of the lock or so much attention created thereby, that unauthorized persons will not make any attempt to break the lock.

Many of our material possessions are readily movable from place to place and are therefore more susceptible to being stolen. Some of these possessions are purchased at substantial expense. Examples of such types of possessions are automobile accessories (wheels and tires in particular), cycle-type vehicles, boats, trailers and others too numerous to mention.

In designing a lock for automobile wheels (custom" wheels in particular), it is desirable that the lock be secured in such a way as to not significantly detract from, if not enhance, the wheel design, while also making it extremely difficult for an unauthorized person to break, pry off, or unlock the apparatus within a short period of time. Also, the wheel locking apparatus must be designed in such a manner to be simply and easily removed by an authorized person. The previous attempts at designing such a wheel locking apparatus have not achieved these desired results.

As to cycle-type vehicles, boats, trailers and the like, it is additionally desired that such a locking apparatus be readily portable and light in weight. The normal type of locking procedure for such articles is to use a chain which is to be passed through the frame or other strong member of the article and about a fixed object such as a tree, post, or the like. Such a locking apparatus should be extremely difficult to break, pry, or pick while also being quickly and easily operable by an authorized person.

Some of our possessions can do great harm if allowed to fall into the wrong hands. An example of such are patent and prescription medicines, caustic chemicals, aerosol sprays, poisons and other household items within reach of children. A locking container for such common items would have to be effective against small children while being simple to open and close for adults. Another use for a similar container could be to prevent adults from gaining surreptitious possession of narcotics and dangerous drugs. Such a container would have to be strong enough to resist easy entry yet be simple to operate.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The apparatus of this invention relates in particular to the use of a labyrinth type of locking system which can be used as the basis for a new family of locks. The lock is created by a labyrinth employed between one member and another member. The two members may comprise a portable container to be employed to hold a valuable or dangerous substance or it may comprise a fixed shelter to keep an article or articles out of an unauthorized persons reach. Upon each of the members may be located different sets of indicia which when the proper segment of one indicia is arranged in the proper position with the other set of indicia, the particular labyrinth path is in position so as to effect disassociation of the two members. The main advantage of such a labyrinth type of arrangement is that a person desiring to obtain unauthorized entry into the container will nonnally have to attempt a substantial number of different positions in order to find the correct path. This means that the unauthorized person will be required to take a substantial period of time in order to effect entry into the container.

The apparatus of this invention is found to be useful in the field of locks for automobile wheels. The locking apparatus of this invention is found to be extremely difticult to pry off and break when locking an automobile wheel while also requiring an extremely timeconsuming operation in order for one to achieve a particular desired" combination while attempting to obtain unauthorized entry. This time-consuming feature will normally deter even the most diligent of thieves.

The apparatus of this invention can also be readily employed in combination with a length of chain to lock cycle-type vehicles and other possessions to other objects. Again, it would be extremely difficult for an unauthorized person to break or pry apart the chain lock of this invention while also being an extremely timeconsuming procedure to discover the combination". Also, the apparatus of this invention can be quickly and easily operated by the authorized person or persons.

The apparatus of this invention employs the use of a labyrinth arrangement which is to be located between the two members. The labyrinth arrangement is to have substantial number of different paths but only one path which is not a trap" or dead end. The person operating the locking apparatus of this invention must find this particular one path in order to effect separation of the members.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is an isometric view of the basic type of a labyrinth type of locking apparatus of this invention;

FIG. 2 is a plan view of a type of labyrinth arrangement which can be employed in the locking apparatus of this invention;

FIG. 3 is a cross-sectional view through the labyrinth locking arrangement within this invention taken along line 33 of FIG. 2;

FIG. 4 is a plan view similar to FIG. 2 but of a moditied form of labyrinth locking arrangement;

FIG. 5 is a front view of a first embodiment of the locking apparatus of this invention;

FIG. 6 is a cross-sectional view of the first embodiment of this invention taken along line 6-6 of FIG. 5;

FIG. 7 is a front view of a second embodiment of locking apparatus of this invention;

FIG. 8 is a cross-sectional view of the second embodiment of this invention taken along line 8-8 of FIG. 7;

FIG. 9 is a front view of a third embodiment of locking apparatus of this invention;

FIG. 10 is a cross-sectional view through the third embodiment taken along line 10-40 of FIG. 9;

FIG. 11 is a front view of a fourth embodiment of locking apparatus of this invention;

FIG. 12 is a cross-sectional view through the fourth embodiment of this invention taken along line 12-12 of FIG. 11;

FIG. 13 is a front view of a fifth embodiment custom wheel locking apparatus showing such as it would appear being mounted upon such a wheel;

FIG. 14 is a cross-sectional view through the fifth embodiment of this invention taken along line l4l4 of FIG. 13;

FIG. 15 is a front view of the sixth embodiment of wheel lock of this invention, showing how such can be installed upon a typical custom wheel assembly;

FIG. 16 is a cross-sectional view of the sixth embodiment of this invention taken along line 16-16 of FIG. 15;

FIG. I7 is an exploded isometric view of the sixth embodiment locking apparatus of this invention;

FIG. 18 is a view showing the labyrinth arrangement employed within the sixth embodiment of this invention;

FIG. 19 is a cross-sectional view through the labyrinth of the sixth embodiment taken along line 19-19 of FIG. 18;

FIG. 20 is an isometric view of the seventh embodiment of locking apparatus of this invention showing how such could be employed in combination with a container;

FIG. 21 is a cross-sectional view through the seventh embodiment of this invention taken along line 2121 of FIG. 20;

FIG. 22 is an isometric view of the eighth embodiment of the locking apparatus of this invention which is designed in particular to be a chain lock;

FIG. 23 is a cross-sectional view taken along line 23-23 of FIG. 22 showing the internal component arrangement of the eighth embodiment of this invention;

FIG. 24 is a fragmentary cross-sectional view of the pawl arrangement employed within the eighth embodiment of this invention taken along line 24-24 of FIG. 23; and

FIG. 25 is a diagrammatic view of the eighth embodiment of this invention showing how such could be operated in combination with a chain.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE SHOWN EMBODIMENTS Referring particularly to the drawings, there is shown in FIG. 1 the basic form of locking apparatus of this invention. Basically, the locking apparatus 30 of this invention comprises a first member 32 and a second member 34. The first member 32 is shown to be cylindrical and hollow in configuration. However, it is not necessary for the first member 32 to be hollow and may be solid in certain instances. The second member 34 is also cylindrical in configuration and is hollow forming an interior chamber 36. Connected to the second member 34 is a pawl 38. The pawl 38 is a protrusion which extends radially inward a small distance into the interior chamber 36. For purposes of simplification, a single pawl 38 is shown but it will be obvious after reading the specification that multiple pawls can be used spaced evenly about the circumference of the second member 34.

