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The Wisconsin Automotive Parts Association (WAPA) has joined the Quality Parts Coalition’s (QPC) effort to enact “repair clause” legislation championed by Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.) in the 110th Congress, which the QPC claims will secure the future of the American independent repair industry. The legislation would create an exemption for design patent infringement liability for component parts used to repair automobiles and other articles of manufacture (H.R. 5638).
The QPC believes that the impact of the economic downturn on repairers and their customers will worsen if the number of design patents granted to car companies for crash parts continues to grow. According to the QPC, that number has grown to about 20 to 25 percent of the total U.S. patents awarded to those manufacturers. The QPC also says that crash parts account for 50 to 98 percent of the U.S. design patents awarded to major automobile manufacturers.
“As a representative of aftermarket jobbers in Wisconsin, WAPA is concerned that a monopoly on replacement collision parts will drive up consumers’ repair costs and threaten the future vitality of the entire industry from here in Madison to Washington, D.C.” said Gary Manke, executive vice president of WAPA. “The next legislative session is right around the corner, and we are committed to pursuing a permanent change that protects the interests of consumers and the health of our industry, which employs 4.5 million Americans nationwide.”
For more information, visit www.wapaonline.com or www.qualitypartscoalition.com. Click HERE to read a previous story about repair clause legislation.