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QPC encourages support for PARTS Act legislation

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NEW ORLEANS, Oct. 12, 2012—Members of the Quality Parts Coalition (QPC), gathering in New Orleans this week for NACE, urged attendees to support H.R. 3889, the Promoting Automotive Repair Trade and Sales Act (PARTS Act), legislation introduced by Representatives Darrell Issa (R-CA) and Zoe Lofgren (D-CA).

The QPC encouraged conference participants to support the legislation via the “Write Congress” widget on its website.

The call for support at NACE comes off the heels of an August hearing, where members of the U.S. House Judiciary Subcommittee on Intellectual Property, Competition, and the Internet gathered to listen to testimony from Rockingham Group president and CEO W. Neal Menefee and Consumer Federation of America public affairs director Jack Gillis. Both Menefee and Gillis emphasized the benefits of this legislation to consumers and stressed the balance that it strikes.

The PARTS Act would amend title 35 of current U.S. design patent law, reducing from 14 to 2.5 years the period during which car companies can enforce their design patents on collision repair parts against alternative suppliers. This legislation, if passed, would bring the United States in line with a number of nations, including the United Kingdom and Australia, which ascribe to free competition in the collision parts market.

As Menefee and Rep. Issa explained at the August hearing, the PARTS Act would not deter car companies from obtaining 14-year design patents on their collision parts and enforcing them for up to 14 years against other car companies. “This industry has been well established for my entire life. We are talking about a narrow bill to prevent a new expansion that endangers the consumer’s ability to afford repair parts,” Rep. Issa said at the hearing.

“The QPC has been working toward a bill like this for a long time. With the recent hearing and momentum around the PARTS Act, we’re encouraging attendees at NACE to visit keepautopartsaffordable.org and show their support for this pivotal legislation,” said QPC executive director Eileen A. Sottile in a press release_notes.

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