Secured about the first member 32 is a labyrinth 40. The labyrinth 40 is composed of a plurality of different passageways formed between upstanding longitudinal walls 41 and transverse walls 42. The longitudinal walls 4I are higher than the walls 42 to prevent the pawl 38 from sliding transversely across the upper surfaces of the walls 41 and 42 which could result in unauthorized disassociation of the members 32 and 34. The transverse walls 42 are inclined to form ramps 44. The function of the ramps will be explained further on in the specification.

Each of the passageways between the walls 41 is blocked by a stop wall 46 with the exception of passageway 48. The stop wall to the passageway 48 has been removed.

With the second member 34 located about the first member 32, the pawl 38 will be positioned adjacent the back edge 50 of the labyrinth 40. In locating the second member 34 about the first member 32, just a slight amount of force is required to move the first member 32 within the second member 34. When doing such, the pawl 38 has an inclined forward surface 52 which upon coming into contact with the stop wall 46 or a wall 41 or 42 during insertion, the pawl 38 is biased radially outwardly to permit the pawl to pass thereover. However, in the reverse movement when the vertical aft surface 54 of the pawl 38, upon coming into contact with an upstanding wall 41 or 42 or a stop wall 46, will be prevented from further such reverse movement, thereby preventing disassociation of the second member 34 from the first member 32.

For applications where it is necessary to hold the members in the locked position, a locking detent 45 is employed. The pawl 38 is to be located within detent 45 to prevent relative movement between members 32 and 34. The detent 45 is shown to be at position 0. However, any other position could be selected except for those used as openings to the labyrinth.

The stop wall 46 for the passageway 48 has been removed as above mentioned. This means that the pawl 38 is capable of moving in the path as represented by arrow 56 which will permit disassociation of the members 32 and 34. The disassociation movement of the pawl 38 comprises an initial longitudinal movement of the pawl away from the back edge 50, a sideways movement of the pawl, reverse longitudinal movement over a ramp 44, additional sideways movement, forward longitudinal movement, a further sideways movement and then a final forward longitudinal movement until the pawl 38 leaves the passageway 48. If the correct passageway 48 is not selected, it is readily apparent that the pawl 38 will be prevented from leaving the labyrinth 40 by means of stop blocks 46. This means that a person who knows the correct combination may quickly effect disassociation of the members. However, a person that does not know the correct combination, to find the right passageway 48 would be quite a timeconsuming procedure.

Located on the first member 32 is indicia 58 which comprises alphabetical letters. This is an internal indicia and, as indicated later in the specification, is not visible to the user. However, for purposes of this explanation, we will assume that the letters of indicia 58 are aligned with the external or operating" indicia. A person that knows the combination will immediately locate the pawl 38 opposite the letter E which is the beginning of the passageway 48. That person also knows the movements that are needed of the pawl 38 in order to cause the pawl 38 to pass completely through the passageway 48. It is to be noted that each of the stop blocks 46 also include an alphabetical letter. The stop block with the letter H has been removed for passageway 48. The purpose of internal indicia 58 is to allow the labyrinth to be instantly readable after a particular stop block 46 has been removed. It is obvious that since the labyrinth walls and passageways are fixed, each stop block 46 has a fixed combination path thereby allowing for a cross-index list to be prepared matching each stop block with its appropriate combination.

It is envisioned that, in some instances, the selection of a particular combination may be accomplished at the time the locking apparatus 30 of this invention is purchased. In other words, the merchant can select any of the stop blocks 46 and remove such as by grinding. Once a stop block has been removed, the particular path in order to effect disassociation of the members can then be read from the aforementioned cross-index list with such information being transmitted to the purchaser 0f the locking apparatus. Due to the design of the labyrinth, the combination to effect disassociation of the members is known by observing which stop block is removed.

It is to be noted that by reference to FIG. 2 of the drawings there are l8 different passageways letter in particular from A through R. Therefore, there are essentially l8 different unlocking movements which can be accomplished for the particular locking apparatus shown. There will be no duplication of unlocking movements except for one in every 19 locking apparatuses sold. This can be readily varied, if desired, by increasing the number of passageways or decreasing such.

It should be further noted that these unlocking movements arepatterns only, and that even greater apparent differentiation between identical labyrinths can be gained by altering the external indicia.

It should also be further noted that the labyrinth can be repeated in duplicate by having two or more identical labyrinths in series around the circumference of first member 32. Such series would require the use of multiple indicia 58, that is to say, multiple As, B's Cs, etc., as necessary. Such series would also require multiple pawls 38 spaced around the circumference of second member 34 to match the aforementioned multiple labyrinths.

By reference to FIG. 4, a labyrinth structure 40' is shown which can substantially decrease the chance of unlocking movement duplication. In essence, the labyrinth 40' comprises a dual labyrinth structure being formed of a first labyrinth 60 and a second labyrinth 62. The unlocking passageway 48' must be conducted in a certain path through the second labyrinth 62 and then through the first labyrinth 60. For the first labyrinth 60 there are 18 different outlet passageways which can be selected by the elimination of a stop block 46'. Also, for the second labyrinth 62 there are eighteen different possible selections of an outlet passageway by the elimination of a stop block 64. Therefore, instead of only eighteen different patterns being available as within the single labyrinth of FIG. 2, within the double labyrinth of FIG. 4 there are 324 possible patterns. For purposes of simplification, only a double labyrinth is shown but obviously even greater security can be gained by adding additional labyrinths as well as additional passageways.

