Congress Could Eliminate Design Patents for Component Parts through the Access To Repair Parts Act: H.R. 3059 and S. 1368
- Tracy-Gene G. Durkin & Justin T. Sher
- Bloomberg Law Reports
In June 2009, Representative Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.) reintroduced the Access To Repair Parts Act (“Repair Parts Act)” (H.R. 3059), which seeks to exempt from design patent infringement component parts used to repair another article of manufacture. The Repair Parts Act effectively permits manufacturers and distributors to copy component parts without regard to any design patent issued by the United States Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO). This article analyzes the effects on design patents should the legislation pass.