LOS ANGELES, April 24, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- PartsChannel, Inc. today announced its support of congressional legislation introduced yesterday intended to address the abuse of design patents by automobile manufacturers, particularly the delay of aftermarket collision replacement parts utilization for up to 14 years under current design patent law.
Senate Judiciary Committee members Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) and Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) and House Judiciary Committee members U.S. Representative Darrell Issa (R-CA) and U.S. Representative Zoe Lofgren (D-CA) introduced the bipartisan bill, which acknowledges the legal protection of intellectual property, while recognizing the importance of competition, the interests of consumers and economic implications. The legislation, H.R. 1663, Promoting Automotive Repair, Trade and Sales Act (PARTS), seeks to:
- Reduce the period from 14 to 2.5 years during which automobile manufacturers can enforce U.S. design patents on aftermarket generic collision repair parts offered by suppliers.
- Initiate the 2.5-year enforcement period beginning on the day the automotive model is first offered for sale in any country.
- Permit alternative suppliers to manufacture, test market and distribute parts pre-sale without infringing upon the design patents during the 2.5-year enforcement period.
"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 M. Palumbo, chief executive officer of PartsChannel.
Palumbo emphasized the job loss in all 50 states is also an important consideration for lawmakers, as the aftermarket parts industry employs a significant workforce in cities across the United States engaged in manufacturing, distribution and repair.
"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.
About PartsChannel, Inc.
PartsChannel, Inc. is a privately held distributor of automotive collision repair parts with more than 25 years of industry experience. Its product lines include: bumpers, hoods, fenders, grilles, panels, lights, radiators, condensers and related automotive parts used in repairing damaged vehicles. The company's products are sold to automotive repair shops and independent distributors in more than 30 markets throughout the United States. Additional information is available at www.partschannel.com.