Vessel Hull Protection Amendments pass Senate

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Vessel Hull Design Protection Amendments of 2008 passed in the Senate this week and now requires the President's signature to become law, the National Marine Manufacturers Association reported in a recent statement.

The amendments provide boat manufacturers increased protection from intellectual property violations including “hull splashing,” copying an original vessel hull by using a mold made from the vessel hull of another manufacturer.

“We are anxious for the President to sign this bill into law so we can declare victory on this very crucial issue our industry has had to fight for so many years,” said NMMA President Thom Dammrich.

NMMA said it has worked for six years to strengthen and clarify the Vessel Hull Design Protection Act of 1998, which was the first industrial design protection statute of its kind. Because of the way a hull was defined in the original legislation and subsequent court opinions, enforcement has been curtailed because of the difficulty in proving infringement. The Vessel Hull Design Protection Amendments correct this technical issue, allowing boat manufacturers the full protection originally intended in the 1998 law, the association added.

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