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All about to kick off....

Laser Tim

New Member
Word is out that there is a meeting next week somewhere in US. Kirby, PSA and a European group will sign and agree the distribution for newly named Laser. Laser Performance are out.....though no doubt they will kick up, bitch and moan and try and go legal.....

Gonna get messy (messier)......
 

CaptainAhab

Active Member
We need to start a thread about the new name.

Will they just change the name? Improve construction? Central main sheeting? Carbon fiber upper? Radial cut sail?

Who gets the to sail in the Olympics "The Laser Class" or "The Loser Class".
 

torrid

Just sailing
You know what? It's almost springtime, and the first regatta is at the end of March. I'm just going to sail my boat.

Though I do need a new sail. I hope they hurry up with that.
 

Deimos

Member
Who gets the to sail in the Olympics "The Laser Class" or "The Loser Class".
(Assuming it happens) it is an interesting question. My opinion would be that if Laser Performance stayed as the Olympic boat then there would be no specification for the boat so nobody could tell if they were sailing a real Laser or not, if their boat measured or not. I assume the ISAF would need a better "specification" that "must be made and certified by LPE"). So they would have to draw up rules, etc. which may then exclude all the existing Lasers out there (unless they just copied the existing rule book - which might cause problems).

I would suspect the "new class" could include a rule including all existing Lasers build before <date of new class> so Open Meetings/Regattas, etc. would all be fine. But if New Class became the Olympic boat then I assume the Olympic bodies would in effect be selecting a "new class" and they might just as easily drop the Laser/<new class> (which I think would be good for us anyway). <new class> would be daft not to as they would need to be the class with the numbers of boats, fleets in every club, basically they would have a far harder time if they were "a new class". Maybe the battle would be about who is "the new class" and who the existing boats.

And who would the ILCA represent ? The LPE boats or the <new class>. Maybe <new class> would get their own class association.

Whilst I don't think any of this situation is good for the class, I also don't worry about the impacts on fleets. I don't see the two types of boat splitting the existing fleets and everybody everywhere will go to <new class> or Laser. In practice I think <new class> is probably stronger. Also, the sail and 3rd party gear is a far bigger issue to everybody

Ironically, maybe this will speed-up the adoption of a new sail as one thing that would put either camp in a stronger position is to release a new decent sail (even half decent would be nice). But who would be free to make that decision ?

Probably never happen but interesting thinking about what the future might bring.
 

49208

Tentmaker
Word is out that there is a meeting next week somewhere in US. Kirby, PSA and a European group will sign and agree the distribution for newly named Laser. Laser Performance are out.....though no doubt they will kick up, bitch and moan and try and go legal.....

Gonna get messy (messier)......
Seems like it's Kirby who is going "legal"

http://www.rfcexpress.com/lawsuits/trademark-lawsuits/connecticut-district-court/441418/bruce-kirby-inc-et-al-v-laserperformance-europe-limited-et-al/summary/
 

torrid

Just sailing
So he's suing both the ISAF and the ILCA, too.

To paraphrase a few politcians, this just went nookyuler.
 

Wavedancer

Upside down?
Staff member
The complaint shows that ILCA should have stayed away from the rumble. What a big mistake by our previous 'leaders'!
:eek: Part of our dues will continue to flow to the legal profession.
 

Old Dude

Member
The complaint shows that ILCA should have stayed away from the rumble. What a big mistake by our previous 'leaders'!
:eek: Part of our dues will continue to flow to the legal profession.
Seems to me that ILCA was stuck in the middle and there was no way out...

If they bow to Kirby's threat, LP sues and we could end up as 2 classes. If they ignore Kirby, he sues and we could end up as two classes. Nevermind ILCA, it seems like even ISAF tried to dance the middle ground for as long as they could and even they got sued by Kirby.

What a mess.

Old Dude
 

torrid

Just sailing
I agree the ILCA was stuck in the middle no matter what they did. I don't object to the path they took, just the poor way it was communicated to the membership. From what I can tell in the complaint, BK is seeking more of a "cease and desist" from the ILCA/ISAF than monetary damages.

There are lots of fingers to point in this mess, but I still think at the end of the day BK best represents the interets of the average Laser sailor. But he had a right to protect his legal interests, too.
 

