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Lasers - Applying a Blow Torch


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I wonder who is paying Bruce Kirby's legal bills.

 

According to latest disclosures, BK has kept $1.5 million that Global sailing paid him. This is the same that LP offered BK for the whole rights.

Global sailing are still entitled to 50% of the royalties if LP or anyone starts paying him royalties again.

 

Net result. BK did get at least $1.5 million for his rights. That's good news for the BK supporters.

 

GS paid $1.5 million for half of something that might be worth nothing. Ooops . Im guessing that they might be contributing to the legal costs?? But its purely a guess.

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When are they going to make a decision? I need to know whether I should be training in my RS Aero or my Laser for Paris 2024.     

@WCB  i seriously doubt there is a soul contributing to this thread who honestly disagrees with my perceptions or the reasoning behind my effort to establish an AERO fleet in Texas and at my home

Yes. This looks incredibly similar  to the recent dispute that LP had with the Sunfish class.  When it came time for the Sunfish class to renew their license to use the various trademarks belongi

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I wonder who is paying Bruce Kirby's legal bills.

 

According to latest disclosures, BK has kept $1.5 million that Global sailing paid him. This is the same that LP offered BK for the whole rights.

Global sailing are still entitled to 50% of the royalties if LP or anyone starts paying him royalties again.

 

Net result. BK did get at least $1.5 million for his rights. That's good news for the BK supporters.

 

GS paid $1.5 million for half of something that might be worth nothing. Ooops . Im guessing that they might be contributing to the legal costs?? But its purely a guess.

 

 

Bruce Kirby's desire to retire was genuine.

The contracts he had for the boat he designed were legitimate. It's my hope that the courts find the contracts were legitimate - ultimately it is up to the courts, and if they do to hopefully spell out what that means.

"...if LP or anyone starts paying him royalties again.". So you are saying that PSA have stopped paying Kirby royalties? That's in direct contradiction of what PSA say themselves, but I guess you must be right because you wrote it.

We do agree on one thing Eyesailor whoever you are, what you say in that regard is clearly a guess.

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  • 4 weeks later...

 

Next big date is 21 May 2015 with the motion hearing.

Soooo ssssllllooooowwwww

 

Just three days to the motions hearing...

 

One (small) step closer...

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One (small) step closer...

..to the day when BK will be shown the door..

 

...to a world where Mr Farzad Rastegar and Bill Crane have nothing to do with the boat he designed, the boat currently called the Laser.

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You guys still at it?

 

Kirby already lost. He gave up on his attempt to take down the trademark and there is no way the class is going to reverse course and go back to a rule that gave him the ability to hold us all hostage. That fat lady sang long ago. The class is free. Now its just a bunch of rich idiots fighting and with any luck they all take themselves out.

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You guys still at it?

 

Kirby already lost. He gave up on his attempt to take down the trademark and there is no way the class is going to reverse course and go back to a rule that gave him the ability to hold us all hostage. That fat lady sang long ago. The class is free. Now its just a bunch of rich idiots fighting and with any luck they all take themselves out.

That's mighty rough on the class

 

Not my intent at all Gouv.

 

Sorry for delay; don't hang here much. Hope all is good in your neck of the woods.

 

To me, what is left of the case is not an issue that will meaningfully impact sailors and its also the time of year that I am focused on sailing in other classes so not really following this case or thread closely.

 

But re the class, rest assured there was no intent or desire to slag on them. I am no fan of Kirby... or LPE or especially PSA etc... but I am a huge fan of how the class handled this mess. I think the class and class leadership is great

 

My point was that since Kirby dropped the trademark lawsuit action and given there is no way the class is going to be forced to go back to the old rule, there is nothing left to the case that will meaningfully impact on sailors in the class. Just an opinion of course but I see it as now just being rich greedy idiots (my short hand for Kirby, LPE and PSA etc...) fighting each other for chump change that may not even cover the legal bills. Maybe Kirby get back royalties from LPE or visa versa or not. Maybe Kirby still owns or holds something of value and can force LPE to pay some price for it. Or not. But its all small potatoes to me. Kirby gave-up, dropped, lost or whatever the trademark actions. So the LASER class is not going away. And with the rule change the ability of a certain party to hold the class and everyone else hostage… you must have an agreement with me and I want a billion zillion dollars or I will not enter an agreement… is now gone in my opinion. If that party owns anything worth selling they can sell it for whatever fair price can be negotiated.