It is to be understood that the apparatus 30 is basic to all embodiments of this invention. In actual use, the pawl 38 and all elements of the labyrinth 40 will be hidden from view to keep unauthorized persons from unlocking the structure. The usual means of accomplishing such coverage is by annular skirts" or walls and typical means is shown in FIGS. 5 through 12, inclusive.

The locking apparatus 30 of this invention can be employed in numerous ways. Examples of some of the ways in which the apparatus 30 of this invention can be employed are as follows.

Referring particularly to FIGS. 5 and 6 of the drawings, the first member 66 is shown substantially cylindrical and hollow forming an interior chamber 68 and an annular chamber 69 adjacent thereto. The first member is closed at its outermost end with the annular outer wall 70 of the first member 66 being locatable within an annular chamber 72 of the second member 74. The second member 74 includes an annular chamber 76 located radially interiorly of the chamber 72 and adjacent thereto. An annular inner rib 78 of the first member 66 is adapted to cooperate within the chamber 76. The rib 78 is configured to include a labyrinth 80. It is to be noted that the labyrinth 80 is constructed on both its radially inner and outer surfaces. In this way a dual labyrinth effect can be employed which is to cooperate with the pawls 82 and 84. The pawls 82 and 84 are integrally connected to the annular walls 86 and 88, respectively, which together form therebetween the interior chamber 76. The labyrinth 80 has to be identical on each side so therefore no greater number of different combinations are obtained as compared to the single labyrinth of FIG. 2. However, through the use of two pawls 82 and 84, a physically stronger structure is obtained which makes it less likely for such to break or be broken. It is to be made apparent that the pawls 82 and 84 are sufficiently resilient to slide over the labyrinth walls during insertion of the first member 66 into the second member 74. It is believed to be readily apparent that there would be a mark 90 placed upon the first member 66 which is to be positionable with indicia 92 formed upon the second member 74 so that the first member 66 may be properly aligned with the second member 74 to effect disassociation therebetween. The indicia 92 is represented by alphabetical letters. However, it is within the scope of this invention to employ other types of indicia such as numerals.

The first embodiment of this invention represented in FIGS. 5 and 6 of the drawings may be used as a container with matter being contained within chambers 68 and 69. Also, this embodiment could be employed as an apparatus in any environment where it is desired to lock one member with respect to another member such as to lock road wheels on automobiles.

Referring particularly to FIGS. 7 and 8 of the drawings, there is shown the second embodiment 94 of this invention which comprises a first member 96, a second member 98 and a third member 100. The first member 96 includes an annular wall 102 which has an interior chamber 104 formed therein. An upstanding pawl 106 is integrally formed upon the wall 102 at the innermost end of the first member 96. The third member includes an annular outer wall and an annular inner rib 108. Formed on the rib 108 is a dual labyrinth 110 which is basically similar to the labyrinth 80. However, the labyrinth 110 need not be substantially duplicated and can and will more than likely be different on each side of the rib 108.

The second member 98 includes an annular outer cover 112 which surrounds annular wall 114 thereby creating annular chamber 115. Formed upon the wall 114 is a pawl 116. Pawl 116 cooperates with the radially outer side of the labyrinth 110 with the pawl 106 cooperating with the radially inner side of the labyrinth 110.

In order to effect disassociation of the members 96 and 98 from the member 100, member 96 must be removed first. Letter indicia 97 on member 96 is aligned with the mark 101 on member 98. A flange 118 is connected to the first member 96 and is adapted to cover flange 120 of the second member 98. The first member 96 must be removed first in order for the second member 98 to be removed because of the cooperating flanges 118 and 120. The particular combination necessary to remove the first member 96 is to be employed and such is to be removed. Then it is necessary to remove second member 98 by proper alignment of mark 101 with indicia 99. This particular type of an arrangement would be adaptable to a wheel lock or a container for very valuable materials since in order to obtain access to the annular chamber 115 it would be necessary to remove both the first member 96 and the second member 98. When the second embodiment 94 is used as a wheel lock, the lug bolts would be located in the space between walls 112 and 114.

Referring particularly to FIGS. 9 and of the drawings, the third embodiment 122 of this invention is shown. The third embodiment 122 includes a first member 124, a second member 126 and a third member 128. The labyrinth 130 is carried by an annular rib 132 which is formed on the second member 126. The labyrinth 130 need not be duplicated on each side in a manner similar to the first embodiment of this invention since pawl 136 can be moved independently from pawl 134 by manipulation of first member 124. Pawl 134 is carried by the annular inner wall 138 of the member 128. Pawl 136 is carried by annular wall 140 of the member 124. Appropriate cooperating indicia is located on members 124, 126 and 128 in order to effect the proper alignment therebetween and the separation of the members.

ln order to separate the members of the third embodiment 122, second member 126 must first be removed by proper conducting of the pawls 134 and 136 through their respective appropriate passageway within the labyrinth 130. Once the second member 126 is removed, access is provided within the chamber 141 of the third member 128.

By employing two separate labyrinths within the labyrinth 130, a substantially increased amount of security is obtained. lt is readily apparent from FIG. 10, the member 128 includes an annular flange 143 which is to be located directly adjacent an annular flange 145 of the annular wall 140. The flange arrangement provided by flanges 143 and 145 prevents longitudinal movement of the member 124 relative to the member 128. The member 128 is to be fixed to some fixed object not shown. This makes it substantially more difficult for anyone to break into the third embodiment 122 because of the interconnecting of the members 128 and 124.

