Insurance Industry Testimony: “alternatively-supplied collision repair parts typically are 26% to 50% less expensive than the car company parts, and the mere existence of competition for a given part results in the car companies lowering their corresponding part’s price by 8%. The estimated total benefit to consumers from the availability of competitive alternatives is approximately $1.5 billion a year.”
The following chart shows the cumulative number of design patents on “crash parts” owned by the major car companies. (Via insurance industry testimony).
Consumer Federation Testimony: “Our Concern today is that the car companies are now using design patents, not for the important and legitimate protection of the overall design of their vehicles, but to prevent competition when it comes to getting the parts we need to repair our vehicles.:
Damian Porcari (Director of Licensing for Ford Motor Company): “I freely admit that a company can save money by copying a design as opposed to creating, testing, marketing, and selling an original design. This is not a revelation. It has been and will always be cheaper to steal something than to pay for it. This applies to all markets and all products. Our opponent’s argument is no more than a justification to deny all intellectual property rights across the board.”