In a press release published on 25 August 2021 the Autorité de la Concurrence welcomed the adoption of the law n° 2021-1104 of 24 August 2021 leading to the gradual opening to competition of visible spare parts in the automotive sector. The Autorité de la concurrence expressed its satisfaction, after having advocated this measure since 2012.

However, this is not such a good idea. Intellectual property rights such as copyright or the rights over drawings or models exist to encourage companies to innovate and invest in designing new products without the worry of being immediately imitated by competitors, because of the protection afforded to these innovations over a limited period of time. To cancel or restrict these rights is a fool’s paradise which is contrary to all economic logic. It will deprive French industry of the profits of its efforts to innovate and simply allow equipment manufacturers, the majority of whom are Asiatic, to capture a market without having to make any investment. French consumers will gain nothing because experience shows that there is little chance of the upstream prices of these competitors, which the legislator thinks may be lower, being passed on to end customers because they are not B to C sales, but B to B sales, with the intermediation of insurance companies in most cases, with each level being able to keep any decrease in the upstream price. This is therefore an unthought out and ill-considered move which will have no impact on the environment or on the prices paid by consumers but only a negative impact on French industry.

Joseph Vogel

Lawyer at the Paris Bar