The fourth embodiment 142 of this invention is shown in FIGS. 11 and 12 of the drawings. The fourth embodiment 142 includes a first member 144, a second member 146 and a third member 148. A labyrinth 150 is a single labyrinth and is carried by the first member 144. The second member 146 has an annular wall 152 which includes a pawl 154 protruding therefrom. The pawl 154 is to cooperate with the labyrinth 150.

in order to separate the members of the fourth embodiment 142, second member 146 must first be removed by proper conducting of the pawl 154 through the appropriate passageway within the labyrinth 150. Once the second member 146 is removed, access is provided within the chamber 156 of the third member 148.

It should be noted that in the fourth embodiment 142, the first member 144 and second member 146 are not attached to third member 148 and are free to rotate therewithin being only restrained by flange 157.

A common way to break into a locking apparatus is by twisting one member with respect to another member until the locking arrangement therebetween breaks. However, within the fourth embodiment 142, this would be difficult to do since, even when partially conducted through the labyrinth, both members 144 and 146 rotate with respect to the fixed member 148. To break the labyrinth between the members 144 and 146 it would be necessary for either member 144 or 146 to be fixed in position while the other of these members is rotated. This would be difficult to do because of the placing or locating within member 148 the member 146.

Referring particularly to F165. 13 and 14 of the drawings, the fifth embodiment 158 of this invention is shown in the form of a wheel lock and is adapted to prevent unauthorized access to the lug bolts 160 of a custom wheel assembly 162 of an automobile, not shown.

The fifth embodiment 158 of this invention includes a first member 164 which is to surround the hub 166 of the vehicle wheel. The lug bolts 160 extend through appropriate apertures formed within the first member 164 prior to accomplishing the securing of the wheel assembly 162 to the vehicle. A second member 168 is then fastened by bolt 170 to the first member 164. A second member 168 includes a plurality of housings 172, each of which has a chamber means 174 formed therein. The head of a lug bolt 160 is to cooperate within the chamber means 174 of housing 172. A pawl 176 is biasingly supported by a spring 178 within the second member 168. The pawl 176 is to cooperate in a manner similar to that previously described in the other embodiments with a labyrinth 180 formed interiorly of the third member 182. The third member 182 includes an outer closed cover 184 which is integrally connected to a circular shell 186. The labyrinth 180 is formed upon the shell 186.

By positioning the third member 182 properly with respect to the second member 168, third member 182 may be removed therefrom. Upon such being removed, the bolt 170 may be loosened which will permit the second member 168 to be removed from the first member 164. Therefore, the lug bolts 160 may be removed which would result in the wheel assembly 162 to be extracted from the vehicle.

The main advantage of the fifth embodiment of this invention is that it is extremely difficult to pry the fifth embodiment ofi the wheel assembly and break such. Any unauthorized person attempting to pry the fifth embodiment of this invention from the wheel assembly 162 would find that the prying would have to be accomplished between either the second member 168 and the custom wheel assembly 162 or the first member 164 and the custom wheel assembly 162. In either case, the force is being transmitted directly to the bolt 170 and not to the labyrinth 180. Any unauthorized person would find it extremely difficult to break the bolt 170 as opposed to the breaking of the pawl 176 or the labyrinth 180.

The sixth embodiment 188 is shown in FIGS. 15 through 19 of the drawings. The sixth embodiment 180 is basically similar to the fifth embodiment with the exception of the different construction of the labyrinth.

The sixth embodiment 188 is adapted to be a wheel lock. It is to prevent access to the lug bolts 190 of a custom wheel assembly 192. The sixth embodiment 188 includes a first member 194 which includes a plurality of openings therein so that the lug bolts 190 can pass therethrough and bind such to the wheel assembly 192. The first member 194 includes an annular upstanding portion 196 to which is integrally connected to a pawl 198. Pawl 198 is to cooperate with a labyrinth assembly 200 which is fixedly secured by bolts 202 to a second member 204. The second member 204 covers the lug bolts 190 and prevents access thereto as well as covering the hub 206 of the vehicle, not shown. A spring 208 will normally be carried about the hub 206 and will be in contact with the second member 204 to bias such outwardly preventing any loose type of connection.

The labyrinth assembly 200 is composed of a plurality of discs 212. Each of the discs 212 includes protuberances and recesses which when cooperating together form a labyrinth 214 which is shown in FIG. 18 of the drawings. The desired passageway through the labyrinth 214 is shown by arrow 216 to effect extraction of the second member 204 from the first member 194. An enlarged disc 218 includes outlet passage 220 and is to be the final disc in the series. The disc 218 includes a substantial number of apertures 222 with each aperture capable of cooperating with a bolt 202. Each disc 212 is different. Also, the labyrinth 214 has no ramps as in the previous embodiments.

In order to further minimize the chance of unauthorized entry through the sixth embodiment lock of this invention, structure is employed which must be initially preset. The enlarged disc 218 includes an annular recess 217 formed therein. A ring 219 is located within the recess 217 and is in slight frictional engagement therewith. The engagement between disc 218 and ring 219 is such that the disc 218 and ring 219 will rotate together. But if ring 219 is held, rotative movement therebetween will occur.

A gap 221 is formed within ring 219. A pawl 223 is formed on ring 219 with a pawl 225 formed on first member 194. Initially, the member 204 is manually rotated in a given direction (such as clockwise) until pawl 223 comes into contact with pawl 225. At this position further clockwise rotational movement of the ring 219 is prevented. The member 204 is then further rotated to a particular indicia position represented between member 204 and member 194. Upon the particular indicia position established, the gap 221 is in alignment with the outlet passage 220. If this particular alignment is not initially achieved, the pawl 198 can be moved completely through the particular labyrinth 216 but cannot be completely removed from the labyrinth because such would be blocked by the solid portion of the ring 219. It is to be understood that location of the pawl 223 on the ring 219 can be varied as well as the location of the pawl 225 on the member 194. By varying these locations, different unlocking combinations can be obtained.

