ARTBA to Feds: End ‘regulatory roadblock’ to buying patented products

Repealing an archaic federal procurement rule would remove a major regulatory roadblock and “spur investment in and deployment of new technologies that promise to help advance safety, alleviate traffic congestion and improve U.S. highways,” according to American Road & Transportation Builders Association(ARTBA).

That’s the message that ARTBA delivered to the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) on January 14. The association petitioned last year to have the rule thrown out.

At issue, the association says, is 23 CFR 635.411, a federal regulation that prohibits state and local governments from using patented or proprietary products on highway and bridge projects that receive federal funding unless those products qualify for limited exceptions.

The rule, adopted in 1916 by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which then managed the emerging federal-aid highway program, ARTBA explains in a news release.

“The status quo should never be an acceptable goal,” says ARTBA President and CEO Dave Bauer.