November 4, 2014
February 25, 2015
WASHINGTON, DC – Today, House Judiciary Committee members Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA), Chairman of the Subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property, and the Internet, and Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-CA), and Senate Judiciary Committee members Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) and Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) introduced the Promoting Automotive Repair, Trade and Sales Act of 2015 (PARTS), a bipartisan, bicameral bill, which would expand consumer choice for automobile collision repair parts, cut costs paid by insurers and drivers, and ensure competition in the automobile repair parts market.
The PARTS Act amends U.S. design patent law to reduce the exclusivity period car companies hold on design patents for collision repair parts from 14 years to 30 months (or two-and-a-half years) during which time other suppliers could test, research and develop parts on a not-for-sale basis. The current 14-year design patent monopoly prevents aftermarket manufacturers from making or selling external collision repair parts, driving up costs by limiting consumer choice, crowding out competition leading to higher insurance rates and fees.
“The decision to purchase an automobile is one of the biggest investments a family makes. With the average sticker price of a new car now exceeding $30,000 and repair costs continuing to rise, hardworking American families deserve access to as many repair part options as possible. The PARTS Act will not only increase consumer choice therefore reducing aftermarket costs but encourage innovation and competition among other aftermarket parts manufacturers.”
“Millions of Americans depend on their cars to be reliable and affordable so they can get their kids to school, pick up groceries for their family, and drive to work every day. By bringing real competition and innovation to the auto parts market, we can ensure consumers get the best value for their dollar when they need to shop for safe, high-quality, and reasonably priced replacement parts to keep their cars running.”
“Especially in today’s tight economy, there is no reason why Americans should have to pay unreasonably high prices just to repair their cars. The PARTS Act encourages competition in the marketplace by providing consumers with a choice of affordable, quality alternatives to repair their cars.”
“Having to replace a car part is frustrating enough; drivers shouldn’t have to pay artificially high prices set by car manufacturers. This bill will preserve competition in the car-parts market and ultimately allow consumers to get safe replacement parts at lower prices.”