April 26, 2013—PartsChannel Inc. has expressed its support of the Promoting Automotive Repair, Trade and Sales (PARTS) Act, which was reintroduced by U.S. Senate and House Judiciary Committee members this week.
The bill would amend the current U.S. design patent law by reducing the time period when auto manufacturers are able to enforce design patents on collision repair parts against alternative suppliers from 14 years to 30 months. Before the enforcement period ends, alternative suppliers could manufacture, test, market and distribute alternative parts pre-sale without infringing upon design patents.
"Industry sources estimate that American consumers could face an additional $1.5 billion in collision repair costs due to fewer choices, higher automotive insurance premiums and more cars being totaled, if legislation is not enacted, within an industry estimated to be $15 billion and 64 percent controlled by automotive manufacturers," said John Palumbo, CEO of PartsChannel.
Palumbo also emphasized potential job losses in all 50 U.S. states as an important consideration for lawmakers because the aftermarket parts industry employs a significant manufacturing, distribution and repair workforce throughout the country.
"PartsChannel is committed to providing collision repair shops, insurance companies and consumers with the highest quality automotive aftermarket replacement crash parts that meet or exceed all state and federal regulations, and we look forward to the successful passage of this important legislation," Palumbo said.