 

Seems like a good outcome to me. Builders build, and rich greedy fools pay lawyers. Arm chair pundits post on internet forums and class sailors sail.

 

On that note I will take my leave and go sailing tonight and tomorrow! I doubt the sky will fall on my head because I don’t blindly worship the old grey hair man or because of anything left in this case but I have learned to never say it canntt happen. J

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You guys still at it?

 

Kirby already lost. He gave up on his attempt to take down the trademark and there is no way the class is going to reverse course and go back to a rule that gave him the ability to hold us all hostage. That fat lady sang long ago. The class is free. Now its just a bunch of rich idiots fighting and with any luck they all take themselves out.

That's mighty rough on the class

 

Not my intent at all Gouv.

 

....

 

My point was that since Kirby dropped the trademark lawsuit action and given there is no way the class is going to be forced to go back to the old rule, there is nothing left to the case that will meaningfully impact on sailors in the class.

 

I don't see anything to indicate that Kirby has dropped the trademark challenge:

http://ttabvue.uspto.gov/ttabvue/v?pno=92057217&pty=CAN&eno=28

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The trademark was always a red herring and opportunistic. It has no bearing on the case and contrary to what Wess says, it isn't the only thing that could effect the sailors.

 

What I cannot understand is the animosity towards Kirby and the total disregard for how badly LPE treats the class, or to be more precise, their customers. The rule change and ILCA freezing out Kirby has removed one of the most important safeguards the class had. The builders can now hold the class to ransom in a way that they never could before. In fact, the rule change was all because LPE was holding the class to ransom and the association panicked. The only reason why the class exec pushed through the vote is because they thought supply was threatened. Now you have a situation where one builder can demand the class changes the rules and hold the class to ransom over it, or even make changes without getting the go ahead from the class. Why might they do that? Remember that they have clearly stated that they make their money from commercial sales (holiday companies, sailing schools etc) who don't care how the boats are built and fitted out so long as they look like Lasers. Remember, commercial sales are done direct - sales to the general public are through dealers, meaning less profit. I believe they would be OK with losing the racing market if the change meant making more profit from the rest. Before, that would have been in breach of the builders agreement if any of the boats were built out of class. So, one of the biggest safeguards is gone. The class will be OK for a while, but if LPE wins in court, expect changes to the Laser and worse customer support to the retail market.

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Not even close to correct in my opinion.

 

The rule change is long done and duted and the sky did not fall. Nothing in the court case will change that. I actually wish Kirby had won and pursued the trademark litigation to the end becauswe had he won that (no more LASER trademark) and the rule change in place the class would be completely free to adopt the the Opti model and be free all the hanging-on free-loading turds.

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Not even close to correct in my opinion.

 

So tell me, what can be done if LPE decides to change the materials or the way they build the Laser. Before, the contract with Kirby forced builders to build all the boats they sold as "Lasers" in accordance with the builders manual, whether they were for the racing market or not. Now there is nothing to stop LPE doing whatever it wants. So the ILCA won't supply them with plaques. Big deal.....NOT. They have stated clearly enough that racing market isn't what they are after and it is pretty obvious why. It is a pain, because of the dealer network which eats margin and costs money to support. Or maybe we will see something potentially worse happen, with Lasers being built to 2 different specs depending on whether they are for racing (with plaque) or not. How do you stop the non compliant boast from mixing with complying?

 

So come on, Wess. Tell us how LPE can be kept in line now.

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The only thing that keeps the class linked to LPE is the trademark. Class could allow Gouv to build boats according to the the builders manual in place of LPE or along side them but for the trademark Kirby sold to LPE. No reason this can't be set-up same way as Opti structure is.

