Lawmakers Wary Of Bill To Limit Car Part Design Patents

By Ryan Davis (August 1, 2012, 7:28 PM EDT) -- Proposed legislation that would reduce the term of design patents on auto parts used in collision repair divided a U.S. House of Representatives panel Wednesday, with lawmakers saying the bill could save consumers money but raises intellectual property protection concerns.

The House Judiciary Subcommittee on Intellectual Property, Competition and the Internet held the hearing to discuss the Promoting Automotive Repair, Trade and Sales — or PARTS — Act, which would mandate that design patents on replacement parts needed after an auto accident run for only 30 months, rather than the current 14 years.

Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., who introduced the bill...

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