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H.R. 5638 Legislative Toolkit

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					                              H.R. 5638
                           Legislative Toolkit

The Quality Parts Coalition (QPC) represents the interests of the independent parts industry,
the repair industry, the insurance industry, seniors and consumers.

The goal of the QPC is to develop and secure a permanent legislative change to U.S. design
patent law to preserve competition and to protect the consumer’s right to benefit from quality,
lower-cost alternative replacement collision parts.
The Quality Parts Coalition

   •   About The Quality Parts Coalition
   •   Quality Parts Coalition Membership
   •   The Looming Threat
   •   Economic Benefits Of Competition To Consumers
   •   Dear Colleague Letter from H.R. 5638 sponsor Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.)


Take Action!

   •   Call Your Member of Congress and Urge Cosponsorship of H.R. 5638

           o   Tips on Calling Your Member of Congress
           o   Talking Points on H.R. 5638

   •   Write To Your Member of Congress and Urge Cosponsorship of H.R. 5638

           o   Tips on Writing Your Member of Congress
           o   Sample Letter: Cosponsor H.R. 5638

   •   Request A Meeting In The District Office In Support of H.R. 5638

           o   Tips on Meeting With Your Member of Congress
           o   Sample Letter: Requesting A Meeting With Your Member of Congress
           o   Thank you Letter: Following up with Your Member of Congress

Feedback

   •   Your Feedback Helps Us Advocate For You In Washington: QPC Feedback Form




        For more information, visit: www.qualitypartscoalition.com




                                                                                  2
                                   The Quality Parts Coalition
The Quality Parts Coalition (QPC) represents the interests of the independent parts industry, the
repair industry, the insurance industry, seniors and consumers.

The goal of the QPC is to develop and secure a permanent legislative change to U.S. design patent
law to preserve competition and to protect the consumer’s right to benefit from quality, lower-cost
alternative replacement collision parts.

Quality Parts: Good for the Consumer, Lower Cost

Established to protect consumer choice in replacement collision auto parts, the QPC represents a
consortium of independent parts and insurance companies committed to preserving and protecting
the benefits of a competitive marketplace when repairing damaged vehicles.

Competition in the quality alternative collision parts industry helps consumers and the American
economy in a number of ways:
   • Competition in the alternative collision parts industry saves consumers up to $1.5 billion each
      year.
   • Quality replacement collision parts are anywhere from 26 percent to 50 percent less
      expensive than manufacturer-issued parts.
   • Replacement parts often have warranties that exceed those offered by automobile
      manufacturers.
   • Quality alternative parts are available to consumers at more than 40,000 body shops
      nationwide.
   • The independent collision replacement parts industry employs tens of thousands of
      American workers and has operations and/or distribution in all 50 states.

In May of 2008, Ford Global Technologies filed a section 337 complaint at the International Trade
Commission (ITC) against manufacturers and U.S. distributors of auto exterior repair parts on the
2005 Ford Mustang. This complaint follows on the heels of the previous section 337 complaint filed by
Ford Global Technologies relating to the Ford F-150, which resulted in the effective elimination of a
competitive choice for seven exterior Ford F-150 repair parts. These patents stifle competition with
independent parts manufacturers, eliminating consumers’ ability to choose lower-priced, quality
replacement collision parts.

And there is more bad news — Ford’s second complaint further confirms that large automobile
manufacturers are likely strategizing to obtain restrictive 14-year design patents on the visible
components of many other new car makes and models, further monopolizing the auto repair parts
market.

The QPC is committed to working with Congress to ensure that U.S. design patent law preserves
competition, protects consumers’ rights and halts the expansion of an auto industry monopoly at the
expense of the American consumer. In fact, in March 2008, Rep. Zoe Lofgren (CA-16) introduced
H.R. 5638, a bill that would amend federal patent law to provide an exception from design patent
infringement for alternative repair parts used for the purpose of repairing a vehicle to its original
appearance. QPC will continue working with a broad coalition of consumer and business groups to
garner support for H.R. 5638 and guarantee consumers continue to benefit from quality, lower-cost
alternative replacement collision parts.
                                                                                                        3
                                      Quality Parts Coalition Membership


