WASHINGTON, D.C. The Automotive Service Association (ASA) has joined other major associations in distributing a letter to both the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee and the U.S. House of Representatives Judiciary Committee in opposition to legislation that would create an exception from infringement of design patents for certain component parts, including automotive parts, used to repair another article of manufacture.
A coalition of original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), intellectual property organizations and other broad-based business associations asked 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 Senate Bill 1368, the Access to Repair Parts Act. The coalition also contacted Reps. John Conyers (D-Mich.) and Lamar Smith (R-Texas), chairman and ranking member of the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on the Judiciary, respectively, to oppose House Bill 3059, S. 1368’s companion bill.
ASA opposes this legislation because of concerns about automotive parts quality. There is no comprehensive national automotive parts policy for quality and safety.
The coalition wrote: “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.”
The coalition includes:
· Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers (Alliance)
· American Automotive Policy Council (AAPC)
· American International Automobile Dealers Association (AIADA)
· Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM)
· Association of International Automobile Manufacturers (AIAM)
· Automotive Service Association (ASA)
· Global Intellectual Property Center (GIPC)
· Intellectual Property Owners Association (IPO)
· Michigan Intellectual Property Law Association (MIPLA)
· National Association of Manufacturers (NAM)
· National Association of Minority Automobile Dealers (NAMAD)
· National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA)
· United Automobile Workers of America (UAW)
· United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (USHCC)
To view the legislation or the coalition letters, visit ASA’s legislative Web site at www.TakingTheHill.com.