New profile screws to be used in construction!

I wonder if I register the patent of a new screw profile, what would be the legal situation of that to be used in residential or commercial projects for lots of different things, like electrical switches and sockets, door and cabinet hinges and many other things. Is there any regulation that regulates these things?! That can bring the monopoly of the maintenance and repairs to the one who has done the project (at least once).It is kind of treating the construction business like car industry in my point of view. what do you think?!

You seem to be painting here with a rather broad brush.
When tou say - new screw profile - I’m not sure what you mean.
New head style (something other than domed, or socket head or flat head) ? Drive configuration ( - something different from the styles like Torx, Robertson, PoziDriv etc. that are already common)? Screw pitch form ( some different thread pattern, flank angle, or threads per inch) ?
In the US - for example NEMA specifies 32tpi for many screws - typically 6-32 and 8-32 - for attchments to electrical boxes. I also believe that the NEC prohibits the use of screws instead of nails to secure outlet boxes etc, - where the screw threads can be exposed and possibly abrade the conductors. Other than that - I’m not sure what other electrical codes relate to screws.

Yes, I mean different style (Phillips, Pozi, Robertson, Torx and etc.) We have a lot of them, Tri Wing, Four Wing (Torq Set), Let’s say I do register the patent for Five Wing (if it has not been patented by now), is that going to be OK to use my own screws for Electrical sockets and switches to attach them to the back box?! In case if they need to be changed the screwdriver(bit) has to be provided by me or the repairs has to be done by me. It is a bit complicated issue, after I saw Eazypower’s latest catalogue I noticed lots of possible styles are already patented and are in use, I was thinking of some of them while I was not aware of them that they already exist. It gave me the feeling that there are more styles patented that we don’t know(see) them, yet, in case… otherwise some could make a proper headache :slight_smile:

Most of electricians here in UK secure the back boxes with bonding only if the walls are brick, block or concrete. But some extremist electricians use screw to secure them more as we have seen by time the back boxes can come out. In America you have more wooden/plaster board walls so you can use nail but for concrete is not so easy to use nail.

The last new drive style that I’ve seen is called Aster recess - looks to be mostly for aviation fasteners like Hi-Lok

I think this write up provides some hints about how and why a new drive style might become successful .

In recent years many fastener/bit manufacturers have also tweaked some fastener/bit style like:
Torx Plus
Torx Align
Hex Plus

Other recent additions seem to combine Phillips and square - or morph into ECX - or its PZ counterpart called Xeno.

The tamper resistant drive styles also seem to come in and out of popularity - especially for electronics - as soon as it becomes easy to order a corresponding bit (perhaps a knockoff) on Amazon or eBay.
Many of these may come from sources that do not worry about patents or trademark infringements - but other will call their bits bt a different name (like square for Robertson - or T-star for Torx) to avoid paying to obtain a license to use the trademarked name.

I should have added - apropos your thinking that if you use a proprietary to you it will permanently stop others from working on the items - you are probably mistaken. While we had a large assortment of driver bits to deal with "tamper resistant screw and bolt heads. Here is a source of some oddball ones - where they purportedly matching drivers and fasteners selectively.

Such styles will certainly slow a thief down or may mean that legitimate removal via an unauthorized means will be tedious,costly or damaging. But any bolt/screw made can probably be removed. When we encountered something for which we did not have the right bit - the first thought was to try a left-hand cobalt drill bit. A die grinder fitted with a small abrasive wheel , drum or point might also be used to cut a recess to grab. In our metal fabrication shop we had clients bring us items where we removed fasteners using EDM - but this isn’t exactly practical for jobsite work. In the US - many contractors would not bother - tell the client that the existing work/item was not salvageable (at a reasonable labor cost) and recommend taking a sledge hammer or other demolition tool to the item. To boot - many contractors in the US might tell their clent that whoever installed it in the first place was unscrupulous - having used non-standard fasteners and not getting their prior agreement to having used such.

Your idea to develop a new tamper-resistant screw head may still be sound - if you have a application or client that wishes to protect something - and does not want to use one of the already manufactured styles.

“Tamper proof” fasteners are barely a speed bump. I would think most thieves know in advance the fasteners are used, and come prepared for them. They’re an extra expense and inconvenience for honest people, not thieves.

Altan - am I reading it right that you want to use a custom screw type such as to make in nearly impossible for someone to tamper with the work you’ve done without contacting you?

SO you make up say a sept head screw (7 flats vs the 6 of a hex bit) and it’s a sept 5mm and sept 8mm - you do your work on a project.

3 years later someone tears into a wall and wants to do _______ but when they go to pull the boxes out or whatever - they don’t have the right bits and can’t.

Is that what you mean. Provided they met code needs (threads per inch - minimum shank sizes, etc) and there wasn’t something expressly written that states the screw head must be a ___ then I guess you could but it’s going to be costly. One you will have to make sure you don’t happen to accidentally hit a trademarked or already patented design - then you have to get them made and the bit made. This is actually already a thing over here for medical implants.

anyway I might have misread the idea

More broadly a patent is not government protection contrary to popular belief. It is merely a license to sue anyone that infringes (uses) on your idea. And as part of that license you have to publish all the details or at least the relevant ones to your patent. The purpose of publishing is ostensibly so that everyone is aware of your design idea to avoid accidentally infringing on it. The cost to fight a patent suit is enormous…20 years ago it was around a million dollars US. So keeping that in mind, you will be putting your idea out to the world to begin with. And if the concept is fairly simply to modify, all that I have to do is tweak your design a little bit and that invalidates the patent. The best patents are for the simplest conceptual improvements that are very, very hard to avoid. So if for instance you patent a 5 sided star shape and I make a 6 sided start shape, your patent no longer applies. The “bullet proof” patent would be to patent all star-shaped fasteners but that can’t be done because of existing prior art. So if you can patent the idea, AND you expect to make enough profit to cover the inevitable and substantial legal fees for pursuing infringment, AND still have a profit left over, then it’s worth doing. Otherwise patents are a waste of time and money. Most of them are by the way. The biggest money in the patent business is in attorney fees, not the patents themselves.


You make several good points. We had a number of items that we fabricated over the years that we considered as proprietary and would not divulge how we produced them to look and perform as they did. Some of these were a steady source of repeat business and profits - in our little corner of the market. We never thought to try to patent either the items or the processes that we employed - preferring to keep our “trade secrets” rather than file for and then possibly need to defend a patent.

Yes, exactly. If you have big projects of building a thousand of flats that would make sense, If the law allows car and plane manufacturers to use specific screw types why not in property/construction business, I don’t think you can easily do it with a commercial building but with residential would be much easier, When buyers are going to buy a new flat they don’t check the screws used in the flat I think :slight_smile: they would notice it after 5 years when some hinges start to wobble or some socket or switches need to be changed. The old English made plastic sockets and switches are still working after 40-50 years of use, but newly introduced metal ones made in Far East are not the same quality, after 5 years some need to be changed I would say. Companies who does the maintenance for this kind of properties make more money than the ones that actually did build the property. Here in UK the screw used for sockets and switches accept M3.5 metric screws, I would like to change that also to make it M3 or M4, you would need specially made back boxes for that or you would need to use some nut rivets on the existing back boxes. My concern is that it is legal or not.

I mean to use for interiors, for sockets, switches, lights (some need), electrical back boxes, door hinges, cabinet hinges, maybe some taps, thieves would not need to unscrew these things normally, unless they are so desperate :slight_smile: