WASHINGTON (July 22, 2010)—Strong intellectual property protections are crucial to the continued financial success and technology development of small manufacturers of motor vehicle parts, a member of the Motor & Equipment Manufacturers Association) testified before the House Small Business Committee.
Consulting firm Frost & Sullivan estimates that motor vehicle suppliers could lose $45 billion because of product and trademark counterfeiting in 2011, said William Mansfield, director of intellectual property for ABRO Industries Inc., an Indiana-based manufacturer of radiator fluid, glues, tapes and other automotive and consumer products.
But while most publicity about intellectual property theft concerns large firms, small businesses have much more to lose, according to Mansfield.
“IP is an extremely critical issue for small businesses like ABRO, which has only 24 employees, because a single act can destroy a small business,” he said.
“A giant corporation can recover from a hit to its reputation,” Mansfield said. “They have the money to hire top PR firms and to spend whatever is necessary in terms of advertising in order to repair any damage to their name. A small company, however, does not have this ability.”
Mansfield presented the committee with MEMA's list of priorities in IP enforcement, including:
* full implementation of the Prioritizing Resources and Organization for Intellectual Property Act, which became law in 2008;
* promoting an international system of intellectual property laws, with strengthened cooperation with like-minded countries and key trading partners; and
* increasing the number of IP attaches at U.S.