The Certified Automotive Parts Association (CAPA), the independent non-profit standard-setting and certification organization for automotive crash parts, applauded the Save Money on Auto Repair Transportation (SMART) Act, recently introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives.
“The SMART ACT is a win for consumers,” said Clark Plucinski, CAPA Chairman. “The misuse of design patents on parts used for collision repairs to block competition was highlighted by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) in its recent report to Congress, and this important legislation addresses that issue. It’s just not fair for consumers to be forced to pay monopolistic prices for the parts needed to repair their vehicles.”
Under the SMART Act, it would not be an act of infringement for an alternative parts supplier to sell an aftermarket part once the 2.5 years have elapsed from the patent date. The ACT would also allow alternative parts suppliers to research, develop, make and test parts on a not-for-sale basis during the new patent period. The Act would not alter the 14-year period that car companies can enforce design patents against other car companies. It would only impact aftermarket repair parts.