Please select your home edition
Edition
Insun - AC Program

ISAF and ILCA on thin ice? Intellectual Property Rights and Copyright

by Marine Business-World on 6 May 2013
Laser World Championship 2012 Nils Bergmann - Segelaction.de
Extracts from an article written for Scuttlebutt USA by Intellectual Property Rights lawyer John Harwood-Bee on the lawsuit between Laser designer Bruce Kirby, builder LaserPerformance and associated companies and International Sailing (ISAF) and the International Laser Class Association (ILCA).

'Having followed the saga that Bruce Kirby is being subjected to, there appears to be no dispute that Bruce is the absolute beneficial owner in the design rights and therefore IPR, in what has until now been known as the Laser. I can find no evidence or reference to him ever having assigned those design rights to any other entity, and therefore must assume that he has retained them. If this is the case, then ISAF and the Laser Class Association are skating on very thin ice in supporting any builder who is in breach of a design licence agreement.

'IPR infringement is considered by the courts to be a grave offence and punishments of transgressors can be severe. 'You have only to read recent archives to discover the serious financial penalties issued to those pirating copies of films, albums and videos or duplicating and distributing music without accounting. Million dollar lawsuits have closed down websites and bankrupted individuals.

'If design royalties are not being paid by the builders of the boats, under whatever name, then they will need some excellent argument to prevent a court from ordering seizure of moulds and all equipment, computers and tools used in the default.

'As LaserPerformance have carefully avoided answering your questions on this, it seems likely that they are in breach. I think it highly unlikely that Bruce and his lawyers have failed to issue ‘cease and desist’ notices against all parties and therefore there should be a standstill in approval and manufacture.

'How, under those circumstances, ISAF and International Laser Class Association (ILCA) can continue to issue plaques to LaserPerformance and any other builder in breach of Bruce Kirby’s rights is beyond comprehension.

'The ISAF statement says that plaques will be issued to any approved ISAF and ILCA builder. It does not state that those builders must be licensed by and in good standing with Kirby, and therefore I consider that both ISAF and ILCA need to check with some damn good IP lawyers to make certain that is it not just their normal arrogance that is driving this.

'Surely the fair and equitable solution would be to suspend the issue of plaques until this dispute is resolved. If Bruce is found to be in the right, as I sincerely hope he is, the ISAF and ILCA could face enormous penalties and damages for their support of anybody who has in effect pirated the design. '

The full article is at http://www.sailingscuttlebutt.com/2013/04/28/commentary-intellectual-property-rights-and-copyright-issues/

As a matter of interest, we recently found this US Copyright registration

Registration Number / Date: TXu001362085 / 2007-06-21
Title: Laser construction manual.
Copyright Claimant: Bruce Kirby, Inc.
Date of Creation: 2005
Authorship on Application: Bruce Kirby, 1929-
Copyright Note: Cataloged from appl. only.
Names: Kirby, Bruce, 1929-
Bruce Kirby, Inc.

There is an upcoming ISAF mid-year meeting in Copenhagen and we understand numbers of the ISAF Member Nations will be taking the opportunity to ask ISAF are they really sure they know what they are doing, with ISAF likely to be heavily exposed to significant damages claims if the ISAF decision making processes have not been as good as everyone would like.
RS Sailing 660x82Ancasta Botin Fast40 660x82Mariners Museum 660x82

