Quality Parts Coalition Encourages Support for PARTS Act Legislation at International Autobody Congress & Exposition (NACE)

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Bill aims to preserve competition in the collision repair parts industry.

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“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." -- QPC Executive Director Eileen A. Sottile

Members of the Quality Parts Coalition (QPC), gathering in New Orleans this week for the International Autobody Congress & Exposition (NACE) are urging 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 encourages conference participants to support the legislation via the “Write Congress” widget – powered by award-winning e-advocacy company POPVOX – on its website, http://www.keepautopartsaffordable.org.

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 http://www.keepautopartsaffordable.org and show their support for this pivotal legislation,” said QPC Executive Director Eileen A. Sottile.

The Quality Parts Coalition represents the interests of the independent parts industry, repairers, insurers, consumers and seniors. The goal of the Quality Parts Coalition is to develop and secure a permanent legislative change to U.S. design patent law to protect the consumer’s right to benefit from quality, lower-cost alternative replacement parts and to preserve competition. For more information, visit http://www.KeepAutoPartsAffordable.org.

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