                                     ASSOCIATION & COALITION MEMBERS
AAACT (Automotive Aftermarket Association of the Carolinas   CAWA (California/Nevada/Arizona Automotive Wholesalers’
& Tennessee, Inc.)                                           Association)
AAAS (Automotive Aftermarket Association Southeast)          FAIA (Florida Automotive Industries Association)
AAIA (Automotive Aftermarket Industry Association)           KIAWA (Kentucky/Indiana Automotive Wholesalers Association)
ABPA (Automotive Body Parts Association)                     MAPA (Michigan Automotive Parts Association)
AIA (American Insurance Association)                         NAMIC (National Association of Mutual Insurance Companies)
APSA of IL (Automotive Parts & Service Association of        NYSAAA (New York State Automotive Aftermarket Association)
Illinois)                                                    OVAAA (Ohio Valley Automotive Aftermarket Association)
ASAAA (Alliance of State Automotive Aftermarket              PCIA (Property Casualty Insurers Association of America)
Associations)                                                RetireSafe
CABA (Chesapeake Automotive Business Association)            TABPA
CARE (The Coalition for Auto Repair Equality)




                                                BUSINESS MEMBERS
                             A&A Bumper & Fender Ltd.        Felder’s Collision Parts
                             Across America Collision        Fond du Lac Bumper Exchange
                             Parts                           G&A Bumper Service
                             Action Crash Parts              Genera/TYC
                             Advantage Crash Parts           GP Automotive Parts, LLC
                             At Pac Auto Parts, Inc.         Jerry’s Bumper Sales
                             Atlas Auto Body Parts           K.C. Auto Panel
                             Auto Parts Industrial           Key Parts Inc.
                             AutoZone                        Keystone Automotive
                             Auto-Tech Plastics              K.S.I. Trading Corp.
                             Best Bumper & Parts             LKQ Corporation
                             Best Fit                        Maximum Auto Industry
                             CHS Industries/Port City        Maxzone Auto Parts Corp.
                             Bumper                          Micro Rim/Micro Platers
                             Collins Collision Products      National Autobody Warehouse
                             Collision Parts Network         Premier Flexipac
                             Continental Auto Parts          Richmond Bumper
                             Cornerstone Automotive          Roberts Wholesale Body Parts
                             Cross Canada                    Salt Lake Chrome Plating
                             D.A.R. Collision Parts          San Jose Trading Company
                             D-G Custom Chrome               Sherman & Associates
                             DEPO Auto Parts Corp.           Superior Collision Part
                             Eco Automotive Distributors
                             Empire Auto Parts




                                                                                                                       4
              Economic Benefits of Automotive Collision Parts Competition
                                    to Consumers
Consumers benefit in two ways from the existence of competition in the replacement collision parts
market. First, when there is direct competition between an original equipment manufacturer (OEM)
part and a high quality alternative part, the cost of the quality alternative part is considerably less.
Second, the existence of competition in the marketplace causes the OEM part to be more readily
available at a lower cost than parts without competition.

Additionally, insurers will likely pass these costs on to their policyholders in the form of higher
premiums. The insurance industry estimates that a monopoly on these parts by the large automakers
will add approximately $1 billion more each year to its costs.

In fact:
• The ability to choose alternative crash parts saves consumers up to $1.5 billion a year.
• Quality alternative replacement crash parts are typically anywhere from 26 percent to 50 percent less
    expensive than car company parts.
• Quality alternative replacement crash parts often have warranties that exceed those offered by
    automobile manufacturers.
• Roughly 13 percent of consumers pay collision repair costs out of pocket. With increased parts
    prices, customers may forgo repairing their vehicle.
• Increased costs for crash parts will also lead insurance companies to declare more damaged
    vehicles as “total wrecks.”
• Today, the car companies control more than 73 percent of the repair parts market, resulting in limited
    choices and increased costs to consumers. Shutting out competition in the auto parts market would
    further increase costs. This is not in the best interest of the American consumer.