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And of course the Optimist model works so very well in keeping prices down and promoting equal boat speed racing...

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And of course the Optimist model works so very well in keeping prices down and promoting equal boat speed racing...

Well if Kirby is as kind an altruistic as claimed, having only the best interest of class members at heart, he could sell his Torch in such an "Opti" model at a reasonable price. The builders manual takes care of equal speed by which I presume you mean OD racing.

 

But, I am not going to get sucked into this silliness again. You folks have been saying the sky is falling on the Laser class for years and how this was all such a slam dunk for Kirby and every year I think more and more what a good job the class association did and how much fun it is to sail in the class with a great group of folks that strangely don't waste their time posting here. I gotta learn that lesson.

 

Thankfully its almost time for Wednesday night beercan racing!

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Just because LPE is a sleazy company doesn't mean I automatically support the other side and think everything they do is golden. Kirby in away created this mess when he "sold" the design rights. My personal impression is that he is acting as a figure head, a Col. Sanders for those wanting to sell Australian Fried Lasers.

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You guys still at it?

 

Kirby already lost. He gave up on his attempt to take down the trademark and there is no way the class is going to reverse course and go back to a rule that gave him the ability to hold us all hostage. That fat lady sang long ago. The class is free. Now its just a bunch of rich idiots fighting and with any luck they all take themselves out.

That's mighty rough on the class

 

Not my intent at all Gouv.

 

....

 

My point was that since Kirby dropped the trademark lawsuit action and given there is no way the class is going to be forced to go back to the old rule, there is nothing left to the case that will meaningfully impact on sailors in the class.

 

I don't see anything to indicate that Kirby has dropped the trademark challenge:

http://ttabvue.uspto.gov/ttabvue/v?pno=92057217&pty=CAN&eno=28

 

 

 

Aghh!! SM123, you've ruined it. (Now Wess will need to find another bone to chew. Wess - read this!!! Another Bruce Kirby action! -- > http://www.mdd.uscourts.gov/Opinions/Opinions/Kirby-FrontierMemo.pdf)

 

The action against Karaya (Jersey) Limited was dropped, whereas the one against Velum Limited continues.

 

Here's 338 pages which has some part redacted, though lots of crossover the the contract case, which will determine if Rastegar / Crane will continue building Kirby's boat --> http://ttabvue.uspto.gov/ttabvue/v?pno=92057217&pty=CAN&eno=21

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You make this thing your life and you don't know that one of those is not like the other? Not the same implications out of each.

 

As I have always said, I would love to see Kirby take down his own trademark such that anyone in addition to LPE could make a boat called a Laser. It facilitates the Opti model. And under same Brucey could sell Torches for non-inflated prices. It could be one big happy family.

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Wess

 

So you have completely avoided answering my question about how LPE can be kept from doing exactly what they want with the boats. I assume it is because you are avoiding the uncomfortable truth that breaking the agreements and changing the class rule has removed all ability to have any influence over LPE. They can do what they want.

 

You keep going on about the Opti model, yet you seem to have no idea as to why it is totally unsuitable for the Laser. Contrary to what you might think, Optimists are not an identical one design class. The hull shapes might all be the same, but that is where it stops. Look at the leading builder, Winner. They offer to different hulls. The top of the range hulls have the following features not seen in the other hulls, such as 15% stiffer foam, 3D improved hull shape, special mast step (stronger, stiffer, less wobble), different c/b case system and more. Other builders have their won specification which are meant to differentiate them from the rest. If you read the rules, there is leeway. For me as a boatbuilder, it is most interesting to note that there is no limit on construction method, so you can hand lay up or vacuum bag or resin infuse etc. There are weight specs for what e glass mat and cloth you can use, +/- 10% and there doesn't seem to be any limit on what resin ration to use. Simply put, there are enough differences in Optimists to mean that some builders outsell others significantly in the race world. Then you begin to talk about the rig, which masts are better and what sails to buy. Finally, you have to decide what type of foils you prefer.