Once the location of gap 221 is in alignment with the outlet passage 220, the operator then longitudinally withdraws member 204 causing pawl 198 to move through an opening in disc 213 and then be located adjacent disc 215. In this position the pawl 223 has been moved out of contactual relationship with pawl 225 and is spaced longitudinally therefrom. The operator then proceeds to rotate member 204 to a second indicia position in order to align pawl 198 with the particular desired passageway 216. During this rotational movement of member 204, the position of ring 219 with respect to disc 218 is maintained due to pawls 223 and 225 being spaced from each other, thereby not causing ring 219 to be held. The pawl 198 is then moved through its particular labyrinth path 216 with the pawl 198 finally moving through outlet passage 220 and gap 221 in order to effect disassociation of member 204 from member 194.

It is to be noted that members 194 and 196 are held together through a spot weld. The particular position of these members is to be initially established so as to locate pawl 225 in a particular rotational position with respect to pawl 198.

The main advantage of the sixth embodiment of this invention is that the combination may be readily changed. For example, by disassembling the labyrinth assembly 200, the discs 212 may be rotated relative to each other to give a different desired path therethrough. Additionally, because of the substantial number of apertures 222, the enlarged disc 218 may be rotated to any position so that the outlet passage 220 may be changed at will to any particular selected path.

Another advantage of the sixth embodiment of this invention is that it is extremely difficult to pry such off the wheel assembly and effect breaking of the sixth embodiment of this invention. 11' a prospective thief attempts to pry the sixth embodiment of this invention from the wheel assembly 192, the prying would have to be accomplished between the first member 194 and the wheel assembly 192. This in essence is exerting a force directly to the lug bolts and no force would be transmitted to the labyrinth or locking pawl 198. A prospective thief would find it extremely difficult to break the lug bolts 190 as opposed to the breaking of the pawl 198.

While both the fifth and sixth embodiments of this invention are designed to be used with after market type custom wheels, it is obvious that the invention can be used with any type automotive road wheel, and can be considerably simplified if designed into the elements of a new wheel.

Referring particularly to FIGS. 20 and 21 of the drawings, the seventh embodiment 224 of this invention is shown. The seventh embodiment 224 is configured in a typical container such as might be employed as a medicine bottle. The seventh embodiment 224 includes an inner member 226 which includes an interior chamber 228 within which is to be supported the medicine or other substance to which it is desired to prevent unauthorized access. The inner member 226 includes an upstanding annular shell 230 upon which is formed a labyrinth 232. Formed about the enlarged base of the inner member 226 is indicia 234 representing each path through the labyrinth 232. it is to be noted that there are 26 such paths through the labyrinth 232. However, the number of paths could be readily varied as well as the configuration of each path.

An outer member 236 is adapted to cover the inner member 226 with the outer member 236 including an annular inner wall 238. A pawl 240 is fixed to the shell 238. The outer member 236 may be screw threadingly connected by screw threads 242 to the inner member 226 to establish an air-tight connection therebetween upon the outer member 236. Located upon the outer shell 244 of the outer member 236 is indicia 246 which basically includes the letters of the alphabet.

it should be noted that the combination need not be selected at the time of manufacture. It is envisioned that when a person purchases the seventh embodiment 224 of this invention, as for instance at a pharmacy, the pharmacist will have a plurality of the members 226 and 236 each separated from each other. At this time, each of the passageways through the labyrinth are closed. The pharmacist at this time will select a given passageway and cut or grind through the closed off portion for that passageway so that the pawl 240 can be conducted therethrough. That particular passageway is made known to the purchaser. The location of the pawl 240 is also made known to the purchaser for the particular outer member 236. That is, whether the pawl 240 is located at letter A, B, C or Z.

Once the outer member 236 is located upon the inner member 226, a person must position the correct letter of indicia 246 with the correct passageway numeral which is located on the inner member 226. Once this is accomplished, the separating movement need not be memorized but can be readily followed by the person following the path denoted by indicia 234.

Because the particular path is formed at the time of purchase of the container of the seventh embodiment of this invention, only the purchaser and the pharmacist know at that given instance the combination to obtain access to the chamber 228. For each prospective purchaser, a different passageway can be selected by the pharmacist so that there would only be one in every 677 containers which would have the same combination. This combination may or may not be printed upon the label which is located upon the bottle.

it is the intention of incidia 234 to offer ease of separation of members 226 and 236 by an adult, but in instances where it is desirous to make separation more difficult, incidia 234 would not be used, in which circumstances an alphanumeric system would be substituted in the normal manner. it should be noted that a 26 position alphanumeric system of this configuration would not only be more difficult to open but could also reduce repeatability to one in every l7,577.

Referring particularly to FIGS. 22 to 25 of the drawings, the eighth embodiment 248 of this invention is shown. The eighth embodiment 248 is configured to comprise a lock for a length of chain 250. The chain 250 is to be employed to normally lock a stealable item to a fixed object. For example, chains are frequently used to lock bicycles and motorcycles to trees and posts.

The first member 252 is formed hollow having an interior chamber 254 open at each end through orifices 255 and 257. The first member 252 includes an enlarged annular section 256 upon which is located a plurality of equally spaced apart recesses 258. Each of the recesses 258 are denoted by a particular type of sequential indicia such as alphabetical letters.

Attached within the first member 252 and extending transversely across the interior chamber 254 is a pin 260. Adjacent the free end of the pin 260 is a transverse opening 262 formed through the wall of the first member 252. The function of the opening 262 is explained further on in this specification.

Formed about the first member 252 is a labyrinth 264. The labyrinth 264 is basically similar to the labyrinths which have been previously described.

An outer member 266 is to be telescopingly received about the first member 252 and includes appropriate indicia 268 formed about its exterior surface. indicia 268 can take the form of a sequential arrangement of numerals.

A pawl 270 is pivotally supported by a pin 272 to the second member 266. Spring 274 is located between the member 266 and the pawl 270 to bias such toward the first member 252 and into engagement with the labyrinth 264. However, during insertion of the second member 266 upon the first member 252, the pawl 270 incurs a ratcheting action against the bias of the spring 274 as it passes over the walls of the labyrinth 264.

