Smithfield, RI, Feb. 26, 2015 — The Automotive Body Parts Association (ABPA) is proud to announce its support of the “Promoting Automotive Repair, Trade and Sales Act” (The PARTS Act – S. 560 and H.R. 1057) which was introduced today.
The PARTS ACT was jointly reintroduced in the 114th Congress by Senators Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), senior members of the Senate Judiciary Committee (to which the bill will be referred in the Senate), and Representatives Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) and Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.), senior members of the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Intellectual Property (to which the bill will be referred in the House). Rep. Issa is the new Chairman of the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Intellectual Property.
The PARTS Act would amend the current U.S. design patent law by lowering, from 14 years to 2.5 years, the period of time during which a car company could enforce its design patents against an alternative supplier for the sale of alternative collision repair parts (such as mirrors, fenders, hoods, and grilles). However, before the enforcement period ends, alternative suppliers could manufacture, test, market and distribute alternative parts pre-sale without being potentially liable for infringing upon the design patents.
“Car owners lose big when car companies eliminate competition from alternative suppliers whose parts are anywhere between 25 to 50 percent less expensive,” said Edward Salamy, Executive Director of the ABPA. “Major car companies already control 72% of the collision parts market and they are expanding their monopoly by securing design patents on collision parts. This lack of competition financially hurts the American consumer with higher insurance costs, more totaled vehicles and limits their choices on how they can get their vehicle repaired.”
About the ABPA
With more than 165 members, the Automotive Body Parts Association (ABPA) occupies over 400 distinctive locations including collision parts distribution centers, manufacturing facilities, and parts recycling plants. ABPA’s members are responsible for distributing more than 80 percent of the independently produced aftermarket crash replacement parts sold to the collision repair trade. For more information about the ABPA, visit autobpa.com.