The Quality Parts Coalition (QPC) announced that the “Promoting Automotive Repair, Trade, and Sales Act” or the PARTS Act (H.R. 1057; S. 560) now has 14 cosponsors in the U.S. House of Representatives. They include:
Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.); Henry “Hank” Johnson (D-Ga.); James Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.); Dennis Ross (R-Fla); David Cicilline (D-R.I.); Glenn Grothman (R-Wis.); Steve Cohen (D-Tenn.); Scott Perry (R-Pa.); David Joyce (R-Ohio); Michael Capuano (D-Mass.); Albio Sires (D-N.J.); Gwen Moore (D-Wis.); Kristi Noem (R-S.D.); and David Young (R-Iowa)
The PARTS Act is a result of major car companies having secured nearly a thousand U.S. design patents over the past 10 years on individual cosmetic collision repair parts such as hoods, fenders and mirrors. Moreover, the number of patents has dramatically increased since the 1990s, after failed attempts to get Congress to grant them special copyright-like protection for repair parts. The PARTS Act would fix U.S. design patent law by reducing how long car companies can enforce their design patents against alternative suppliers from 14 years to 2.5 years.
“It is incredible to see so many of our legislators sign on to the PARTS Act, signifying how important this bill is across America,” said Ed Salamy, Executive Director of the QPC. “Major car companies are continuing to use these design patents to grow their monopoly on the aftermarket auto parts industry and many are realizing this will not only hurt competition but constituents as well.”
The bill was reintroduced on Feb. 25, 2015, in the U.S. Senate and House by Senator Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) and Representative Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.), all of whom are senior members of the U.S. Senate and House Judiciary Committees.
The PARTS Act was referred to the Subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property, and the Internet in March with potential action on the bill this fall.
The Quality Parts Coalition represents the interests of the independent parts industry, repairers, insurers, consumers and seniors. The goal of the Quality Parts Coalition is to develop and secure a permanent legislative change to U.S. design patent law to protect the consumer’s right to benefit from quality, lower-cost alternative replacement parts and to preserve competition. For more information, visit www.KeepAutoPartsAffordable.org.