Please select your home edition
Edition
Auckland On Water Boat Show

Laser Legal tangles continue

by Rob Kothe and the Sail-World Team on 24 Apr 2013
Sail-World.com /AUS © http://www.sail-world.com
ISAF and ILCA have been named as co-defendants in the legal proceedings filed in the US District Court by attorneys acting for Laser designer Bruce Kirby, over a dispute caused by Laser Performance Europe (LPE) refusing to pay design royalties.

Previously ISAF had recognised that LPE were no longer licensed Laser builders and had stopped the issuance of plaques by ILCA. (that came from the publicly released letter from ISAF's lawyers.).

Major developments in the last few days with ISAF changing tack and now in conjunction with ILCA moving boldly to remove Bruce Kirby´s design rights.(full statements below in separate stories).

However the collateral damages appear to be mounting. It seems there have been unintended consequences of the ISAF-ILCA action, is that the two Asia-Pacific Laser builders, Performance Sailcraft Australia (PSA) and Performance Sailcraft Japan (PSJ) have been caught in the crossfire.

The latest advice is that existing Laser builders (that would mean PSA and PSJ) who supply Lasers with the proposed new ISAF (non Kirby) plaques will be dragged into the American courts too.

One wonders if they will be seeking indemnification from the deep pockets of ISAF before building new Lasers?

One wonders how this will all play out. It does seem pretty certain that this will be played out in a protracted and messy fashion in the US court system and the losers will be sailors and winners lawyers.

Here is Bruce Kirby´s latest comment - 'The ISAF announcement confirms what we feared.

'It would appear ISAF has been complicit all along in the efforts of Laser Performance and ILCA to steal the Kirby Sailboat design by refusing to pay royalties, issuing plaques to terminated builders, and now using a flimsy pretext to the alter the Laser class rules and purport to allow builders to make the Kirby Sailboat without Bruce Kirby's authorization.

'The only path forward that does not require a Court Order is the Kirby Torch. We remain available to negotiate with ISAF and/or ILCA if either or both of them is willing to meet.'
InSunSport - NZSouthern Spars - 100T Clewring J-class

Related Articles

Laser Lawsuit - Kirby´s dramatic move
Kirby Inc. increases pressure on LP, ISAF and the ILCA when they asked Court to issue a prejudgment remedy against LP. Kirby Inc. yesterday dramatically increased the pressure on LP, ISAF and the ILCA when they asked the US Federal Court in Connecticut to issue a prejudgment remedy against LP. If this was to be granted as requested LP and its associates would be unable to build Lasers or have anyone else build them for them, while the Courts then could take their time hearing the case.
Posted on 18 May 2013
Kirby files to cancel Laser Trademark and Sunburst Logo for Boats
Bruce Kirby Inc. today filed the below petition to cancel US trademark registrations Bruce Kirby Inc. today filed the below petition to cancel US trademark registrations directed to both the word LASER and the Sunburst logo for boats. According to US Trademark Office records, these US registrations are owned by Karaya (Jersey) Limited based in St. Helier, Jersey, Channel Islands.
Posted on 11 May 2013
US Laser trademarks up for grabs?
The following opinion piece has been provided by Improper Course: The following opinion piece has been provided by Improper Course, a blog which is a collection of the sailing education and adventures of two sailors on opposite ends of the experience and success spectrum. It ranges from the Laser Master Worlds to the local Laser sailing as well as a couple of other dinghies and the occasional keelboat.
Posted on 8 May 2013
Laser Lawsuit - Challenge to Laser trademark ownership
New development in legal battle between Bruce Kirby, the designer of the Laser dinghy and LaserPerformance. Another new development in the widening legal dispute between Bruce Kirby, the designer of the world´s best known sailing boat, the Laser dinghy and one of the Laser builders LaserPerformance (LPE) the builder and supplier of Lasers into UK, Europe and North America, because of non-payment of design royalties.
Posted on 8 May 2013
ISAF and ILCA on thin ice? Intellectual Property Rights and Copyright
Commentary on lawsuit between Laser designer Bruce Kirby, builder Laser Performance and its associates and ISAF and ILCA Extracts from an article written for Scuttlebutt USA by IPR lawyer John Harwood-Bee on the lawsuit between Laser designer Bruce Kirby, builder LPE and associated companies and ISAF and ILCA.
Posted on 6 May 2013
ISAF Laser intervention - Supply problems looming?
The long running dispute now it appears that its likely to threaten supplies of Lasers. The long running dispute between the designer of the Laser dinghy Bruce Kirby and one of the Laser builders LaserPerformance, the builder and supplier of Lasers into UK, Europe and North America, because of non-payment of design royalties is now much wider than ever before and now it appears that its likely to threaten supplies of Lasers.
Posted on 1 May 2013
Laser ISAF ILCA action brings expanded Bruce Kirby law suit
Bruce Kirby Inc. today filed a First Amended Complaint adding claims related to the ILCA Rule Change, the ISAF Reversal In a widely anticipated move Bruce Kirby Inc. today filed a First Amended Complaint adding claims related to the ILCA Rule Change, the ISAF Reversal on the Fundamental Rule change, the apparent new ISAF Plaques and other matters, and adding as a party the owner of the Laser trademarks in Europe: Velum Limited ITM SA (Antigua and Barbuda).
Posted on 30 Apr 2013
It's the boat that matters, not the name
We have had calls and e-mails from around the world asking if there is anything that can be done to save the Laser. In an attempt to rescue the Laser Class from its downhill course of the past few years I have reluctantly decided that a name change, or re-branding is necessary. During the past three or four years dealers have had difficulty getting timely delivery of boats, and in particular, of parts.
Posted on 24 Apr 2013
Statement from the International Laser Class Association
Newly designed ISAF plaques available to all the current ISAF and ILCA approved manufacturers of the Laser dinghy in acc ISAF and ILCA have taken steps to assure the uninterrupted supply of class legal Laser brand sailboats around the world. This includes making newly designed ISAF plaques available to all the current ISAF and ILCA approved manufacturers of the Laser dinghy in accordance with the ILCA class rules.
Posted on 24 Apr 2013
ISAF Statement On International Laser Class
ISAF has been named a co-defendant in the legal proceedings filed in the US District Court. ISAF Statement - On 22 March the International Sailing Federation (ISAF) published a statement concerning the Laser Class dispute and proceedings filed by attorneys acting for Bruce Kirby. The legal situation is on-going but ISAF can confirm that: ISAF has been named a co-defendant in the legal proceedings filed in the US District Court.
Posted on 24 Apr 2013