Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Design patents and the costs of auto repairs

Page 1 of the January 2008 issue of ABRN, The voice of the collision repair industry, features an article by Tim Sramcik titled A problem with patents which notes

In last 5 years, design patents to OEMs have grown to nearly 25% of all
patents to auto manufacturers, with Ford, Toyota, and Honda leading the way.

Quality Parts Coalition [QPC] says OEMs, which control more than 50% of
aftermarket parts, are taking aggressive steps against suppliers of non-OEM parts by enforcing these design patents.

Parts identified as crash parts account for between 50 to 93% of
design patents to OEMs.

The non-branded parts suppliers suggest a plan to smother competition in replacement parts market.

The ABRN article noted a 2005 case, Ford v Keystone Automotive Industries and US Autosports Network over parts for the Ford F - 150 at the ITC with Judge Paul J. Luckern.


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