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CURRENT PATENT SYSTEM VS. DESIGN PROTECTION LEGISLATION

 CURRENT PATENT SYSTEM VS. DESIGN PROTECTION LEGISLATION
 WASHINGTON, Dec. 12 /PRNewswire/ -- The Coalition for Auto Repair Equality issued the following:
 If H.R. 1790, the Design Innovation and Technology Act of 1991, passes, common automotive repair parts could be reproduced and altered slightly by Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) and labelled "new design technology." Proponents of this legislation, Ford, Chrysler, GM and Caterpillar, claim that the bill is designed to protect American ingenuity from less expensive "copycat" reproductions. They claim that the current patent protection laws are inadequate or non-efficient.
 This week, Chrysler Motor Corporation was found guilty of infringing on four separate patents, and will be asked to subsidize the inventor for an undetermined monetary sum. They, along with 20 other major worldwide automakers, were sued by the inventor for patent infringement; Ford Motor Company recently settled a similar patent infringement case, to the inventor, for $10.2 million.
 "The big automakers are telling the U.S. Congress that current design and patent laws are inadequate to protect American manufacturers and that H.R. 1790 must be passed," stated David Parde, president of the Coalition for Auto Repair Equality (CARE). "This is nothing more than an attempt on the automaker's part to create a monopoly on all auto parts and eventually all repairs. It is no secret that Detroit's profits are dismal and that the only profit coming out of a dealership is in the parts and service departments."
 Parde continued: "There is nothing wrong with current design law. The current system works, otherwise Ford and Chrysler wouldn't be paying millions of dollars in fines for stealing designs. The problem is that the patent process is too long and too costly. The solution is not to pass this pro-monopoly legislation ... it is to streamline the administrative system at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office."
 The Design Protection "Pro-Monopoly" Act was introduced in April by Reps. Richard Gephardt (D-Mo.) and Carlos Moorhead (R-Calif.). It would give automakers, both foreign and domestic, a government imposed monopoly over the production, sale and distribution of all automotive replacement parts for the first 10 years of a car's "life," forcing American consumers to pay inflated prices for repairs, available only at their local new car dealerships.
 -0- 12/12/91
 /CONTACT: Lady Parker or Pamela Kostmayer for the Coalition for Auto Repair Equality, 202-223-5380 or 800-229-5380/ CO: Coalition for Auto Repair Equality ST: District of Columbia IN: AUT SU: LEG


DC-TW -- DC007 -- 1838 12/12/91 10:12 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Dec 12, 1991
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