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May 22, 2024

The Fight For The Right To Repair

Antitrust Bulletin

Business litigation partner Jake Kramer and legal clerk Matthew Lechner published “The Fight for the Right to Repair” in The Antitrust Bulletin, where they detailed the history of the movement aimed at requiring manufacturers to provide consumers the necessary manuals and parts required for home repair.

The authors explained the start of the right-to-repair movement, which began as early as the 1970s as activists lobbied for the right to repair automobiles, to right-to-repair laws being enacted in several states and the growing push for action at the federal level. Since its inception, the right-to-repair movement has grown in several industries, from agriculture and trucking to smartphones and appliances.

Further, Kramer and Lechner detailed how manufacturers have avoided right-to-repair legislation by voluntarily making aftermarket goods and services available to consumers. For example, companies in the agriculture industry have entered into agreed to share certain information and tools with consumers and maintenance providers in exchange for guarantees of intellectual property protection and continued restrictions based on user safety.

Lastly, the authors explained ways to reconcile the right-to-repair movement with antitrust law and ways government can make important distinctions about products in different industries when debating right-to-repair legislation.

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