In order to operate the eighth embodiment of this invention, the operator first grasps the invention with such being in the position as shown in FIG. 25 of the drawings. The person then passes one of the ending links of the chain through orifice 257 and about the pin 260 with such being accomplished due to the location of the opening 262. The operator then locates the chain through the bicycle structure and about a fixed object and passes the other ending link of the chain 250 through orifice 255 and about the pin 260 in a similar manner. In this position the chain in essence is conducted straight through the eighth embodiment of the apparatus of this invention as shown in FIG. 23 of the drawings. The operator then moves the second member 266 upon the first member 252 until the forward edge of the second member 266 is located directly adjacent to the annular section 256. In this position the opening 262 is closed off, thereby preventing the ending links of the chain 250 from being extracted from the pin 260.

To eliminate the memorizing of the combination to effect the operation of the eighth embodiment of this invention, a separate key 276 can be employed. The key 276 will normally be transparent and includes thereon a protuberance 278. The protuberance 278 is adapted to matingly fit within a recess 258. indicia is to be located adjacent the protuberance 278 and upon the key 276 so as to denote what particular recess the protuberance 278 is to be placed within. Also located upon the key 276 is a number which is to correspond with a number formed upon the outer member 266. The outer member 266 is to be rotated until the particular number upon the second member 266 corresponds with the number located on the key 276. A passageway is drawn on the key 276 which shows the path of movement of the pawl 270 through the labyrinth 264.

With the key 276 so located, with protuberance 278 cooperating with its particular recess and the numeral on the key aligned with the corresponding numeral on the second member 266, the person only needs to move the outer member 266 longitudinally and radially with respect to the inner member 252 to correspond to the path on the key 276. This will cause the pawl to move lt should be noted that shoulders 280 and 282 will deter attempts of picking the lock by means of wires or blades inserted from either end.

What is claimed as new in support of Letters Patent 1. A locking apparatus comprising:

a first elongated member having a circular crosssectional configuration when taken perpendicular to the longitudinal axis of said first member;

a second elongated member being hollow having an interior surface, said second member capable of surrounding said first member in a close-fitting relationship, the cross-sectional configuration of said interior surface being circular when taken perpendicular to the longitudinal axis of said second member;

a labyrinth located between said first member and said second member and connected to one of said members, a ratcheting pawl fixed to the other of said members, said ratcheting pawl including means for moving said pawl over said labyrinth during insertion of said first member within said second member, said labyrinth having a plurality of different paths, said pawl to be capable of cooperating with any one of said paths, whereby it is normally desirable to have a single open path which permits said pawl to be conducted through said labyrinth and result in disassociation of said first member from said second member, the disassociation of said first member from said second member being accomplished by selecting the correct positioning of said first member with respect to said second member and moving the members relative to each other so the pawl moves through said single path.

2. An apparatus as defined in claim 1 including:

first indicia located on said first member, second indicia located on said second member, upon proper correlation of a segment of said first indicia with a segment of said second indicia, alignment of said pawl with said single path occurs to effect disasso ciation of said first member from said second member.

3. The apparatus as defined within claim 1 wherein:

said labyrinth comprises a pair of spaced apart separate labyrinths, said pawl is required to move through a particular single path within each of said separate labyrinths in order to effect disassociation of said first member from said second member.

4. A locking apparatus comprising:

a first elongated member having a circular crosssectional configuration when taken perpendicular to the longitudinal axis of said first member;

a second elongated member being hollow having an interior surface, said second member capable of surrounding said first member in a close-fitting relationship, the cross-sectional configuration of said interior surface being circular when taken perpendicular to the longitudinal axis of said second members;

a labyrinth located between said first member and said second member and connected to one of said members a pawl fixed to the other of said members, said labyrinth having a plurality of different paths, said pawl to be capable of cooperating with any one of said paths, whereby it is normally desirable to have a single open path which permits said pawl to be conducted through said labyrinth and result in disassociation of said first member from said second member, the disassociation of said first member from said second member being accomplished by selecting the correct positioning of said first member with respect to said second member and moving the members relative to each other so the pawl moves through said single path;

said pawl being connected to said other member through a biasing means, aid biasing means provid ing a continuous bias tending to move said pawl toward said one member.

5. Apparatus as defined in claim 4 wherein:

upon inserting of said second member about said first member, said pawl being movable over said labyrinth against said biasing means, thereby said pawl achieving a ratcheting action.

6. A locking apparatus comprising:

a first elongated member having a circular crosssectional configuration when taken perpendicular to the longitudinal axis of said first member;

a second elongated member being hollow having an interior surface, said second member capable of surrounding said first member in a close-fitting relationship, the cross-sectional configuration of said interior surface being circular when taken perpendicular to the longitudinal axis of said second me mbers;

a labyrinth located between said first member and said second member and connected to one of said members, a pawl fixed to the other of said members, said labyrinth having a plurality of different paths, said pawl to be capable of cooperating with any one of said paths, whereby it is normally desirable to have a single open path which permits said pawl to be conducted through said labyrinth and result in disassociation of said first member from said second member, the disassociation of said first member from said second member being accomplished by selecting the correct positioning of said first member with respect to said second member and moving the members relative to each other so the pawl moves through said single path;

said labyrinth is constructed of a plurality of separate discs, said discs are connected together and fixed to said one member, said discs may be rearranged with respect to each other so as to produce a different single path in order to effect disassociation of said first member from said second member.

