Protecting the Intellectual Property in Automotive Parts

By November 24, 2009intellectual property

The National Association of Manufacturers has signed a letter from a coalition of original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), intellectual property organizations and other business groups asking U.S. Sens. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., and Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., chairman and ranking member of the U.S. Senate Committee on the Judiciary, respectively, to oppose S. 1368, the Access to Repair Parts Act.

The groups also oppose H.R. 3059, the House companion. The letter states:

Manufacturers of unlicensed automobile parts have to meet only one basic threshold, to produce a copy that looks similar to an original part. Those who produce such parts incur no costs attributable to original design, research and development and most importantly, product safety testing. Accordingly, the manufacturer of the original product for whom such unlicensed replacement parts are made does not know how these parts will perform and how their use will impact the quality and integrity of the original product. Automotive collision repairers are very concerned about the quality of replacement crash parts. Permitting this intellectual property infringement also exposes consumers to significant safety, performance or durability risks.

A copy of the letter is here.

The Automotive Service Association has more details on the legislation here and here.

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