 

Is that really your dream for the Laser? It seems you want to give up the total one design nature of the boat and are happy that if they look the same, they are the same. Seems totally wrong to me. What's also interesting is that the "best " hulls command a premium price, so going the Opti model might well see the price increase for the best boats, although those happy with a "lesser" product will probably get cheaper boats.

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Tonight was great. I think we had a total of 21 boats on the water at some time .

Poll of the sailors indicated nobody really gives a damn what goes on with builders, dealers, or class associations.

Anybody who shows up with something that sorta looks right is absolutely welcome.

In a forty year old fleet (#22) where four to six boat group purchases used to be an annual event, only one junior has a boat newer than seven years old and nobody is even discussing boat or new sail purchases .

 

No idea where it is going but in a market where over seven hundred new Lasers sold between 1972 and 2007 the North American builder has only sold one since

Equals grass roots sailing - where the real action is. Love it. Some of these sailor might even be members of the ILCA (or is it mandatory in your neck of the woods?)

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There is nothing new on PACER. Last filing was on 05/06/2015.

 

 

Looks like the turgid US law system strikes again!

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Not even close to correct in my opinion.

 

So tell me, what can be done if LPE decides to change the materials or the way they build the Laser. Before, the contract with Kirby forced builders to build all the boats they sold as "Lasers" in accordance with the builders manual, whether they were for the racing market or not. Now there is nothing to stop LPE doing whatever it wants. So the ILCA won't supply them with plaques. Big deal.....NOT. They have stated clearly enough that racing market isn't what they are after and it is pretty obvious why. It is a pain, because of the dealer network which eats margin and costs money to support. Or maybe we will see something potentially worse happen, with Lasers being built to 2 different specs depending on whether they are for racing (with plaque) or not. How do you stop the non compliant boast from mixing with complying?

 

So come on, Wess. Tell us how LPE can be kept in line now.

1. LPE is a signatory to the ISAF agreement which can be enforced relatively inexpensively by ILCA through binding arbitration.

 

2. The ISAF agreement doesn't apply to othe builders . But If you ask any decent sized boat builder in the developed world why they haven't picked up and started building the Laser (call it a different name) they will say that there is not enough money in a Laser without the plaque. Apparently the customer wants the plaque for resale. So the discount needed for a non plaque, non laser devours the margin.

 

Whatever the reason, the proof is in the pudding. Neither LP nor Torch, nor anyone else is building non plaque Lasers outside of South America and East Europe( and those started before this mess)

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Not even close to correct in my opinion.

So tell me, what can be done if LPE decides to change the materials or the way they build the Laser. Before, the contract with Kirby forced builders to build all the boats they sold as "Lasers" in accordance with the builders manual, whether they were for the racing market or not. Now there is nothing to stop LPE doing whatever it wants. So the ILCA won't supply them with plaques. Big deal.....NOT. They have stated clearly enough that racing market isn't what they are after and it is pretty obvious why. It is a pain, because of the dealer network which eats margin and costs money to support. Or maybe we will see something potentially worse happen, with Lasers being built to 2 different specs depending on whether they are for racing (with plaque) or not. How do you stop the non compliant boast from mixing with complying?

 

So come on, Wess. Tell us how LPE can be kept in line now.

1. LPE is a signatory to the ISAF agreement which can be enforced relatively inexpensively by ILCA through binding arbitration.

 

2. The ISAF agreement doesn't apply to othe builders . But If you ask any decent sized boat builder in the developed world why they haven't picked up and started building the Laser (call it a different name) they will say that there is not enough money in a Laser without the plaque. Apparently the customer wants the plaque for resale. So the discount needed for a non plaque, non laser devours the margin.