Related Articles

An interview with Ray Redniss about the STC’s annual Block Island Race
I caught up with Ray Redniss, the Block Island Race’s longtime PRO, via email to learn more about this classic event. I caught up with Ray Redniss, who has served as the PRO for the Block Island Race and the Vineyard Race (September 1, 2017) for the past twenty-plus years, via email to learn more about the state of this classic, early season New England event.
Posted on 22 May
An Q&A with Jeremy Pochman about 11th Hour Racing’s impressive efforts
I interviewed Jeremy Pochman of 11th Hour Racing to learn more about this forward-thinking environmental non-profit. 11th Hour Racing is doing some of the most forward-leaning environmental work in the entire marine sphere, and I wanted to learn more, so I reached out to Jeremy Pochman, 11th Hour Racing’s Strategic Director and Co-founder, to ask a few questions. All sailors are strongly encouraged to give this interview the time it deserves.
Posted on 15 May
A Q&A with Don Adams about Sail Canada’s plan to win Olympic medals
I caught up with Sail Canada CEO Don Adams to hear about Team Canada’s High Performance Plan for winning Olympic medals. Sail Canada, Canada’s national sailing authority, is implementing a new High Performance Plan with the aim of improving on their recent Olympic sailing performances. I caught up with Don Adams, CEO of Sail Canada, to learn more about this ambition plan for helping Canadian sailors win Olympic medals while also helping to inspire younger generations to pursue the Olympic-sailing dream.
Posted on 8 May
America's Cup - Southern Spars AC50 build for Emirates Team NZ + Video
The Peter Blake skippered Steinlager 2 put Southern Spars on the map 27 years after Steinlager 2 put Southern Spars on the map with her unequalled clean sweep of the 1989/90 Whitbread Round the World Race, Southern Spars were called on to build Emirates Team NZ's America's Cup Challenger. Here's a look behind the scenes at the composite engineering process Southern Spars employ on projects ranging from Volvo OR spars, to Olympic bike wheels to an AC50
Posted on 1 May
She’s still here with us, and now we can be there for her
Of the many endearing qualities in Lisa Blair, the one that is paramount is her effervescence. Of the many endearing qualities in Lisa Blair, the one that is paramount is her effervescence. Yet it is what lies behind that which could be her most incredible characteristic. Sometimes you can almost overlook her steely determination, but not for long when you start talking with her. Catching up with her live from Cape Town surely was a vivid reminder of not only what this sailor can accomplish
Posted on 24 Apr
Gladwell's Line - Timeout in Bermuda and a decision OTUSA will regret?
With Emirates Team New Zealand's AC50 now in Bermuda and being re-assembled, it is time to take a breath With Emirates Team New Zealand's AC50 now in Bermuda and being re-assembled, it is time to take a breath from what has been a hectic couple of months, both in Auckland and Bermuda. The third major Practice Session has concluded in Bermuda. This was conducted almost entirely if winds of around 16-25kts - starting to get close to the top end of the range for the AC50's.
Posted on 20 Apr
America's Cup - Glenn Ashby on hitting the AC50's sound barrier
These boats are incredible. The performance that can be achieved in light airs is the amazing thing. The big difference between the AC72, the America's Cup Class, used in the 2013 America's Cup in San Francisco and the smaller AC50 to be sailed in Bermuda, lies in their light and medium air performance. 'These boats are incredible. The performance that can be achieved in light airs is the amazing thing. In 7-8-9-10 knots of breeze, you are sailing at 30kts at times.
Posted on 18 Apr
America's Cup - Bernasconi on expected winning factors in Bermuda
ETNZ's Technical Director, Dan Bernasconi has let out a few clues as to where he thought the differences might lie Emirates Team NZ's Technical Director, Dan Bernasconi has let out a few clues as to where he thought the differences might lie once the six teams entered in the 35th America's Cup. 'We have had a great run', he says. 'We've had a few hiccups along the way, as always. But the boat is going really well. We are getting through manoeuvres very well. And we think our straight line speed is good.'
Posted on 18 Apr
A Q&A with Nicole Breault about women’s match racing in the USA
I caught up with Nicole Breault to learn more about women’s match racing in the USA and about her upcoming Clinegatta. I caught up with Nicole Breault to learn more about the state of women’s match racing in the USA, and to also hear more about her upcoming Clinegatta, which is set to unfurl on the waters of San Francisco Bay this July, and which could be a great resource for other talented female match racers who are looking to sharpen their skills.
Posted on 17 Apr
America's Cup - Team NZ return fire at Coutts' social media bullets
Emirates Team New Zealand have corrected the allegations made by America's Cup organisers Emirates Team NZ have corrected the allegations made by America's Cup organisers in a media release on Thursday (NZT) over the team's daggerboard use. In the release, replayed by America's Cup Events Authority and Oracle Team USA CEO Sir Russell Coutts on his Facebook page. It was claimed that the Kiwi team had an issue with daggerboards and were using a rule they had not supported to keep sailing
Posted on 2 Apr