Ep 3 - Design Protection: The Repairs Clause - a chat with Louis Shakinovsky

Mr Shakinovsky, with over 50 years of experience in managing positions at Belron International, explained how crucial this piece of legislation would be for the automotive aftermarket. With 275 million motorists, the EU has partially harmonised national laws on design protection under the Design Directive (98/71), which ensures equivalent protection to right holders in all EU Member States. However, the Directive does not address the case of must-match visible #SpareParts (e.g., car body panels, windscreens), which must exactly match the design of the original component.

Unlike its effects on the market for new cars, applying design protection to “must-match” spare parts gives the vehicle manufacturer a product monopoly on parts registered for design protection, deprives vehicle owners of any choice, and makes them captive consumers. Extending design protection to visible spare parts is an abuse of the rule’s intent: instead of fostering competition, it leads to product monopoly and monopoly pricing.