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Legal question about repro parts


Dzimm
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If no other companies make what you're wanting to make, then nobody can get mad about it...
If they are worried about your little bit of profits then they should have never stopped making them.

Your profits will most likely be less than any lawyer fees for them to sue you anyways.

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12 hours ago, Dzimm said:

For those lawyer types out there, what might the legal issues be if someone were to use a 3d printer to reproduce and sell some of the discontinued plastic vehicle parts for older vehicles?  

 

I would suspect that as long as you don't try to represent your reproduction part as a true, factory OEM built part, your are doing nothing wrong.  How else do we get all these "factory replacement" parts?

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I am not a lawyer.  (I did not play one on TV; I did not sleep at a Holiday Inn Express)

 

Somewhere someone owns the patents for the parts.  If the owner finds out that someone is making that part AND SELLING THEM, the owner may sue for lost revenue and legal fees...if they find out about it.

 

If you make it for your own personal use, they cannot go after you.

 

Continue at your own risk.

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39 minutes ago, 87MJTIM said:

Somewhere someone owns the patents for the parts.  If the owner finds out that someone is making that part AND SELLING THEM, the owner may sue for lost revenue and legal fees...if they find out about it.

 

87MJTIM is correct about this. 

 

I am not a lawyer, either.  However, I know quite a bit about patents and intellectual property due to my career.  This is not legal advice:

 

Patents expire after 18 years.  This is a federal requirement so as to allow competition and innovation after allowing the original developer a long enough time period to capitalize in a sufficient manner on their research and development.  Beyond that, the right to manufacturer a specific part may be owned by a licensee, whether or not a valid patent still exists.  If the part is on a 30 year old truck and no longer actively produced, it's likely the right to produce it is not licensed to anyone, and the patent has expired.  If, after a patent on an original widget has expired, you modify that widget in some fashion as to enhance it (innovation), that new widget is considered inspired by the original, not the original.

 

For example, if you were to recreate original factory electric window bezels (which are discontinued and not produced for more than 18 years) with your 3D printer, and your did not print the factory stampings/markings on the back, but instead printed it with extra ribbing for support, I don't see how you could have any issue with anybody ever.

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If you alter a product "20%" it isnt copyright or patent infringement or whatever it's called. "20%" is almost nothing at all so it's easy to get around that. But it would have to be very specific I would think to find the original patent holder and for them to find you and pursue legal action.

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Common sense tells me that if Mopar has discontinued the part, they have basically decided the part has no market value and has abandoned the part.  As long as you don't try to represent it as a genuine Mopar part - where is the damages to Mopar.  You are selling a "factory replacement" part, NOT a genuine Mopar part.

 

Bottom line, there is no profit for Mopar in the parts it no longer supplies.  So no loss to them.  Only loss would come when somebody tries to sell a part and falsely claim it is a genuine Mopar part. Then they are damagine the Mopar brand name, but selling a look a like factory replacement part is just fine.  Otherwise everybody selling rings, pistons, bearings fans and anything else to fit a Jeep is going  to get sued.

 

No way  for anyone to prove hundreds of billion dollars in damages from selling a factory replacement part. 

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6 hours ago, 87MJTIM said:

I am not a lawyer.  (I did not play one on TV; I did not sleep at a Holiday Inn Express)

 

Somewhere someone owns the patents for the parts.  If the owner finds out that someone is making that part AND SELLING THEM, the owner may sue for lost revenue and legal fees...if they find out about it.

 

If you make it for your own personal use, they cannot go after you.

 

Continue at your own risk.

 

Most parts aren't patented, and not reproducing a whole assembly skirts a lot of issues if there is a patent.  Or as said, altering it by 20%~.

 

Also, there is laws in most of the western world regarding reproduction/aftermarket service parts that basically say the OEM has to allow them.  That way Chrysler can't stick you with having to buy a windshield from them for some outrageous price 30 years later.

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