                Collision Parts Price Comparison: Quality Alternative Parts versus Ford




                                                                                                           5
                            Looming Threat: Car Company Monopoly on Crash Parts
                           Rise in Design Patents Granted a New and Disturbing Trend
                                                               Chrysler          Ford          GM            Honda          Nissan           Toyota


                         140

                         120

                         100
          # of patents




                         80

                         60

                         40

                         20

                          0
                                1988   1989   1990   1991   1992   1993   1994   1995   1996   1997   1998    1999   2000   2001     2002   2003   2004   2005   2006   2007

                               Note 1: The term “crash parts” includes bezels, bumper covers, deck lids, door shells, fenders, fascias,
                               front/rear grilles, header panels, headlamps, high-mounted brake lights, hoods, pickup box sides, quarter
                               panels, radiator supports, side mirrors, side mouldings, tailgates, taillamps, and wheel houses as defined
                               by the Certified Automotive Parts Association (CAPA) at http://www.capacertified.org/whatparts.asp


   •   Utility patents may be granted to anyone who invents or discovers a new and useful process,
       machine, article of manufacture or composition of matter, or any new and useful improvement
       thereof (U.S. Patent & Trademark Office). Design patents, on the other hand, are granted
       to those who invent a new, original and ornamental design for an article of
       manufacture. Typically, only three to four percent of the total U.S. utility and design patents
       awarded each year are design patents.
   •   As the graph above illustrates, over the past five years, design patents awarded to the major
       automobile manufacturers have grown to about 20 to 25 percent of the total U.S. patents
       awarded to those manufacturers. More importantly, “crash parts” --- or collision parts --
       account for anywhere from 50 to 93 percent of the U.S. design patents awarded to major
       automobile manufacturers.

What does this mean for American consumers?

   •   The more than 2 million Ford F-150 owners in the U.S. no longer have an alternative
       option for quality replacement collision parts for their 2004-2007 Ford F-150 pickup trucks.
       A May 2 Ford Global Technologies complaint regarding the 2005 Ford Mustang further
       reinforces the belief that large automobile manufacturers are strategizing to obtain restrictive
       14-year design patents on visible components of many other new car makes and models,
       further monopolizing the auto repair parts market.

Is there a solution available?

   •   Rep. Zoe Lofgren (CA-16) recently introduced H.R. 5638, legislation that amends Title
       35, U.S. Code (Patents) “to create an exception from infringement for certain
       component parts used to repair another article of manufacture.” The Quality Parts
       Coalition (QPC) is calling on members of Congress to join Representative Lofgren and co-
       sponsors, Representatives Rick Boucher (VA-9), Charles A. Wilson (OH-6),
                                                                                                                                                                               6
       Looming Threat: Car Company Monopoly on Crash Parts (cont'd)
    Sheila Jackson-Lee (TX-18), Eddie Bernice Johnson (TX-30), Steve Cohen (TN-9), William
    Delahunt (MA-10) and G.K. Butterfield (NC-1) to support H.R. 5638 and install a “repair
    clause” in U.S. design patent law.

•   Adopting H.R. 5638 would bring the U.S. in line with a number of nations, including Australia,
    Belgium, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, the Netherlands, Poland, Spain and the U.K., that
    ascribe to free competition in the replacement automotive parts market. The European Union
    as a whole is in the process of adopting a similar design directive. On November 20, 2007, the
    Legal Affairs Committee of the European Parliament voted unanimously in favor of the
    commission-proposed Repair Clause. In December of 2007, the European Parliament voted in
    favor of adopting the repair clause. The Council of Ministers is expected to address the repair
    clause in mid-2008.




                                                                                                  7
     “Dear Colleague” Letter from H.R. 5638 Sponsor Rep. Zoe Lofgren (CA-16)

Congress of the United States

HELP KEEP DOWN THE COST OF CAR OWNERSHIP

COSPONSOR H.R. 5638

July 17, 2008

Dear Colleague:

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office recently convened a town hall meeting that focused in part on
the implications for consumers of design patent protection for “crash parts” – exterior parts used to
repair a vehicle after a collision.

Patent experts, economists, consumer advocates, and industry representatives all gave testimony
and fielded questions. Although different and opposing points of view were expressed, a very clear
picture of the crash parts market emerged: the U.S. International Trade Commission’s recent decision
upholding an automaker’s design patents on certain crash parts effectively eliminated competing (and
lower-priced) choices for consumers with respect to those parts. As a result, automobile
manufacturers are increasingly using design patents to drive out competition in the market for crash
parts.

