ABPA - Automotive Body Parts Association

Automotive Body Parts Association

News and Articles

ABPA Members Update: Decision in LKQ vs. GM Patent Case


Dear ABPA Members,

We are pleased to share a significant update regarding the LKQ vs. GM patent case. This case has profound implications for our industry, particularly in the realm of design patents and the availability of competitive aftermarket parts.

Case Background

LKQ Corporation challenged several design patents held by General Motors (GM), contending that these patents were overly broad and restrictive, negatively impacting competition in the aftermarket parts industry. LKQ’s argument emphasized that these patents stifled the availability of affordable, high-quality replacement parts, which are vital for both consumers and businesses.

Recent Decision

On May 21, 2024, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit ruled in favor of LKQ Corporation. This decision marks a significant shift in the legal landscape, as the court discarded the longstanding Rosen-Durling test for assessing design patent obviousness, opting instead to apply the utility patent obviousness standard to design patents. This ruling is a major victory for aftermarket part manufacturers and, more importantly, for consumers who will benefit from lower repair costs and increased competition in the automotive repair market.

ABPA’s Involvement and Next Steps

The Automotive Body Parts Association (ABPA) has been actively involved in this case, submitting an amicus brief in support of LKQ. Our brief highlighted the detrimental effects of restrictive design patents on the automotive repair industry and advocated for a more balanced approach to patent law.

With the court’s decision now in place, ABPA will collaborate closely with our legal team to thoroughly analyze the implications of this ruling. We are committed to understanding how this decision will impact our members and the broader industry, particularly regarding design patents which have a direct effect on the availability of aftermarket parts.

The ABPA remains dedicated to supporting our members through these legal and market challenges. This recent court decision underscores the importance of our ongoing advocacy efforts to ensure fair competition and consumer choice in the automotive repair industry.

We will continue to monitor this situation closely and provide updates as more information becomes available. For more detailed information, please refer to the attached documents including the LKQ vs GM Opinion, the CAR Coalition press release and ABPA Amicus Brief. Thank you for your continued support and engagement and stay tuned for further updates from the ABPA.

Sincerely,

Ed Salamy

Edward Salamy
Executive Director
Automotive Body Parts Association (ABPA)

Attachments:

ABPA Partners

The ABPA is proud to be a partner and support the advocacy efforts of:

My Parts Choice
CAR Coalition

Body Language

Body Language is the official newsletter of the ABPA. Click here for more information, and to sign up for the mailing list!

Article Archives