7. A locking apparatus comprising:

a first elongated member having a circular crosssectional configuration when taken perpendicular to the longitudinal axis of said first member;

a second elonated member being hollow having an interior surface, said second member capable of surrounding said first member in a close-fitting relationship, the cross-sectional configuration of said interior surface being circular when taken perpendicular to the longitudinal axis of said second members;

a labyrinth located between said first member and said second member and connected to one of said members, a pawl fixed to the other of said members, said labyrinth having a plurality of different paths, said pawl to be capable of cooperating with any one of said paths, whereby it is normally desirable to have a single open path which permits said pawl to be conducted through said labyrinth and result in disassociation of said first member from said second member, the disassociation of said first member from said second member being accomplished by selecting the correct positioning of said first member with respect to said second member and moving the members relative to each other so the pawl moves through said single path;

said first member being hollow forming an interior elongated chamber within said first member, a pin secured to said first member and extending within said interior chamber, a transverse opening formed within the wall of said second member adjacent to the free end of said pin, whereby the ending links of a length of chain are to be located about said pin by extending such through said interior chamber and through said opening and about said pin, upon said first member being located about said second member said links of chain not being permitted to be removed from said pin.

8. The apparatus as defined in claim 7 wherein:

first indicia located on said first member, second indicia located on said second member, by a proper correlation of a segment of said first indicia with a segment of said second indicia, said first member is capable of being disassociated from said second member; and

a substantially transparent key member which includes third indicia which corresponds to the correlating segments of said first indicia and said second indicia, whereby upon alignment of the particular segments of said first and second indicias with the third indicia on said key member, said first member is capable of being moved relative to said second member and disassociated therefrom.

9. Apparatus as defined in claim 8 wherein:

said first indicia comprises a series of alphabetical letters, said second indicia comprises a sequential series of numbers.

10. Apparatus as defined in claim 2 wherein:

said first indicia comprises a series of alphabetical letters, said second indicia comprises a sequential series of numbers.

11. A locking apparatus comprising:

a first elongated member having a circular crosssectional configuration when taken perpendicular to the longitudinal axis of said first member;

a second elongated member being hollow having an interior surface, said second member capable of surrounding said first member in a close-fitting relationship, the cross-sectional configuration of said interior surface being circular when taken perpendicular to the longitudinal axis of said second members;

a labyrinth located between said first member and said second member and connected to one of said members, a pawl fixed to the other of said members, said labyrinth having a plurality of different paths, said pawl to be capable of cooperating with any one of said paths, whereby it is normally desirsaid labyrinth having a plurality of transverse walls connected between a plurality of longitudinal walls, the heights of the longitudinal walls being greater than the transverse walls.

12. Apparatus as defined in claim I wherein: said labyrinth including a locking detent, said pawl to be normally retained within said locking detent when said members are locked together.

13. A locking apparatus comprising: a first elongated member having a circular crosssectional configuration when taken perpendicular to the longitudinal axis of said first member;

a second elongated member being hollow having an interior surface, said second member capable of surrounding said first member in a close-fitting relationship, the cross-sectional configuration of said interior surface being circular when taken perpendicular to the longitudinal axis of said second members;

labyrinth located between said first member and said second member and connected to one of said members, a pawl fixed to the other of said members, said labyrinth having a plurality of different paths, said pawl to be capable of cooperating with any one of said paths, whereby it is normally desirable to have a single open path which permits said pawl to be conducted through said labyrinth and result in disassociation of said first member from said second member, the disassociation of said first member from said second member being accomplished by selecting the correct positioning of said first member with respect to said second member and moving the members relative to each other so the pawl moves through said single path;

first indicia located on said first member, second indicia located on said second member, by a proper correlation of a segment of said first indicia with a segment of said second indicia, said first member is capable of being disassociated from said second member; and

substantially transparent key member which includes third indicia which corresponds to the correlating segments of said first indicia and said second indicia, whereby upon alignment of the particular segments of said first and second indicias with the third indicia on said key member, said first member is capable of being moved relative to said second member and disassociated therefrom.

14. A locking apparatus comprising: a first elongated member having a circular crosssectional configuration when taken perpendicular to the longitudinal axis of said first member;

a second elongated member being hollow having an dicular to the longitudinal axis of said second members;

labyrinth located between said first member and said second member and connected to one of said members, a pawl fixed to the other of said members, said labyrinth having a plurality of different paths, said pawl to be capable of cooperating with any one of said paths, whereby it is normally desirable to have a single open path which permits said pawl to be conducted through said labyrinth and result in disassociation of said first member from said second member, the disassociation of said first member from said second member being accomplished by selecting the correct positioning of said first member with respect to said second member and moving the members relative to each other so the pawl moves through said single path;

a third member, said third member to include a pawl;

wherein:

an annular wall fixed to said first member and extending about said second member in a closely spaced relationship therefrom, a chamber adapted to retain foreign substances is located between said first member and said second member.

16. A locking apparatus comprising:

a first elongated member having a circular crosssectional configuration when taken perpendicular to the longitudinal axis of said first member;

a second elongated member being hollow having an interior surface, said second member capable of surrounding said first member in a close-fitting relationship, the cross-sectional configuration of said interior surface being circular when taken perpendicular to the longitudinal axis of said second members;

a labyrinth located between said first member and said second member and connected to one of said members, a pawl fixed to the other of said members, said labyrinth having a plurality of different paths, said pawl to be capable of cooperating with any one of said paths, whereby it is normally desirable to have a single open path which permits said pawl to be conducted through said labyrinth and result in disassociation of said first member from said second member, the disassociation of said first member from said second member being accomplished by selecting the correct positioning of said first member with respect to said second member and moving the members relative to each other so the pawl moves through said single path;

a third elongated member being hollow and being adapted to surround said second member, said third member having a pawl which is adapted to cooperate with said labyrinth, said first member being connected to said third member so as to be restricted from relative longitudinal movement therebetween.