Unfortunately for our auto-owning constituents, the elimination of competition not only means higher
costs for crash parts and auto repairs but also higher insurance costs and a larger number of vehicles
being declared “totaled.” Particularly at a time when gas prices are skyrocketing, Americans can ill-
afford these increased costs of car ownership.

To address this situation, I introduced H.R. 5638, a bill designed to create a limited exception to
patent infringement claims to allow the manufacture and distribution of competing auto crash parts
when the sole purpose of such parts is to repair a car in order to restore it to its original appearance.
The bill enjoys considerable support from consumer groups, part manufacturers and distributors, and
insurers. This legislation is an important step toward striking the proper balance between supplying
incentives for new and creative designs and preserving competition.

If you have any questions or wish to become a cosponsor, please contact Erik Stallman of my office at
(202) 225-3072 or erik.stallman@mail.house.gov.

Sincerely,

/s

Zoe Lofgren
Member of Congress
                          Tips On Calling Your Member of Congress

Calling the offices of Members of Congress is one of the easiest and most effective ways for Quality
Parts Coalition (QPC) supporters to communicate with policymakers.

Although calling the local offices of your Members of Congress does not involve a long-distance call, it
is best to contact their Washington, D.C., offices where they are better equipped to handle a greater
volume of constituent calls. In addition, most policy staff are located in the Capitol Hill office, not in the
district.

To reach the offices of your Representative in the House, just call the U.S. Capitol Switchboard at
202-224-3121 and ask to be transferred to their offices.

If you are not sure who represents you, just visit www.senate.gov and www.house.gov to learn your
policymakers’ names.

Keep a record. Take note of the date and time of your call(s) and the person with whom you spoke or
for whom you left a voicemail. Sometimes the phone logs are lost and you may need to follow up with
the office to ensure a response. Additionally, please include this information in the QPC Feedback
Form (see page 19).

Identify yourself as a constituent. When calling, clearly state your first and last name, your
hometown, and why you are calling. Oftentimes, the receptionist will indicate that you will need to
leave your comments with him or her.

Illustrate why the issue is of concern to you. Make a few brief points as to why the issue is of
concern to you, your community and the nation and why the Member should take action. You may
want to use written notes to help you stay on topic and remain clear in your argument while
articulating your case.

Make a clear request. Be clear as to what you are asking the Member to do (e.g., cosponsor H.R.
5638).

Be polite in your tone and language. The staffer on the other end of the phone receives dozens—if
not hundreds—of calls a day. In fact, in some offices, you may be speaking with a junior staffer or a
college intern, so be sure to be patient and forgiving. Additionally, do not assume the person on the
other end of the phone is familiar with the issue you are discussing, so be as clear and concise as
possible.

Keep it brief. Limit your call to no more than five minutes unless the staffer asks you questions and
seems engaged in the discussion. Offer to send additional or follow-up information to the staffer and
request his or her preferred mode of communication (e.g., e-mail, fax).

Request a written response. Specifically request a written response from the office on the Member’s
position or action on the issue you addressed.

Provide your contact information. Provide your full name, mailing address, e-mail address and
phone number.
                                                                                                             9
                    Tips On Calling Your Member of Congress (cont’d)

Thank the staffer. Thank the staffer for his or her time and indicate that you appreciate his or her
willingness to listen and record your comments. Be sure to get the name of the staffer so you can
have it for your records, and record the day and time you spoke in case you need to follow up.

Follow up and request a response. If you do not receive a response within a reasonable time frame
(i.e., approximately a month), call or write to follow up and request a response. Reference your phone
call and mention with whom you spoke and about which topic to help facilitate a meaningful reply.




                                                                                                       10
             H.R. 5638: Protecting Consumers’ Right to Benefit from
               Quality, Lower Cost Alternative Auto Repair Parts

•   For decades, companies have offered high-quality replacement parts to compete with parts
    produced by the car companies. This competition has reduced costs for American consumers
    in need of safe, reliable auto parts for vehicle repair. Studies estimate that consumers save
    $1.5 billion annually by the presence of non-OEM parts in the marketplace.

