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High-Tech Council Opposes ‘Right to Repair’

Jun 24, 2011Boston Business Journal, Council in the News

To the editor: At the Massachusetts High Technology Council, we make sure we speak up when the competitive advantage of our regional technology economy and our member companies is threatened. High-tech companies in the state are facing a very real threat from the so-called “Right to Repair” legislation, a bill that is being considered in the State House.

The so-called “Right to Repair” legislation would force manufacturers to give away their intellectual property for free. Supporters say the bill is about consumer protection and that this bill will “level the playing field” for automotive aftermarket parts retailers.

In reality, so-called “Right to Repair” actually would enable not only auto maintenance shops but literally anyone to sue an auto manufacturer to require that they hand over confidential vehicle design information — information that companies spend millions of dollars in research and development investments to develop. This is a direct attack on the industry and on intellectual property.

While the legislation is seemingly about vehicle repair, the bill contains language that would harm intellectual property protection for the medical, biotech and high-tech industries. If this bill passes, it would set a precedent for state legislation to severely limit intellectual property rights, hurting the competitiveness of pharmaceutical and high-tech companies in Massachusetts’ economy.

This is why the Massachusetts High Technology Council, Associated Industries of Massachusetts, Massachusetts Biotechnology Council and Massachusetts Medical Device Industry Council have partnered up with the Massachusetts Auto Coalition. We need to put a stop to this bill.

Members of the Legislature need to hear from all of us — automakers, consumers, high-tech companies, biotech companies and Massachusetts-based suppliers — about the misleading legislation that will hurt our local economy and community.

Join us in opposing the so-called “Right to Repair.”

Christopher R. Anderson, President, Massachusetts High Technology Council

Increasingly, the Massachusetts High Technology Council is stepping up to create, execute, and lead critical statewide competitiveness strategies. Fostering a vision for our innovation economy under the MassVision2050 banner, the Council solidifies its position as a thought leader providing valuable insights to navigate emerging technologies, facilitates long-term planning, and reinforces the Council's commitment to excellence and action in the evolving Massachusetts tech-driven economy.

To learn more, contact Council President Chris Anderson.