Rep. Darrell Issa’s invoice would shorten patents on auto fix components

WASHINGTON — U.S. Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., reintroduced a invoice Wednesday that will amend U.S. patent legislation by way of lowering the time automakers can put in force design patents on collision fix components to 2 and a part years from 14 years in opposition to aftermarket components providers.

The invoice — referred to as the Save Cash on Auto Restore Transportation, or SMART, Act — would practice to automobile elements, comparable to fenders, quarter panels and doorways, and best have an effect on aftermarket fix components. It could now not regulate the 14-year length by which automakers can put in force design patents in opposition to different automakers.

The revived law is supported by way of Republican Rep. Dave Joyce of Ohio and Democratic Reps. Zoe Lofgren of California, Sheila Jackson Lee of Texas and Marie Gluesenkamp Perez of Washington.

The invoice was once in the past presented in 2021 by way of Issa, who mentioned it’ll amplify client selection for collision fix components, scale back prices for drivers and insurers and building up pageant within the auto fix components marketplace.

“In line with AAA, a 3rd of American drivers can not come up with the money for the prices of an surprising automobile fix invoice with out going into debt,” Issa mentioned in a remark. “As fix prices proceed to upward thrust, customers deserve get admission to to as many vehicle section fix choices as imaginable. The SMART Act will building up client selection, inspire pageant, and foster innovation to force down the price of pricey maintenance.”

Teams backing the invoice come with Customers for Auto Reliability and Protection Coalition, Nationwide Affiliation of Mutual Insurance coverage Firms, Car Frame Portions Affiliation and AutoZone.

The Alliance for Car Innovation, which represents primary automakers within the U.S., didn’t right away reply to a request for remark.

Issa’s invoice comes after every other Space Republican, Rep. Neal Dunn of Florida, reintroduced a invoice in February mandating that car homeowners and unbiased fix stores have the similar get admission to to fix and upkeep equipment and knowledge as automakers and their franchised dealerships.

The invoice — referred to as the Proper to Equitable and Skilled Auto Trade Restore Act — will require that each one equipment and gear, wi-fi transmission of fix and diagnostic information and telematics programs wanted for car maintenance be made to be had to the unbiased fix business.

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