Please select your home edition
Edition
Lennon Thermalite 728x90 3

Court gives $6.8m verdict in favour of Laser designer in long running dispute

by Richard Gladwell/Sail-World.com/nz 20 Feb 2020 17:23 PST 16 February 2020
A clear start at 2020 Laser World Championships © Jon West Photography

A District Court of Connecticut Jury has handed down a Verdict in favour of Bruce Kirby Inc, the designer of the ILCA Laser singlehander.

The decision was reached on Friday afternoon after seven years of preliminaries.

A damages award in excess of $6.8million was assessed by the five person jury and was awarded on two counts.

For Trademark Infringement the Jury assessed damages of $4,337,157.49, and for the Misappropriation of the Bruce Kirby name damages of $2,520,578.81 both awards against LaserPerformance (Europe) Ltd for a total of $6,857,736.30

The cases were determined using the "preponderance of evidence" test, which is a lower standard of proof than "beyond reasonable doubt" used in criminal trials.

The assessment of damages had to be the unanimous.

The action was taken by Bruce Kirby Inc against LaserPerformance Europe (Ltd) , the sole builder of the Laser dinghy in Europe and the dominant manufacturer of the class, until its licence was rescinded by the International Laser Class Association in 2019.

The Decision and Award is expected to be Appealed.

It is one of two cases running in the US Courts between the two parties. The second is expected to held in front of a Judge only trial.

Meanwhile the International Laser Class Association is proceeding with the selection and issuance of new Building Licences, and is working through a short list of Builders around the world.

New tooling from master moulds held by the class have been created and sent to the short-listed builders who will have to make their own jigs and then build a sample of ten ILCA Lasers which will be scrutinised by measurers for compliance with the Class Construction Manual before their licence application is approved or declined.

Sail-World has been told that the process will take "a few weeks" after which new ILCA legal Lasers will be able to be supplied under a competitive model without restriction as to territory or prices.

The Laser and Laser Radial fleet for the 2020 Olympics has already been built by Performance Sailcraft Japan who has a licence from ILCA and is the owner of the laser trademark for Japan and Korea.

Related Articles

IOC puts World Sailing on six weeks notice
World Sailing six weeks to come up with alternatives to the controversial Mixed Offshore event The International Olympic Committee have given World Sailing six weeks to come up with alternative events to the controversial Mixed Offshore keelboat proposed for the 2024 Olympic Sailing regatta in Marseille, France. Posted on 15 Apr
ILCA Spring Series at Queen Mary day 2
Just another day of great racing for the 34 helms 34 ILCAs lined up on the second day of the Spring Series at QMSC after a very tedious lockdown. It is the tradition that the first to round the windward mark of the first race writes the race report - this week that honour comes to Mark Lyttle. Posted on 14 Apr
ILCA Laser 50th anniversary sail in Sydney
Double Bay Sailing Club to host up 200 sailors Double Bay Sailing Club will host a large exhibition of ILCA Laser dinghies sailing on the iconic Sydney Harbour on Sunday, 30 May 2021, to mark the 50th anniversary of the one-design class. Posted on 13 Apr
Oceanbridge NZL Sailing: Strong winds halt Day 1
Strong onshore winds forced the cancellation of the opening day of the Oceanbridge NZL Sailing Strong onshore winds forced the cancellation of the opening day of the Oceanbridge NZL Sailing regatta today, Saturday. Posted on 10 Apr
Mussanah Open Championship overall
Olympic dream comes true for winners after frantic final day on the water The Mussanah Open Championship, organised by Oman Sail, came to a close after six days of exhilarating action on the water across five classes. Posted on 8 Apr
Mussanah Open Championship day 5
Tension high with Olympic qualification within touching distance The penultimate day of racing at the Mussanah Open Championship ended in dramatic fashion as sailors across five classes pushed themselves to the limits to end the day in contention for honours tomorrow. Posted on 7 Apr
Allianz Regatta 2021 adjusted
Non-Olympic classes will be postponed to the autumn In November last year, the new sailing event was announced, merging two existing ones: the Open Dutch Sailing Championships for non-Olympic disciplines, and the Medemblik Regatta for the international Olympic and Paralympic classes. Posted on 7 Apr
Mussanah Open Championship day 4
Sailors battle the elements with unpredictable winds Unpredictable winds on the fourth day of competition at the Mussanah Open Championships posed a new challenge to competitors across all classes with many struggling in the conditions. Posted on 6 Apr
Mussanah Open Championship day 3
Olympic qualification still undecided at the halfway point Competition is heating up at the Mussanah Open Championship where, at the midway point of the event, all classes remain incredibly close. Posted on 5 Apr
Mussanah Open Championship day 2
Olympic hopefuls battle for the lead It was all-change at the top of the rankings after a pulsating second day of sailing in Mussanah with the early leaders in the 49er, Laser Radial and Laser unable to maintain their advantage. Posted on 5 Apr
Rooster 2020 - Impact BA - FOOTERLloyd Stevenson Catalyst 45 728x90px2 BOTTOMC-Tech 2020 Battens 2 728x90 BOTTOM