Old Dude

Member
I don't know about that. Think I will wait to hear what the judge has to say. ISAF and ILCA had no skin in this game and they seem to have leaned the other way.

BTW, what do you have against those nice little deck cleats!
 

gouvernail

Super Opinionated and Always Correct
Wow!!!
I am a tad concerned about hosting the event described in my signature unless I also make a reasonable effort to prevent use of counterfeit hulls in the event.
 

jeffers

Active Member
Oh what a mess......and now only the lawyers will profit...blood sucking parasites!

Looks like the new sail is some way off then!
 
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gouvernail

Super Opinionated and Always Correct
Oh what a mess......and now only the lawyers will profit...blood sucking parasites!

Looks like the new sail is some way off then!
What an offensive post. Are we to assume that Jeffers and only Jeffers knows what is right and wrong and only Jeffers should ever decide?? Does Jeffers prefer dictatorships and tyrants to a system of justice where trained, degreed, and sorted by subsequent examination representatives professionally advocate for that which their employers believe is right?

Half the lawyers involved in this fight will be defending all that is good and proper . The lawyers on the losing side will have been doing their very best to serve those who hired them.
Each of those occupations is noble.

The lawyers will probably be well paid for their work. I am curious why you believe that makes it proper to call them bloodsuckers.

What does Jeffers do for a living?? Is Jeffers a boodsucker??
 

jeffers

Active Member
No I am not a bloodsucker but I have come across plenty of solicitors and, without exception, they are all in it to make as much money as possible out of the people they claim to 'represent'.

Sorry you find this offensive but it is my view, please respect that.
 

Old Dude

Member
What an offensive post. Are we to assume that Jeffers and only Jeffers knows what is right and wrong and only Jeffers should ever decide?? Does Jeffers prefer dictatorships and tyrants to a system of justice where trained, degreed, and sorted by subsequent examination representatives professionally advocate for that which their employers believe is right?

Half the lawyers involved in this fight will be defending all that is good and proper . The lawyers on the losing side will have been doing their very best to serve those who hired them.
Each of those occupations is noble.

The lawyers will probably be well paid for their work. I am curious why you believe that makes it proper to call them bloodsuckers.

What does Jeffers do for a living?? Is Jeffers a boodsucker??
Uh, Gouv, perhaps you might want to take a look in the mirror yourself? You make no secret of your loathing for those elected and volunteering to run the class. Here, there, everywhere you run them down with a bus, back it up over them and do it again, and again, over and over. And now you declare that some Lasers - declared legal by the class and ISAF (BTW, I gather you would be including those boats and sailors from the Olympics in your definition) as not welcome. I am sure you will not miss me, but thanks anyway.

The one sure thing and fact here is there are going to be very different opinions about who is right and who is wrong. It might be educational to hear from them all.

Those that did take the time to vote on the issue stood with the class. Turns out ISAF did as well. Given both organizations know more about this than any of us, have the benefit of counsel, and are least biased in terms of financial interest, and appear to have not supported Kirby's view. Based on that as well as what reading I was able to do, I'm leaning that way myself.
 

torrid

Just sailing
The complains seems to outline a conspiracy between LP, the ILCA, and the ISAF to deprive BK of royalties. One thing it does not mention in BK's brief sale of the design rights to the Australian builder. I think it's been established they were positioning themselves to begin importing boats into the US market.

Now I'm not a bloodsucking parasite attorney, nor did I stay in a Holiday Inn Express last night. However, it seems to me the basis of a defense could be that BK and the Australian builder were conspiring to deprive LP of their exclusive right to sell Lasers in its markets. That's the first thing I would bring up with the jury.
 

Deimos

Member
The complaint shows that ILCA should have stayed away from the rumble. What a big mistake by our previous 'leaders'!
:eek: Part of our dues will continue to flow to the legal profession.
If you look back over the treads when the ILCA were trying to cut Kirby/rights holder out of the deal and siding with Laser Performance, it was said back then that the ILCA were heading for more legal action given their unnecessary actions and decision to take sides (I was one of those pointing this out). It was predictable. Quite a few were commenting on how "unwise" the ILCA action was and I guess now we are proven right.

