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All about to kick off....

Mrs. P

Member
Theoretically speaking, if the ILCA could dump LP as the builder in North America and also acquire the Laser TM, what builder would be the most desirable to become the new authorized NA builder?
 

Tillerman

Member
The judge has dismissed Bruce Kirby's claims against both Laser Performance and the Laser class on the grounds that Bruce Kirby has no standing to sue them, because he sold all his contractual and intellectual property rights to Global Sailing.

Let's hope this is the end of the matter.
 

torrid

Just sailing
I believe the judge already dismissed claims against the ISAF and several of Rastegar's shell corporations. With LP and the ISAF out, is there anyone left to sue?
 

Tillerman

Member
I believe the judge already dismissed claims against the ISAF and several of Rastegar's shell corporations. With LP and the ISAF out, is there anyone left to sue?
And the suit against ILCA has been dismissed too.

I don't think Kirby can sue anyone else. But what Global Sailing will do now is anybody's guess. They are still $1.6 million out of pocket with very little to show for it. And I suppose Kirby's lawyers could always appeal.
 

LaLi

Well-Known Member
http://cdn.sailingscuttlebutt.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/SKM_C554e16081516530.pdf

Interesting. I thought that Kirby's mistake was selling his company to Global Sailing without the approval of the other parties of the contracts, and that he later realized it himself, and bought it all back to clear things up. Now the judge says that that first sale was actually ok, but the sale back to Kirby wasn't complete - so now the ball is suddenly in GS's court.

An interesting new (to me) detail is that LP tried to claim that they wouldn't have to pay royalties for boats sold with Radial or 4.7 rigs!

This is not the end of this story, but the good thing is that the worst-case scenario is now even less likely to happen. That is, all Lasers from Banbury since May 2010 and from Ayase since October 2013 being declared non-Lasers.
 

Mrs. P

Member
Just a clarification on whether Kirby can sue anyone else. Pretty sure the answer is YES, he can.

All he has to do is join GS in a suit and he can begin again. I believe he can have a go at all parties again if the dismissals were "without prejudice". Can't recall if they were or not but I can't imagine a procedural dismissal would be "with prejudice". All he has to do is cure whatever procedural hiccups he ran into and begin again. Maybe some can't be cured but he now has a road map of how to do it right. If GS jumps on board with Kirby, or simply goes it alone, it's game on.

Let's hope the powers that be are thinking about settlements of some sort to prevent another 3+ years of legal fees on take 2.
 

LaLi

Well-Known Member
From the "New builders" thread:
That's why everyone is so shocked by the dollar amount. Here's the jury form. It mentions the "Bruce Kirby" trademark, but nothing about the Laser trademark, contracts, or design rights.

https://www.whipgroup.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/Kirby-Jury-Verdict.pdf
The Sail-World article has also been updated with the... :eek: numbers.

As I understand it, 1) this decision concerns LP- and Vanguard-built boats of around 2010-2012, which had Kirby's name on the builder's plaque (and therefore in hindsight broke the "Bruce Kirby" trademark), and 2) the quoted sums aren't necessarily what LP owes Kirby.

Someone with better understanding of American legalese may find something illuminating from these:
You searched for Kirby - Whitmyer IP Group
Leagle Search Decisions | Page 1 | Leagle.com

_
 
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torrid

Just sailing
It was pointed out over on one of the SA threads that the two attorneys who presented the case on Kirby's behalf are fresh out of law school.
 

jecoolidge2

New Member
???

February 2021 Statement from LaserPerformance
Statement by LaserPerformance
The Court’s recent ruling reduced the jury’s award by more than half from $4,337157.49 to $2,056,736.33 with regard to an alleged trademark violation by defendant/licensee QMI.  Previously the Court had ruled that Mr. Kirby had no right or standing to sue the defendants QMI and LPE for royalties. As a result, this case only involved the use of his name on Laser sailboat plaques.  QMI argued and still contends that it had the authority to use the Kirby name and trademark on boats it sold pursuant to the Builders Agreement, which was never terminated, and in accordance with the
Laser construction manual approved by Mr. Kirby and ISAF (World Sailing). Therefore, there has been no trademark violation.    Both QMI and the other licensee/defendant LPE also argued and still contend that Mr. Kirby was not harmed or damaged by including his name on the required plaques placed on the Laser boats. They also argued that Mr. Kirby never asked to have his name removed from the Laser sailboat plaques nor did ISAF (World Sailing) or ILCA. It is our understanding that the licensee/defendants disagree with the recent Court ruling and will likely appeal its decision.
 

jecoolidge2

New Member

LaserPerformance strikes out in court
Published on February 4th, 2021

It was February 2020 when a hearing in the United States District Court for the District of Connecticut concluded, it was the result of a 7-year long Federal Court litigation between Laser designer Bruce Kirby and Quarter Moon (QMI) and LaserPerformance (Europe) Limited (LPE).
Alongside their battle with Kirby, LPE had its troubles with the International Laser Class Association (ILCA). After having been the dominant Laser builder for North America and Europe, LPE was removed from the approved builder list in March 2019 when ILCA found them to be building non-compliant boats.
That was strike one. Their second whiff was a year ago when Kirby’s claims were resolved by a jury who unanimously found in his favor, with QMI/LPE liable for a sum of $6,857,736.30, payable to Kirby. But as usual in the US Courts, it takes a while for resolution, but strike three came in a decision dated February 2, 2021.
LPE remains a non-class builder, and while they may appeal this latest judgement to reduce the fees, the case is over. United States District Judge Jeffrey Alker Meyer explains his latest verdict:
———–
This case is about a long-running dispute involving Laser sailboats. In 2013, plaintiffs
Bruce Kirby and his namesake company Bruce Kirby, Inc. (“BKI”) filed this action against multiple defendants including defendants Quarter Moon, Inc. (“QMI”) and LaserPerformance
(Europe) Ltd. (“LPE”).

Following years of pre-trial litigation, I presided over a jury trial in February 2020 on claims for trademark infringement under the Lanham Act and for common law misappropriation of Bruce Kirby’s name. The jury returned a verdict in favor of both Kirby and BKI.
First, it awarded damages of $4,337,157.49 to BKI for trademark infringement by QMI. Second, it found both QMI and LPE liable to Kirby for misappropriation of his name, awarding damages of $2,520,578.81 against LPE and nominal damages against QMI.
It also found that both QMI and LPE should be liable for punitive damages for the misappropriation claim in an amount to be determined by the Court.
Defendants have moved to dismiss for lack of jurisdiction and for a new trial, while plaintiffs have moved for entry of judgment in their favor. For the reasons set forth below, I will deny defendants’ motion to dismiss and for a new trial, but I will grant in major part plaintiffs’ motion for entry of judgment (subject to a reduction in the damages award), for attorneys’ fees under the Lanham Act, and for punitive damages under Connecticut common law.
All in all, I will award damages of $4,577,315.14 along with payment of $804,179.44 in punitive damages, which includes attorneys’ fees in the amount of $734,528.30.
———–
Here are two documents from the court:
Judgement (2 pages)
Order Re Post-Trial Motions (45 pages)
 
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