WASHINGTON (May 24, 2013) — The Automotive Service Association (ASA) is part of a coalition that opposes a congressional bill that would reduce the design patent protection period for auto makers.
The coalition, which includes auto makers, new car dealers, labor unions and other trade associations, wrote a letter recently to key members of the House Judiciary Committee voicing its opposition to the bill, which would reduce design patent protections on OE auto parts to 30 months from 14 years.
The Promoting Automotive Repair, Trade and Sales (PARTS) Act of 2013 was introduced in the House by Reps. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., and Zoe Lofgren, D.-Calif., and in the Senate by Sens. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, and Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I.
The coalition wrote to Reps. Howard Coble, R-N.C., and Mel Watt, D-N.C., who are the chairman and ranking minority member of the House Judiciary Committee.
"Manufacturers of unlicensed automobile parts have to meet only one basic threshold, to produce a copy that passes off as an original part," the letter said. "Those who produce such parts incur no costs attributable to original design, research and development and, most importantly, product safety testing."
To view the full texts of the PARTS Act and the letter, go to www.TakingTheHill.com.