I don't quite see how the ISAF were culpable. ILCA yes, but ISAF seem to have refused the ILCA trying to cut Kirby/rights holders out of their rights.

I wonder if it is the beginning public move of setting up a new builder - but first attempt to stop Laser Performance.

Ian
 

Deimos

Member
Oh what a mess......and now only the lawyers will profit...blood sucking parasites!
It was always likely this would happen to the ILCA. The actions the ILCA took back then are now going to result in members subscriptions paying out to defend themselves. I'm glad I left (or did not renew) after the fiasco of the "vote".


Looks like the new sail is some way off then!
I suspect a new boat (or two) will be happening first.

As a wild prediction, I wonder if we will end-up with two classes using virtually identical hulls:
1st Class: A strict one-design (i.e. the idea behind the "Laser" but which people have drifted away from due to things like the ongoing sail saga).
2nd Class: with pretty much the same hull but much more open rules, sails, etc. And how easy it would be to move between "classes" with the same hull (but different gear) maybe depends on the ultimate commercial situation.

If the rumours about LPE are true I do wonder if the court action against LPE will be settled out-of-court with LPE giving up rights to the hull/name. If their situation is as some suspect then they have plenty of other boats to focus on and spend their limited resources on. ISAF and ILCA cannot offer much so probably depends how much money Kirby is after. Given how the ILCA took sides with LPE I cannot see him being particularly lenient/generous with ILCA. If new class happens then setting up a Class Association is not a big issue and he may well prefer to do that than inherit the ILCA (given their past actions).

I suspect things might have been sorted a lot sooner if ILCA had not barged in on it all - as the long wait whilst a membership vote happened, followed by a wait for ISAF, made other parties wait to see the outcome before proceeding.

I accept that guessing/theorising achieves little but I find it intersting trying to guess ahead (and cheaper than doing the same thing with stocks and shares).

Ian
 

torrid

Just sailing
I guess I don't see what the rule change vote has to do with it. They took a vote which the membership approved, but that the ISAF vetoed. The class rules never changed. The issue is that they continued to supply plaques.
 

Deimos

Member
I guess I don't see what the rule change vote has to do with it. They took a vote which the membership approved, but that the ISAF vetoed. The class rules never changed. The issue is that they continued to supply plaques.
More of an emotional thing. If somebody tried to exclude you from what is rightfully yours then you are less likely to behave in a generous manner to them when it becomes time to settle accounts.
 

redstar

New Member
More of an emotional thing. If somebody tried to exclude you from what is rightfully yours then you are less likely to behave in a generous manner to them when it becomes time to settle accounts.
BK's claim against ILCA (and ISAF) is about supplying building plaques since he terminated the LP building contract late last year. The rule change doesn't come into it.

What the documentation does provide is a much clearer insight into what was going on between the various parties back when the rule change was proposed - until now we've been relying on supposition and internet rumour. We finally have some facts (at least from the perspective of one side of the debate).

I don't think ILCA were trying to exclude BK from what was rightfully his per se. They were trying to ensure continued availability of boats in Europe and NA - trying to avoid the exact situation that has now arisen with no-one authorised to build and sell Lasers in those markets. I don't know that they had many alternatives ... unless one side or the other gave in this was always going to go to court. In the meantime the ILCA had to try something to make sure the class continued to operate. What will happen now if this takes a couple of years to drag through the courts? No new boats from LP/LPE? Nothing called a Laser sold into those markets from the other builders?

I obviously don't know the guy, but from his past form I don't think BK would want to do anything to the detriment of the actual sailors or the class. He has drawn a line in the sand and is defending his legal rights, but it isn't in his longer term business interests to damage the class, nor do I believe he would have any personal desire to do so, quite the opposite. He has created something huge in the sport of sailing, there is no way he would want to see that torn down.
 

