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Wednesday, 20 June 2012 20:31

PARTS Patent Bill Gets Three Additional Sponsors

Three more members of Congress have signed on as co-sponsors of federal legislation (HR 3889) that would reduce the time automakers can use design patents to prevent other companies from producing replacement crash parts. Reps. Bill Cassidy (R-LA), Walter Jones (R-NC) and Dennis Ross (R-FL) are now supporting the bill, backed by insurers and non-OEM parts manufacturers and distributors, that would reduce patent protection for OEM parts from 14 years to just 2.5 years. Supporting the bill are numerous aftermarket organizations, including the Quality Parts Coalition who issued a statement saying, in part: “American drivers currently have access to alternative auto replacement parts that can save them between 26–50% when repairing their cars after an accident. But car companies are trying to force consumers to buy their parts only and eliminate the competition. Car companies have been acquiring U.S. design patents on exterior auto repair parts—such as hoods, bumper covers and mirrors—and enforcing them against independent suppliers who have been selling these more affordable and quality alternative parts for more than 60 years.”

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