Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems LLC testified in a recent United States Senate subcommittee hearing on protecting and enforcing intellectual property rights.

Anthony C LaPlaca, vice-president and general counsel for Bendix, testified to the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, Subcommittee on Oversight of Government Management, the Federal Workforce and the District of Columbia about the impact of knock-off and non-genuine parts on vehicle brake performance, overall highway safety, brand equity, and lost revenue for legitimate component manufacturers. Sen George Voinovich, R-OH, chairman of the subcommittee, invited Bendix to testify.

The hearing focused on the progress that the administration's Strategy Targeting Organized Piracy (STOP!) initiative has made in developing and implementing a plan to improve intellectual property rights enforcement and assistance since the subcommittee's last hearing June 14, 2005. Other witnesses included representatives from the Department of Commerce, Department of Justice, US Patent and Trademark Office, and the US General Accounting Office.

Bendix testified that, due to the influx of knock-off and non-genuine parts and the infringement of intellectual property rights, it estimates millions of dollars in revenue are lost annually across multiple product lines.

The firm has successfully instituted its own intellectual property protection and enforcement program, which focuses on education and outreach, intellectual property protection, and enforcement of its patents and trademarks. Bendix proposed that the subcommittee consider legislation to strengthen legal protection for industrial designs. The company testified that protecting the original designs of useful articles incorporated in heavy-truck braking systems would reduce the potential for consumer confusion and benefit highway safety.

Copies of LaPlaca's written testimony will be available on the subcommittee's website at http://hsgac.senate.gov.