49208

Tentmaker
It seems at this point that ILCA/ISAF should be able to answer to the ILCA membership if they will continue to issue the plaques to LP
To my simple way of thinking that would let us know if we will have new boats available (I don't think the filing of the suit is going to stop LP from building if they can get the plaques)
 

Deimos

Member
I don't think ILCA were trying to exclude BK from what was rightfully his per se. They were trying to ensure continued availability of boats in Europe and NA
My memory (which is not as good as it used to be) was that ILCA were trying to change the rules so that the BK/Right Holder part of the triangle of rule requirements was no longer part of the definitions of a "Laser". Before the vote, for a Laser to be a Laser the builder had to have a contract with BK/Right Holder. I thought the vote was to change things so it no longer needed BK/Rights Holder contract - i.e. exclude BK.

And if US law is anything like UK, then BK could go to the courts and ask for an immediate injunction to stop any plaques being issued (something that would be heard and decided on very quickly) - yet it sounds like he has not done that (maybe because he might be liable for losses were the case eventually found against him or maybe because he wants things sorted without damage to the ultimate users/customers or maybe other reasons).

But if somebody had tried to cut me out of what was legally mine I would be somewhat less sympathetic and generous when seeking damages.

If Laser Performance was me and one of my businesses I would probably have to settle for paying owed royalties and hand over rights to the Laser name (i.e. step out of being a builder). I note that BK is after not only lost revenue/interest but punitive damages; which is only to be expected on the basis of his court submissions (i.e. notifications to ISAF/ILCA about termination of contracts and instructions to them to thereby stop issuing plaques). From his submissions it sounds like he has a very strong case and ILCA/ISAF are in trouble. But difficult to say until there is a defence case submitted.

Ian
 

Deimos

Member
Interestingly, if Kirby does win the case, I guess boats built after the builder contracts were terminated will be counterfeit (as per the BK submissions). I would suspect that a court award of the royalty payments would not be adequate as the boats would still have been built (and sold) without the required BK contract; so either a retrospective builder contract would need to be put in place or people buying boats after builder contract termination will not have legal Lasers and will need to seek replacement legal boats from whoever they purchased the boats from (who in turn can pursue their supplier who can utlimately then pursue the ILCA/ISAF). So it could get even worse if it does go to court.

I think the ILCA/ISAF handled things badly in that their actions have just prolonged a situation rather than forcing a resolution. All parties waited for ages whilst the ILCA vote took place. And then, the ILCA/ISAF continuing to issue plaques allowed LPE to continue, ignoring the problem ('cos at least they had some money coming in), so things just went on, more questionable boats built and sold, etc. so now when it does get to court the monies involved are that much higher and the potential numbers of counterfeit boats is higher. Leave things as they were (and stopping issuing plaques) would have forced LPE into a bit of a corner in that they would have owned something they were making no money from (and was probably costing them as well) and they would have been a lot more interested in finding a solution.

I wonder what the ILCA/ISAF will do now. I assume that when BK informed them of the termination of builder contracts and instructed them to stop issuing plaques they took legal advice in deciding to continue. So maybe they have some recourse to their own legal advisors if things are found against them? I do wonder what they will do now. Will they stop issuing plaques now they appreciate that BK is not just letting things drift forever?

The thing is, as with 3rd party gear not being acceptable in Open Meetings/Regattas, so counterfeit boats are not acceptable. So, when some hot-shot turns up and wins a regatta in a new boat next week, will he be subject to protest on the basis he is sailing a counterfeit boat ? In fact, should medals from the 2012 Olympics be "recalled" because the races used counterfeit boats ? (OK, unlikely to happen but who knows - 'cos if I raced a regatta using a Rooster sail I would not be placed in the results).

Ian
 

Deimos

Member
It seems at this point that ILCA/ISAF should be able to answer to the ILCA membership if they will continue to issue the plaques to LP
To my simple way of thinking that would let us know if we will have new boats available (I don't think the filing of the suit is going to stop LP from building if they can get the plaques)
I would agree. If LP can get plaques they have an argument that ISAF/ILCA (those in a position to determine the rules?) had judged the situation and that LP were in effect acting on their advice (indirect advice that they can continue to build Lasers). Maybe we will see something happen in the near future - even if only an announcement about the status of LP boats since the builder contract termination.

