Please select your home edition
Edition
Auckland On Water Boat Show

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.
North Technology - Southern SparsNaiadWildwind 2016 660x82

Related Articles

Rio 2016 - America's Cup champ says Paralympic racing is closest ever
Twice America’s Cup champion, Rick Dodson is extremely impressed with the standard of racing in the three man Sonar Twice America’s Cup champion, Rick Dodson is extremely impressed with the standard of racing in the three man Sonar keelboat class at the 2016 Paralympics in Rio de Janeiro. The regatta is being held in Guanabara Bay on three of the courses used for the Olympic Sailing Regatta in August.
Posted on 13 Sep
Debriefing the Rio 2016 Olympics with Team USA’s Helena Scutt
I talked with Team USA’s Helena Scutt to hear about her Olympic experience, and to learn more about her post-Rio plans. The 49erFX was introduced to Olympic circles when it replaced the Women’s Match Racing event following the 2012 Games. Not surprisingly, it drew high-performance sailors for the Rio 2016 Olympics, including Team USA’s Paris Henken and Helena Scutt. While Henken and Scutt were Olympic first-timers, they put on a strong show. I caught up with Scutt to hear more about her Olympic experience.
Posted on 8 Sep
A Q&A with Peter Bresnan ONE Palma’s founder and director
Sail-World interviewed ONE Palma’s founder Peter Bresnan to learn about the company’s partnership with McConaghy Boats For the past eight years, ONE Palma (formerly OneSails Spain) has been building a strong name, first as a sailmaker and later with refit work. Recently, ONE Palma and McConaghy Boats-legendary boatbuilders who have crafted some of the planet’s fastest sailboats-entered a business partnership. I caught up with Peter Bresnan, ONE Palma’s founder and director, to learn more about this new direction.
Posted on 2 Sep
America's Cup - Emirates Team NZ train late on the Waitemata Harbour
Emirates Team NZ were out for a training session that ran into the early Thursday evening. Emirates Team NZ were out for a training session that ran into the early Thursday evening. The team were sailing their recently launched AC45 Surrogate test boat which features an articulated rudder gantry - taking the AC45 close to the geometry of the AC50 to be used in the 2017 America's Cup.
Posted on 1 Sep
Dateline Rio - Sailing Olympics review - as good as it gets?
The Rio Sailing Olympics was widely judged to have been the best of recent times. The Rio Sailing Olympics was widely judged to have been the best of recent times. The weather was better than Weymouth and Qingdao, the courses more varied, but from a working media perspective, it was the people running the Rio regatta who really made the difference.
Posted on 26 Aug
Rio 2016 - Plain speaking by triple-medalist on Olympic sailing moves
Triple Olympic medalist, Santiago Lange has been on the sharp end of changes made to Olympic classes and formats Santiago Lange, a six-time Olympian and Bronze medallist in the 2004 and 2008 Olympics, won his third medal – Gold sailing in the Nacra 17 class. With that length of experience at an Olympic level, having sailed the Laser, Tornado and now Nacra 17 classes his comments on the future shape of the Olympic regatta was one of the highlights of the Medallists Media Conferences.
Posted on 25 Aug
An Q&A with Steve and Heidi Benjamin about the NYYC’s 2016 Queen’s Cup
Sail-World caught up with Steve and Heidi Benjamin to learn more about Heidi’s historic win in the NYYC’s Queen’s Cup. When it comes to U.S. Grand Prix sailing, it’s hard not to encounter the names of Steve and Heidi Benjamin. The two highly polished sailors have been successfully campaigning their series of yachts, named SPOOKIE, for years, starting first with a Carkeek 40 and progressing to their TP52. I caught up with Steve and Heidi to learn more about Heidi’s historic win in the NYYC’s Queen’s Cup
Posted on 19 Aug
Rio 2016 - Images of the penultimate race in the Finns - Scott wins
Sail-World's Richard Gladwell was on the water for the final race of the Qualifying Series of the Mens Finn Sail-World's Richard Gladwell was on the water for the final race of the Qualifying Series of the Mens Finn, in what potentially could have been Giles Scott's (GBR) Gold medal winning race. In the end, the current world champion won in style.
Posted on 15 Aug
Rio 2016 - Images from the Mens RS:X Medal Race
Sail-World's NZ Editor, Richard Gladwell, was on the water at the Medal Race for the RS:X class Sail-World's NZ Editor, Richard Gladwell, was on the water at the Medal Race for the RS:X class won before the race by Dorian van Rijsselberghe (NED) without needing points from the Medal Race. Nick Dempsey (GBR) was second on a similar basis.
Posted on 15 Aug
Rio 2016 - Sailors talk of Life at the Extreme on the Atlantic Ocean
Certainly the Volvo Ocean Race catchcry of Life at the Extreme is not a phrase associated with the Sailing Olympics. The 470 crews were suffering the mixed emotions of survival of an extreme test by nature, the cold, and for some elation at their placings, after Thursday's battle for survival. In conditions that looked more out of the Volvo Ocean Race, than an Olympic sailing regatta, crews battled 20kt plus winds and Atlantic Ocean rollers that towered up to four metres.
Posted on 13 Aug