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LaserPerformance/LPE strikes out in court


Can't imagine this is going to help out any with the supply chain for getting Sunfish supplies from LP.

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.

beldar boathead

Well-Known Member
I agree. Wonder if Farzad, the LP owner, will have to kick in more money to keep LP afloat? Of course who knows how long the appeal of the damages will take.

They really have taken a good thing and done their best to wreck it
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Well-Known Member
Does Bruce Kirby own the Laser name and trademark?
No. They're owned regionally by LaserPerformance, Performance Sailcraft Australasia, and Performance Sailcraft Japan. The first is disallowed by the class association to build legal boats, and the latter two have agreed to not use their rights, in order to unify the product globally under the "ILCA" name and logo.

Since 1983, Kirby had contracts with the builders, providing him a royalty on new boats. The whole legal mess got started when LP ceased to pay him. Long story.

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New Member
LP wanted the whole thing, The own the name Laser, but not the building manual, which is owned by ILCA. The have misused the Laser name on all their products, so if the had agreed in the ILCA building manual, they could still have provided the EU market with boats. So its a stupid dictatorship kinda behavior. They claimed something they did not own - the building manual.