•   On May 2, 2008, Ford Global Technologies filed a section 337 complaint at the International
    Trade Commission (ITC) against manufacturers and U.S. distributors (e.g., LKQ Corporation,
    formerly Keystone Automotive) of auto exterior repair parts on the 2005 Ford Mustang. This
    complaint follows on the heels of the previous section 337 complaint filed by Ford Global
    Technologies relating to the Ford F-150, which resulted in the effective elimination of a
    competitive choice for seven exterior repair parts. Today, the over 2 million Ford F-150
    drivers on America’s roads are forced to go back to the car company as the one and
    only source for the purchase of those seven collision repair parts they are most likely
    to need after even the most minor fender bender.

•   Research shows that the number of design patents awarded to car companies has
    dramatically increased in the last five years, growing to about 20 to 25 percent of the total
    U.S. patents awarded to those manufacturers. If auto companies successfully litigate
    additional design patent infringement suits, competition will be eliminated, and consumers will
    see costs of auto repair increase significantly, which could lead to higher auto insurance
    premiums as well.

•   To combat rising prices and encourage competition, Representative Zoe Lofgren (D-CA) has
    introduced H.R. 5638, a bill that would amend federal patent law to provide an exception
    from design patent infringement for alternative repair parts used for the purpose of
    repairing a vehicle to its original appearance (like a bumper, fender, hood, quarter panel,
    etc.). Since its introduction, Representatives Rick Boucher (VA-9), Charles A. Wilson (OH-6),
    Sheila Jackson-Lee (TX-18), Eddie Bernice Johnson (TX-30), Steve Cohen (TN-9), William D.
    Delahunt (MA-10) and G.K. Butterfield (NC-1) have signed on as co-sponsors.

•   The most recent ITC suit illustrates now, more than ever, why a permanent legislative
    solution is needed. H.R. 5638 would protect competition in the auto parts market that
    American consumers currently enjoy. A similar pro-consumer approach has been adopted
    successfully in Australia and a number of European countries, and the European Union is in
    the process of adopting such a law.

•   A broad coalition of consumer and business groups are in support of H.R. 5638.
    Members of this diverse roster include, among others: Advocates for Auto and Highway
    Safety, American Antitrust Association, American Insurance Association, Automotive
    Aftermarket Industry Association, Automotive Body Parts Association, Center for Auto Safety,
    Consumer Federation of America, Consumers Union, National Association of Mutual
    Insurance Companies, Property Casualty Insurers Association of America, Public Citizen,
    Quality Parts Coalition, the Coalition for Auto Repair Equality and many others.
                                                                                                  11
                                  Tips For Writing To Congress

Writing to Members of Congress is one of the easiest and most effective ways for Quality Parts
Coalition (QPC) supporters to communicate with policymakers on issues of interest and priority.

Such written communication can be sent to the Congressional office by e-mail, fax, or U.S. Postal
Service.

Keep a hard copy of what you send because sometimes faxes, e-mails, or letters are lost and you
may need to send a second copy to ensure a response.

Always be polite. When addressing correspondence to any government official, be sure to use the
proper forms of address (see the end of this document). Even if you are angry, frustrated, or
disappointed, use a polite tone and appropriate language. Do not be threatening, confrontational, or
rude. The most effective way to communicate with your Members of Congress is the same way you
communicate with your colleagues, neighbors, family and friends—clearly, concisely and with respect
and honesty.

Be clear as to who you are and why you are writing. In the opening sentence, make your request
clear and identify yourself as a registered voter and constituent

Be concise and informed. To the degree possible, try to keep your letter to a single page. You do
not need to be an expert on the issue, but you should be familiar with the basic facts and points (i.e.,
name of the legislation and the associated bill number and why it should be supported or opposed). If
you are requesting that the policymaker cosponsors a particular measure or are writing to express
disappointment at a particular vote the policymaker cast, check the list of cosponsors and the vote
record first at http://thomas.loc.gov to ensure that you have the most up-to-date information and all of
your facts straight.

Be honest and accurate. If you are including statistics or other information, verify your sources and
have them handy if the Congressional office follows up and wants additional information. Also, be
sure not to exaggerate the situation or issue you are discussing; do not oversell the policy solution
you are advocating or overstate the consequences if the policymaker does not do what you request.

