Baca introduces bill to extend Maglite patent, protect Inland Empire jobs
Washington - Rep. Joe Baca (D-Rialto) reintroduced legislation today to extend the patent on the Maglite flashlight from 2005 to 2007. The current patent is set to expire on December 31st, 2005.
"This bill protects the investment of Mag Instrument's patent, ensures the economic viability of the company and protects workers in the Inland Empire," said Rep. Baca.
"While many companies have shipped American jobs overseas, Mag Instrument has remained in the Inland Empire and created jobs for our community. We must protect Mag Instrument and its commitment to job creation in the Inland Empire."
The Maglite flashlight is manufactured by Mag Instrument, which is headquartered in Ontario. A new fully integrated manufacturing facility planned for Ontario is expected to create 2,400 new jobs.
"My constituent, Anthony Maglica, President of Mag Instrument, asked me for my help in protecting Maglite's patent. I am hoping that the other members of Congress from the Inland Empire will join me in supporting this bill so that it will be a bi-partisan effort," said Rep. Baca.
If the Maglite patent expires, the flashlight will be subject to competition from foreign-made products, resulting in a potential loss for the company. In 1990, Mag Instrument filed for a reissue patent, but it was not approved until March 2003, 13 years later.
"Clearly, any extensions of reissued patents must be done legislatively, or this patent will expire. If this patent expires, the likely outcome is that numerous foreign companies will flood the market with imitations and knock-offs." said Rep. Baca.
"Mag Instrument has invested considerable resources to fight patent infringements around the world over the last 20 years, and it is time somebody stepped up to the plate to protect its product."
The National Association of Police Organizations and its 52 affiliates, including the San Bernardino County Safety Employees' Association, support the bill. The Maglite flashlight is widely used by police officers, firefighters and other first responders.
"The Maglite flashlight is not some fancy medicine or artificial heart, but nonetheless represents American innovation and the ability of one man to turn a great idea into the American dream," said Rep. Baca. "We need to make sure that our police officers and first responders have this nearly indestructible American-made steel flashlight instead of a fragile foreign knock-off flashlight made of aluminum or plastic."