17. A locking apparatus comprising:

a first elongated member having a circular crosssectional configuration when taken perpendicular to the longitudinal axis of said first member;

a second elongated member being hollow having an interior surface, said second member capable of surrounding said first member in a close-fitting relationship, the cross-sectional configuration of said interior surface being circular when taken perpendicular to the longitudinal axis of said second members;

a labyrinth located between said first member and said second member and connected to one of said members, a pawl fixed to the other of said members, said labyrinth having a plurality of different paths, said pawl to be capable of cooperating with any one of said paths, whereby it is normally desirable to have a single open path which permits said pawl to be conducted through said labyrinth and result in disassociation of said first member from said second member, the disassociation of said first member from said second member being accom' plished by selecting the correct positioning of said first member with respect to said second member and moving the members relative to each other so the pawl moves through said single path;

a third member being hollow and capable of surrounding said second member, said third member having an outer wall and an inner wall with an annular space located therebetween, both said first member and said second member to be capable of being located within said annular space, means located upon said inner wall to be capable of contacting said first member to prevent removal of said first member from said annular space, however, said means permits rotational movement of said first member relative to said third member.

18. Apparatus as defined in claim 6 wherein:

said labyrinth further includes a ring mounted within the ending disc of said plurality of discs, said ring including a gap formed therein, said ending disc including an outlet passage, said ring further including a second pawl protruding therefrom, said first member having mounted thereon a third pawl, upon said second pawl being located in contact with said third pawl and a further particular amount of rotational movement of said ending disc, said outlet passage being in alignment with said gap in said ring, thereby permitting removal of said pawl from said single open path and resulting in disassociation of said first member from said second member.

19. Apparatus as defined within claim 18 wherein:

upon said outlet passage being aligned with said gap within said ring, said ending disc is moved longitudinally so as to space apart said second pawl from said third pawl, thereby further rotational movement of said second member does not alter the established rotational position between said ring and said ending disc.

20. A locking apparatus comprising:

a first elongated member having a circular cross sectional configuration when taken perpendicular to the longitudinal axis of said first member;

a second elongated member being hollow having an interior surface, said second member capable of surrounding said first member in a close-fitting relationship, the cross-sectional configuration of said interior surface being circular when taken perpendicular to the longitudinal axis of said second members;

labyrinth located between said first member and said second member and connected to one of said members, a pawl fixed to the other of said members, said labyrinth having a plurality of different paths, said pawl to be capable of cooperating with any one of said paths, whereby it is normally desirable to have a single open path which permits said pawl to be conducted through said labyrinth and result in disassociation of said first member from said second member, the disassociation of said first member from said second member being accomplished by selecting the correct positioning of said first member with respect to said second member and moving the members relative to each other so the pawl moves through said single path;

said labyrinth further includes a ring mounted on one 21. Apparatus as defined in claim 20 wherein: upon said outlet passage being aligned with said gap within said ring, the other said member is moved longitudinally so as to space apart said second pawl from said third pawl, thereby further rotational movement between said members does not alter the established rotational position between said ring and said one member.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US615381 *Aug 6, 1898Dec 6, 1898 Puzzle-bank
US785132 *Oct 21, 1903Mar 21, 1905Fred J ViewegLock.
US2305111 *Mar 4, 1942Dec 15, 1942Houdaille Hershey CorpAutomobile wheel locking assembly
US3587896 *Jun 25, 1970Jun 28, 1971Graff George MichaelSafety closure having locking ring
CH245319A * Title not available
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3854312 *Dec 26, 1973Dec 17, 1974Brammall IncRotary lock
US4065132 *Feb 17, 1976Dec 27, 1977William GiakasMaze puzzle
US4103890 *Dec 8, 1977Aug 1, 1978The Raymond Lee Organization, Inc.Game
US4353521 *Oct 20, 1980Oct 12, 1982Audivee WebbAnti-theft device
US4357016 *Sep 11, 1980Nov 2, 1982Allison Marvin HManipulation puzzle
US4631936 *Jul 8, 1985Dec 30, 1986Osaka Kanagu Co., Ltd.Center locking device of ball train type for a disc wheel of motor vehicle
US4805910 *Oct 7, 1987Feb 21, 1989Carlo Geoffrey Richard MonticolombiMaze puzzle
US4974848 *Mar 20, 1989Dec 4, 1990Gieseker Gerald AMaze device
US5148692 *Nov 5, 1990Sep 22, 1992Gieseker Gerald AMaze-type locking device
US5259619 *Feb 3, 1992Nov 9, 1993Fenton RosewarneMaze
US5317796 *Nov 15, 1989Jun 7, 1994Hunter Robert MTechnique for rendering packaging child resistant
US5441260 *Jan 29, 1993Aug 15, 1995Gogarty; Brian J.3-dimensional maze puzzle
US5509656 *Oct 25, 1993Apr 23, 1996Image Design & MarketingElectronic maze puzzle
US5566845 *Feb 1, 1995Oct 22, 1996Idea Laboratories, Inc.Container having a seal puncturing device
US5626040 *Jul 20, 1994May 6, 1997Sandia CorporationRotary pin-in-maze discriminator
US7107803Mar 24, 2006Sep 19, 2006Swanson Neil JLocking tube apparatus
US8210404 *Jan 29, 2009Jul 3, 2012Spare Shield LlcSpare tire and rim theft prevention device
US8714419Dec 29, 2010May 6, 2014Spare-Tite, Inc.Spare tire anti-theft security device
US20110127717 *Jun 2, 2011Pitt Christopher DPuzzle
DE102005040201B4 *Aug 25, 2005Nov 27, 2008Vadym SvechnikovHalter für tragbare Gegenstände
EP0310400A2 *Sep 29, 1988Apr 5, 1989Elfin Design LimitedA puzzle device
EP0686580A1 *Jun 1, 1995Dec 13, 1995Glasdon Group LimitedA cylindrical assembly having interconnectable parts
WO1996023705A1 *Jan 30, 1996Aug 8, 1996Idea LabChild resistant container
WO2001079958A2 *Apr 6, 2001Oct 25, 2001Shafirkin David IsaakovichMethod for preventing unauthorized unlocking of a code unit of a device of a lock variety
Classifications
U.S. Classification70/18, 70/232, 273/156, 70/331, 215/208, 70/259, 70/290
International ClassificationA63F9/00, E05B37/00, E05B37/20
Cooperative ClassificationA63F9/0078, E05B37/20
European ClassificationA63F9/00L, E05B37/20