Be modest in your request. Although you may wish to address multiple issues, do not include
everything and the kitchen sink in your communication. It is best to focus on only one or two issues
that are of top priority to you. Your communication will be clearer, and policymakers or staffers will be
more receptive because you have not overwhelmed them with too many requests.

Be of assistance and serve as a resource. Policymakers and their staffers are overworked and
overwhelmed, so offer your assistance to them; they will appreciate your input and help. If you have
an article of interest or relevance, include it with your correspondence or refer to it and indicate that
you would be happy to provide it should they be interested.

Ask for a response. Because policymakers and their staffers work for you, you have every right to
(politely) ask for a response and hold them accountable if your communication goes unanswered. In


                                                                                                            12
                            Tips For Writing To Congress (cont’d)
fact, entire systems, processes, and staff exist in Congressional offices to respond to constituent
input. It is important to note, however, that because of the volume of constituent input, it could be
weeks or even a month before you may receive a response. Make clear at the close of your
correspondence that you are requesting a written response regarding the policymaker’s views on the
issue or legislation you addressed.

Be sure to follow up. If you do not receive a response in a timely fashion (in excess of a month for
most offices), follow up with the office by phone or with another letter (fax is best) and attach your
original (make sure you keep or print a copy for your records before you send it off). Indicate that you
have not received a response and are requesting one. If you receive an unsatisfactory response to
your correspondence, write or call again to express appreciation for the response and be polite, yet
firm, in communicating that the response was not what you anticipated or requested. Reiterate your
points and address any concerns or points the policymaker has made on the issue in the
correspondence.

“Snail Mail." As a result of the fall 2001 anthrax attacks, the way in which the U.S. Postal Service
mail is handled by Congress has changed. Most of the incoming mail is irradiated to ensure that it is
safe for handling by Congressional staff and Members of Congress. This process takes quite a while
and often damages the contents. Therefore, for time-sensitive communication, sending written
correspondence by e-mail or fax is advised. You may also want to make a phone call (described on
page 9). Also, enclosing items such as photographs, original articles, or other documents is not
recommended; it is best to save these items for hand delivery or drop them off when you have a
meeting in the office.

E-mail. Each Congressional office maintains a different policy about how e-mail from constituents is
handled. Most Members of Congress have a public e-mail address to which e-mail can be sent. To
access the e-mail addresses, you either can visit the individual Member’s Web page (via
www.house.gov or www.senate.gov) Many Congressional offices provide a generic, automatic
acknowledgment that your e-mail has been received but will follow up with a specific e-mail response
to your issue or a letter via regular U.S. Postal Service. A handful of offices still do not respond
individually to e-mail but count the input and inform the policymaker how many people have written in
on the particular topic. It is best to contact your Members’ offices to learn about their individual
policies about constituent correspondence.

                          Proper Forms of Address for Members of Congress

     Members of the United States House of                 Members of the United States Senate
               Representatives
                                                      The Honorable [First Name Last Name of Member
 The Honorable [First Name Last Name of Member                          of Congress]
                   of Congress]                                    United States Senate
     United States House of Representatives                      Washington, DC 20510
             Washington, DC 20515

   Dear Representative [Last Name of Member]:               Dear Senator [Last Name of Member]:


                                                                                                        13
                     Constituent Sample Letter: Cosponsor H.R. 5638


Date
The Honorable INSERT FIRST/LAST NAME
United States House of Representatives/Senate
Room Number and Office Building
Washington, DC 20515/20510

Dear Representative/Senator LAST NAME:

As a constituent in your district, I strongly urge you to co-sponsor H.R. 5638, a critical bill recently
introduced by your colleague, Representative Zoe Lofgren (CA-16.). This important legislation will
preserve competition in the automotive aftermarket parts and repair industry, providing protection for
millions of consumers.

H.R. 5638 would amend Title 35, U.S. Code (Patents) to provide design patent exemption for
alternative repair parts used for the purpose of repairing a vehicle to its original appearance.

For your constituents already feeling the squeeze from soaring gas prices during daily commutes, this
proposed legislation will help to keep the costs of repairs down by guaranteeing the availability of
affordable, quality alternatives for vehicles following collisions. H.R. 5638 is a win for consumers in
[INSERT YOUR STATE] and for the state’s aftermarket industry.