Ian
 

redstar

New Member
My memory (which is not as good as it used to be) was that ILCA were trying to change the rules so that the BK/Right Holder part of the triangle of rule requirements was no longer part of the definitions of a "Laser". Before the vote, for a Laser to be a Laser the builder had to have a contract with BK/Right Holder. I thought the vote was to change things so it no longer needed BK/Rights Holder contract - i.e. exclude BK.
Ian
Yes that's true, but my point was that ILCA were acting to protect their member's interests - any potential downside to BK was a byproduct of that action rather than the intent. ILCA weren't 'taking sides' - they were acting in the interests of their own membership.

The rule change would not have had any impact on the agreement between the builder and Kirby - that contractual agreement would remain in place whatever the class rules said. ILCA has no lever to use in any dispute between the builders and Kirby - they did all they could, which was to try to change their own rules to remove themselves from an uncomfortable position between the two.
 

torrid

Just sailing
ILCA and ISAF were in a pickle no matter what. They keep sending plaques, Kirby sues them. They stop sending plaques, LP sues them.
 

sailchris

Member
The Kirby sailboat seems poised to be named the Kirby Torch, with this as its sail insignia:

Not a bad name for an Olympic class to carry the torch of the former Laser class.
 

laser67713

New Member
The thing is, as with 3rd party gear not being acceptable in Open Meetings/Regattas, so counterfeit boats are not acceptable. So, when some hot-shot turns up and wins a regatta in a new boat next week, will he be subject to protest on the basis he is sailing a counterfeit boat ? In fact, should medals from the 2012 Olympics be "recalled" because the races used counterfeit boats ? (OK, unlikely to happen but who knows - 'cos if I raced a regatta using a Rooster sail I would not be placed in the results).

Ian

I might have to ask my dealer to refund my purchase price on the new "counterfeit" boat I purchased last year. Same with the xtra blades, sails and spars I bought
 

Deimos

Member
ILCA and ISAF were in a pickle no matter what. They keep sending plaques, Kirby sues them. They stop sending plaques, LP sues them.
I would have expected they could pass the relevant contracts and regulations to a decent lawyer who could say if LP were complying or in breach and tell them to continue or stop sending plaques. Given the contracts were created by lawyers, there should be some around who can establish who is in breach of contract. If contracts do require a builder/BK contract/royalties and BK has notified the ISAF/ILCA that those contracts have been terminated, were LP to pursue ISAF/ILCA for not supplying plaques then they maybe they can defend themselves by "redirecting" to BK (or (counter-)suing BK given they would have been acting on his instruction).

I can't see them being stuck with no way out when caught in the middle. Their problem would be if they switched direction now - as either the before or after will be "wrong" and they will have done both. I assume their lawyers have advised them, based on contracts and notifications received that they are obliged to continue to supply plaques. Because, to have not taken legal advice or to ignore such advice would be putting themselves "in a pickle" as you say.

Ian
 

Wavedancer

Upside down?
Staff member
The Kirby sailboat seems poised to be named the Kirby Torch, with this as its sail insignia:

Not a bad name for an Olympic class to carry the torch of the former Laser class.
That's a great name and symbol. How do I re-baptize my boat or will that lead to doom and eternal damnation by ILCA?

Thanks Chris/Litoralis; it's nice to have some info that isn't (totally) speculative...

PS: The Torch; that is SO Olympic.
 

torrid

Just sailing
I would have expected they could pass the relevant contracts and regulations to a decent lawyer who could say if LP were complying or in breach and tell them to continue or stop sending plaques. Given the contracts were created by lawyers, there should be some around who can establish who is in breach of contract. If contracts do require a builder/BK contract/royalties and BK has notified the ISAF/ILCA that those contracts have been terminated, were LP to pursue ISAF/ILCA for not supplying plaques then they maybe they can defend themselves by "redirecting" to BK (or (counter-)suing BK given they would have been acting on his instruction).

I can't see them being stuck with no way out when caught in the middle. Their problem would be if they switched direction now - as either the before or after will be "wrong" and they will have done both. I assume their lawyers have advised them, based on contracts and notifications received that they are obliged to continue to supply plaques. Because, to have not taken legal advice or to ignore such advice would be putting themselves "in a pickle" as you say.

Ian
The ILCA/ISAF were not a part of the contracts between Kirby and the builders and probably don't have access to those documents. I would imagine there was a separate legal agreement covering the conditions for the ILCA/ISAF to supply plaques to builders.
 
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