IKEA announces patent pledge for Anchor and Unlock

Swedish furniture retailer IKEA has announced its first patent pledge, based on the desire to help make life at home safer for the many, by sharing its Anchor and Unlock innovation for others to use.

VIHALS chest of drawers is the first globally sold product with Anchor and Unlock – a stability feature to help reduce the risk of furniture tip-overs and a proof point to the IKEA innovations journey on clothing storage furniture stability.

“Our customers’ safety is a top priority for IKEA. Based on our vision to create a better everyday life for the many people, IKEA has set itself the goal that no one should get harmed by an IKEA clothing storage furniture tipping over,” the company said.

“At IKEA we believe the safest way in any context is to anchor clothing storage furniture to the wall. The Anchor and Unlock feature works as an incentive for customers to secure their chests or dressers: only when attached to a wall the unlock mechanism is enabled and multiple drawers of a chest can be opened simultaneously. Before the furniture is anchored, only a limited number of drawers can be used at a time. At IKEA we believe the Anchor and Unlock feature has the potential to reduce the tip-over risk as well as contribute to an understanding that chests of drawers may tip over if not anchored to a wall.”

The first globally available IKEA products that include Anchor and Unlock are VIHALS chests of drawers. IKEA customers can choose between three different versions, a 4-drawer chest, and two 6-drawer dressers.

“VIHALS is one product, with one specific solution – more will come. Within the coming years, we will continue to develop products with innovative stability features for our customers globally” says Marie Klaesson, Manager for Range Area Bedroom Furniture at IKEA of Sweden. “The solution will not be the same for each product, different features and new innovations will be built into new pieces of furniture.”

IKEA has also introduced GREÅKER, a cabinet with drawers. GREÅKER should always be anchored to the wall, and in addition its custom hinges allow the doors to only open at a certain angle to further enhance the cabinet’s stability.

“At IKEA, we are proud of our innovation, and we protect it with our patents. But in this case, we hope others will adopt Anchor and Unlock for their products as well” says Carl Ervér, patent manager at IKEA of Sweden. “For us at IKEA, clothing storage furniture stability is not a matter of competition but one of collaboration.”

IKEA has the ambition to influence change in the furniture industry, to reduce tip-over incidents and support people to live a safer life at home. In this work, IKEA strongly believes in collaboration. The patent pledge defines the requirements under which others can adopt the IKEA Anchor and Unlock innovation. By making this pledge IKEA hopes to encourage other furniture manufacturers to consider this approach as well. Visit the patent pledge page on IKEA.com for detailed information. 

“For decades IKEA has included tip-over restraints with chests of drawers over a certain height as well as other products. The height of the chest of drawers where tip-over restraints are included is based on a product-specific risk assessment and testing during development. We also support home safety by educating our customers about the importance of anchoring chests of drawers to the wall. Our goal is making anchoring furniture second nature,” the company said.

“IKEA looks forward to continuing to play a collaborative role within the industry, as well as with legislators, regulators, standard-setting committees, consumer safety advocates and our customers to promote safe furniture use to create a safer life at home.”

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