 

Whatever the reason, the proof is in the pudding. Neither LP nor Torch, nor anyone else is building non plaque Lasers outside of South America and East Europe( and those started before this mess)

 

I believe you have this very wrong. The value isn't in the plaque. It is in the name. LPE can build and sell a boat they call the Laser without an ISAF plaque. LPE have stated (and I happen to believe them) that the profitable part of the market for them is "corporate" sales (sailing schools, holiday companies etc) and these guys don't care about whether their Lasers are strictly class legal but instead, they are price driven. The reason why this market is attractive to LPE is that they do not need to sell through dealers meaning the margins are better while the marketing, sales and support costs per boat are significantly less. For a number of reasons, the inventory costs also go down. This is a competitive market where Lasers are up against other boats. I am surprised LPE haven't already brought out a non racing model because it would be possible to build the boats cheaper and stronger, making them more competitive in the market. I suspect the only thing stopping them is this pending legal case, for 2 reasons. First, they want to ensure that both the ILCA and ISAF keep away from the battle and second, because if they lose, Kirby could force them to scrap all the boats not built in accordance with the correct spec.

 

Once you start seeing boats without plaques being sold by LPE, the class has a real problem. Some clubs will turn a blind eye, some withoyt proper fleets won't even know there is an issue (we already see this with "training" sails). And there is nothing at all that ISAF can do because their agreement only covers racing boats with plaques. They cannot prevent LPE building non class spec boats. The Kirby agreement was the only thing that could stop that, because it covered all boats sold under the name "Laser".

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Institutional sales is not the driving force in the Laser Manufacturing business. The high price for the product is available only because of the successful racing game and the agreements demanding "builder supplied" equipment in Class sanctioned events.

 

You are right that the racing game is what has driven demand, but but now it is established, LPE need to do nothing to maintain it. The racing game is now so strongly supported by ISAF and ILCA that the manufacturers need do nothing. All they are doing is riding on the back of that established game. In fact,LPE tried to back right off spending any money to support racing until they realised it would harm their current case and lose support from ILCA and ISAF. If you think that LPE will continue to support the racing scene once this case is over, you are in for a shock.

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Not even close to correct in my opinion.

So tell me, what can be done if LPE decides to change the materials or the way they build the Laser. Before, the contract with Kirby forced builders to build all the boats they sold as "Lasers" in accordance with the builders manual, whether they were for the racing market or not. Now there is nothing to stop LPE doing whatever it wants. So the ILCA won't supply them with plaques. Big deal.....NOT. They have stated clearly enough that racing market isn't what they are after and it is pretty obvious why. It is a pain, because of the dealer network which eats margin and costs money to support. Or maybe we will see something potentially worse happen, with Lasers being built to 2 different specs depending on whether they are for racing (with plaque) or not. How do you stop the non compliant boast from mixing with complying?

 

So come on, Wess. Tell us how LPE can be kept in line now.

1. LPE is a signatory to the ISAF agreement which can be enforced relatively inexpensively by ILCA through binding arbitration.

 

2. The ISAF agreement doesn't apply to othe builders . But If you ask any decent sized boat builder in the developed world why they haven't picked up and started building the Laser (call it a different name) they will say that there is not enough money in a Laser without the plaque. Apparently the customer wants the plaque for resale. So the discount needed for a non plaque, non laser devours the margin.

 

Whatever the reason, the proof is in the pudding. Neither LP nor Torch, nor anyone else is building non plaque Lasers outside of South America and East Europe( and those started before this mess)

 

1. LPE is not a signatory to the 1983 ISAF agreement, Laser Holdings were as Trademark Holders. Though many transactions, that's transferred to the current Trademark holders, for Europe and North America that is Velum Limited (which depends on the outcome of a legal action).

 

2. The ISAF agreement applies and is relevant to all Laser Boat builders, because it is referenced directly in their builders agreement.

 

3. The ISAF announced back in March 2013 that the ISAF had cancelled the ISAF Agreement, though the announcement was unilateral and may not hold any legal standing.

 

Pretty sure that without anything to replace the builder's agreement, or the ISAF agreement, SimonN's concern of relying on the good nature of LPE to adhere to the builder's manual is spot on.