The availability of quality replacement parts in the aftermarket industry provides a tremendous benefit
to American consumers—these parts are typically 26 to 50 percent less expensive than those issued
by manufacturers, saving consumers up to $1.5 billion a year. Elimination of this competition through
the enforcement of design patents on specific replacement collision parts will increase the price of
items your constituents need after even the most minor of fender-benders and threatens to raise the
price of insurance premiums for all consumers.

Please help to preserve a 60 year tradition of free markets and fair prices in the replacement collision
parts industry by co-sponsoring H.R. 5638. In the interim, I would be delighted to talk with you about
how H.R. 5638 can safeguard consumers’ rights and competition.

Sincerely,

FIRST NAME, LAST NAME
STREET ADDRESS
CITY, STATE ZIP
PHONE NUMBER/EMAIL
                      Tips on Meeting With Your Member of Congress

Meeting with Members of Congress and/or their staff is a terrific way for Quality Parts Coalition
supporters to communicate with policymakers on issues of interest and priority. Visiting with them
enables you to educate them about your concerns, avail yourself to them as a resource, and establish
a relationship that can prove mutually beneficial over time. It is best to build a relationship before your
need it. Such meetings can be conducted at Congressional offices in Washington, D.C., or at home in
district offices.

Prior to arriving in Washington, D.C., or at the district office, be sure to schedule a meeting with a
staffer, through the appointment secretary or scheduler for a visit with the Member of Congress. Be
clear who will be attending and what issue(s) will be discussed. The day before, confirm the
appointment as the Congressional schedule changes very often. Such changes frequently are beyond
their control.

Prepare and be on time. Members of Congress and their staff are very busy and often have to be in
more than one place at a time. Be respectful of their schedule by giving yourself plenty of time to go
through security, find your way to the office, and announce yourself to the receptionist. Open by
thanking the Member or staffer for his or her time. Be sure that everyone in the group identifies herself
or himself and remember to mention that you are a voting constituent. Also provide some context
about where you live or work in the district or state.

Be brief and clear because you typically will have only 10–25 minutes for the entire meeting.
Cover only a few (one to three) topics. It is best to prepare talking points beforehand to ensure that
you and your colleagues stay on target. Anticipate the kinds of questions you may be asked from both
supporters and opponents. Do not assume that the Member or staffer is very knowledgeable about
the issue you are discussing. Be sure to provide some background.

Be sure to provide a personal story or real-life illustration of the problem. Personal stories are
remembered more easily than statistics. As necessary, briefly cite evidence or statistics to support
your position, particularly any local, regional, or state data. However, be sure not to overwhelm the
policymaker or staffer with too many statistics and references to studies (this kind of information can
be in the materials you leave behind or can be sent with your thank-you note). Be concise and honest
about the issue(s) and the solution(s), and make clear the relevance of the issue(s) to constituents.

Be polite and listen carefully to the policymakers’ or staffers’ views and comments. Even if you
disagree, it is very important to be courteous. Be flexible and consider the opposing view. Be sure not
to be argumentative or threatening. You may agree to disagree on an issue today and find that you
can agree and work together on another matter tomorrow.

Be sure to get a response in a nice way. Ask directly and politely for the policymaker’s views and
position on the issue and what he or she plans to do. Do not let the policymaker or staffer distract you
with other issues (gently steer the conversation back to your issue), avoid responding, or dismiss your
specific concerns with a broad statements.



                                                                                                         15
                Tips on Meeting With Your Member of Congress (cont'd)

Leave your contact information. Also, be sure to get a business card from the Member or staffer so
that you know how and where to reach him or her. Ask the Member or staffer for the preferred mode
of communication (i.e., e-mail, fax, voice mail, phone).

Summarize your requests of the Member or office and any responses the Member or staffer
has given to ensure you are clear on where he or she stands on the issues. Summarize the
Member or staffer’s requests and indicate how you plan to respond. Express thanks and appreciation
for his or her time, interest, and courtesy.

Report back to the Quality Parts Coalition (QPC) so that others can follow up with the office
with any additional information and reinforce the message(s) you delivered.

