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Technology Overview

OHSU # 2279 — Improved high-security fork latch for fence gates


The current gate fork latch was designed with hidden fasteners, pivots and anti-rotation pins, making it much more difficult to remove by thieves, thereby improving its security and utility as compared to traditional fork latches. 

Technology Overview

Fork latches are ubiquitous and popular for gate closures, but they pose a significant security risk since a wrench can be used to remove the entire latch, with the lock attached, and open the gate.  Furthermore, this kind of break-in can be done with no obvious signs of tampering to the latch, lock or gate, thus delaying detection of the theft. A facilities manager at OHSU has designed a novel fork latch for fence gates with improved security measures, that cannot be loosened or turned from outside of the fence.  Features of this fork latch include:

  • Hidden fasteners, which require a special tool
  • Hidden pivot for the latch, preventing the ability to drive out the pivot from the outside
  • Hidden anti-rotation pin, such that even if the fasteners become loosened the latch cannot be rotated off the frame of the gate
  • Design that further deters padlock tampering.

Ultimately, this design would reduce the vulnerabilities of traditional fork latches and potentially increase their utility for facilities requiring higher security.

Licensing Opportunity

This technology is available for licensing.



Issued United States D 814,286