 

I mentioned earlier about sailing on a Laser, that had non standard parts. According to the manager of that fleet, they buy bare hulls from LPE and fit them out themselves. LPE is under commercial pressure to supply non standard Lasers, the only thing from stopping them is the agreements.

 

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There are a large number of publications generated by the ILCA and previous North Anerican builders in which the phrase "is not a Laser" follows prose about modifications or boats with non Builder parts.

The production of any non "Laser" sailboat called Laser by the Laser copyright owner would certainly open the door for a claim any boat that pretty much looks like a Laser is a laser.

There is so much cluelessness and general confusion in that statement and prior statements that it just blows me away.

 

You seem very confused about the difference between copyrights and trademarks and how the rights that these give to their owners.

 

There are no copyrights, except in the builder's manual and those are disputed.

 

So who is this mythical "Laser copyright owner" who is going to produce boats that infringe HIS OWN RIGHTS? Can't happen. If you own the trademark or copyright, you can't violate those rights.

 

You might violate some contracts regarding those rights, but that won't make you lose a copyright or trademark. If SOMEONE ELSE started using the LASER trademark and the trademark owner did not respond, then the trademark could be lost. However, copyrights (which are not really in play here) can't be lost like this.

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You really don't understand trademarks at all. First off, nobody else can call their product Coke. There have been enough failed attempts to do so. You also you don't understand is that the trademark holder is the one who decides what constitutes the product they sell under the particular trademark and a trademark holder can change the design of the product and it does not effect the validity of the trademark. We see this all the time with products. Trademarks are not linked to specific designs. It really is that simple. LPE can change the way they build the sailboat known as Laser and that does not effect their trademark rights in any way at all.

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You really don't understand trademarks at all. First off, nobody else can call their product Coke. There have been enough failed attempts to do so. You also you don't understand is that the trademark holder is the one who decides what constitutes the product they sell under the particular trademark and a trademark holder can change the design of the product and it does not effect the validity of the trademark. We see this all the time with products. Trademarks are not linked to specific designs. It really is that simple. LPE can change the way they build the sailboat known as Laser and that does not effect their trademark rights in any way at all.

SimonN, you are right with all the facts you present, however have missed the points being made by Gouv, who was speaking as much about branding as about trademarks. At least that's my take.

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Plus WRT to trademarks. Do not forget that Laser use the Laser TM for the Laser Pico, Laser Bahia and Laser Vago (as listed on their site).

 

This is also the reason why the Laser 2000 is now known as the 2000 (because the current builder does not have the rights to use the word Laser with respect to a sailing dinghy) and why the Laser SB3 (now known as the SB20) was known at the Dart SB3 in some territories because LP did not own the rights to use the Laser TM there.

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I may not know a lot of things but I know an awful lot about the trademarks and registered service marks owned by the Coca-Cola Company.

You can rest assured that LPE will not be making the real thing!

 

Simon is right in respect that the trademark owners can use the "Laser" trademark for a sailboat that does not comply with Laser class rules.

However they do have to be careful in order to comply with the ISAF agreement which is binding to them even though they were not the legal entity that originally signed the agreement. Conformance with that agreement is more valuable to LPE than anyone else and I don't see them risking a breach if they can avoid it.

 

Gantt is wrong in stating that ISAF had announced that they had cancelled the ISAF agreement. They stated that Bruce Kirby had breached the agreement.

 

Good to see that you are still here.

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But the iSAF agreement only covers boats that receive a plaque. There is nothing in the ISAF agreement that means that LPE cannot build boats to the Laser shape that do not comply with the rules, so long as they don't apply for a plaque for those boats. LPE could start building a Laser "strong" for the corporate market, a boat designed to last longer and which eliminates the potential weak areas (mast step etc) and there is nothing ISAF and the ILCA can do. How do you police against somebody buying one of those and switching a plaque from a racing Laser? I know that at the moment anybody can build a boat that looks like a Laser anyway, but the ones so far have been cheap knock offs that nobody would buy in the hope of getting a better boat.

