IDSA on Board Against PARTS Bill

Society Joins Coalition Opposing New Capitol Hill Legislation

Apr 28 2015 - 9:51am

The Industrial Designers Society of America (IDSA)'s Board of Directors has voted unanimously to join a coalition of more than a dozen, original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), labor unions and trade associations asking the US House of Representatives Judiciary Committee to oppose new legislation that would exempt the creation, sales and/or importation of certain, replicated, automobile repairs parts from infringing US design patents.

H.R. 1057 was introduced in the US House on March 16, 2015; S 560 was introduced in the US Senate on Feb. 25, 2015. The legislation is known as the Promoting Automotive Repair, Trade and Sales (PARTS) Act.

"Intellectual property rights are the backbone of innovation and job creation," reports the coalition. "Design patents complement the use of utility patents to protect automotive companies against unfair competition from people or companies who copy their innovations without investing in the process or making an effort to innovate."

"Taking a decisive position on this issue is important for IDSA. It is in the interest of our membership to protect the right to profit from creative work and not see these rights watered down," says IDSA Board Chair Charles Austen Angell, founder and CEO of Modern Edge.

The coalition believes removing design protection promotes unfair competition to the detriment of US-based designers, manufacturers, workers and dealers. "It's a license for 'free riders' to deprive innovators of any reward for the commercial risk that has been taken to bring a product to market.... We strongly oppose the (PARTS) Act and urge you to do so as well," the coalition writes to House Judiciary Committee Chair, Rep. Bob Goodlatte, and Ranking Member, Rep. John Conyers.

Coalition members include:

  • Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers
  • American Automotive Policy Council
  • American International Automobile Dealers
  • Association of Equipment Manufacturers
  • Automotive Service Association
  • Intellectual Property Owners Association
  • Motorcycle Industry Council
  • National Association of Manufacturers
  • National Association of Minority Automobile Dealers
  • National Automobile Dealers Association
  • Specialty Equipment Market Association
  • Truck and Engine Manufacturers Association
  • United Auto Workers