Follow up with a thank-you note to the Member or staffer referencing the date of your meeting, who
was in attendance, and the issues you discussed. Your follow-up letter should express appreciation
for the time and consideration extended to you during your meeting, reiterate your request(s), and ask
for a written response from the office. Please refer to page X for a template thank you letter. Be sure
to call, e-mail, or write with answers or information the Member or staffer requested.




                                                                                                     16
                 Sample Meeting Request Letter: Cosponsor H.R. 5638

Date
The Honorable INSERT FIRST/LAST NAME
United States House of Representatives/Senate
Room Number and Office Building
Washington, DC 20515/20510

Dear Representative/Senator LAST NAME:

As a constituent who lives in [City, State], I am writing to respectfully request a meeting with you
about H.R. 5638, a critical bill recently introduced by your colleague, Representative Zoe Lofgren
(CA-16). I am hopeful that your schedule will permit us an opportunity to meet sometime in MONTH
when you are home so we can become acquainted and discuss issues affecting the people of our
state.

H.R. 5638 would amend Title 35, U.S. Code (Patents) to provide design patent exemption for
alternative repair parts used for the purpose of repairing a vehicle to its original appearance. This
important legislation will preserve competition in the automotive aftermarket parts and repair industry,
providing protection for millions of consumers.

For your constituents already feeling the squeeze from soaring gas prices during daily commutes, this
proposed legislation will help to keep the costs of repairs down by guaranteeing the availability of
affordable, quality alternatives for vehicles following collisions. H.R. 5638 is a win for consumers in
[INSERT YOUR STATE] and for the state’s aftermarket industry.

I will follow-up with your staff shortly to schedule a meeting with you at a time when you will be home
visiting our area. Thank you very much for your attention to my correspondence and for your
consideration of this request. I look forward to meeting with you and to building a strong working
relationship.

Sincerely,

FIRST NAME LAST NAME
STREET ADDRESS
CITY, STATE ZIP
PHONE NUMBER/EMAIL
                     Sample Thank You Letter: Cosponsor H.R. 5638

Date
The Honorable INSERT FIRST/LAST NAME
United States House of Representatives/Senate
Room Number and Office Building
Washington, DC 20515/20510

Dear Representative/Senator LAST NAME:

Thank you for meeting with me on [INSERT MONTH DATE] at your office in [INSERT CITY, STATE]
to discuss the importance of H.R. 5638, a critical bill recently introduced by your colleague
Representative Zoe Lofgren (CA-16).

H.R. 5638 would guarantee competition and consumer choice in the automotive replacement parts
market by amending Title 35, U.S. Code (Patents) to provide design patent exemption for alternative
repair parts used for the purpose of repairing a vehicle to its original appearance. As one of your
constituents feeling the squeeze from soaring gas prices, this proposed legislation will help to keep
down the costs of my repairs by guaranteeing the availability of affordable, quality alternatives for
vehicles following collisions.

I urge you to preserve 60 years of tradition by cosponsoring H.R. 5638. Please help customers see
the $1.5 billion in savings provided by quality alternatives each year.

Please let me know how I can be of assistance in your efforts in upholding choice and competition in
the automotive aftermarket industry.

Thank you.

Sincerely,

FIRST NAME LAST NAME
STREET ADDRESS
CITY, STATE ZIP
PHONE NUMBER/EMAIL
                         Quality Parts Coalition Feedback Form
                                     Co-sponsor H.R. 5638

Date:        _________

Name:        __________________________

Address:     ________________________________________________________________

City:        _____________________        State: _________       Zip Code:   ___________

Phone:       _____________________        Email Address:   __________________________


Legislative Action (check one)

_____ Call To Member of Congress

_____ Letter to Member of Congress

_____ Meeting With Member of Congress

_____ Response Letter From Member of Congress (please fax along with feedback form)


Feedback (summary of meeting, phone call, or correspondence):
__________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________


Follow Up Needed or Requested? ____ YES                 ____     NO

__________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________

                                    Please Fax This Form to:
                                   The Quality Parts Coalition
                                       Attn: Tiffany Moore
                                          202-344-8300
                                                                                           19

				
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