 

Then there is the problem of what happens if LPE want to change the way they build all Lasers. The ILCA and ISAF have already changed the Laser class rules once in order to ensure supply of boats. What happens when LPE says that they will stop building boats, stop all parts and stop all "imports" if they don't get a change.

 

In both cases above, LPE needed Kirby's approval. They needed it for any changes to any boat they built to the Kirby Sailboat shape (design). They couldn't hold a gun to Kirby's head in the same way as they can to ISAF and the ILCA. It was a safeguard that has now gone.

 

This whole law case is about 2 key things. One is about payments to Kirby and that is the one everybody is focused on. But the other is all about LPE gaining control over how they build the Laser. Without the Kirby agreement, the balance of power shifts significantly towards LPE.

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Gantt is wrong in stating that ISAF had announced that they had cancelled the ISAF agreement. They stated that Bruce Kirby had breached the agreement.

Here's the exact wording from ISAF.

 

ISAF regards the recent announcement of the Kirby Torch dinghy as a fundamental breach of contractual arrangements between the parties concerned with the Laser class. ISAF has therefore exercised its right to end those arrangements and will negotiate new arrangements directly with the ILCA.

 

 

My use of the word "cancelled" may not have been an approximation of my own choosing, but most thinking people would agree that it is apt.

 

IPLore's continued and sustained attempts at distorting information yet again reflects his credibility.

 

SimonN - the ISAF agreement predates the use of the plaque, the plaque was added later, and defined by it's own agreement.

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The ILCA is wrong when they say "is not a Laser", They have no authority to say that. Doesn't matter how many times they say it. What they can say is "is not a class legal Laser" and that is their job, to set the rules for class legal Lasers but they have no authority over the trade mark owner calling any boat a Laser.

 

There are a large number of publications generated by the ILCA and previous North Anerican builders in which the phrase "is not a Laser" follows prose about modifications or boats with non Builder parts.
The production of any non "Laser" sailboat called Laser by the Laser copyright owner would certainly open the door for a claim any boat that pretty much looks like a Laser is a laser.

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The ILCA is wrong when they say "is not a Laser", They have no authority to say that. Doesn't matter how many times they say it. What they can say is "is not a class legal Laser" and that is their job, to set the rules for class legal Lasers but they have no authority over the trade mark owner calling any boat a Laser.

 

There are a large number of publications generated by the ILCA and previous North Anerican builders in which the phrase "is not a Laser" follows prose about modifications or boats with non Builder parts.

The production of any non "Laser" sailboat called Laser by the Laser copyright owner would certainly open the door for a claim any boat that pretty much looks like a Laser is a laser.

 

All pretty funny, the ILCA will have to make up a new name starting with L and describe a laser but not call it a laser and say only legal ones are from X builder(s) and LPE will start a new Laser association and what happens if their rules include all the other ILCA boats as described above?

Maybe LPE will concentrate on left hand drive lasers and ILCA will do the right hand drive ones?

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The rights and control of what constitutes a class legal Laser was primarily controlled by a mesh of overlapping and interacting contracts. Trademark on the name had almost nothing to do with it and copyright even less.

 

The court case is about those contracts. Which ones survive, together with whatever the impact of the fundamental rule change is on that mesh of contracts will define what happens. But I submit that anyone trying to predict what the end result will be is being very optimistic, because if part of the mesh stands and part falls what is left will be very unbalanced. They seemed to me in my legal ignorance to be written with the assumption that no-one would break them because if they were everyone would lose.

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It is consistent. Just stir the pot once in a while and they all rise back to the top.

 

I still predict simply and clearly that the case has not been (for some time) and will not be an issue for the class sailors. With the rule change in place the nuclear option has been removed and this is a commercial dispute that does not impact sailors. Supply is actually better now than it was prior and no LPE does not have the class over a barrel. The "sky is falling crowd" that posts here are unique in that 1.) the vast majority are not class members (or even regular Laser sailors in many cases), 2.) like to distort things, and 3.) can be wound up like a top.

 

Its time for Tuesday night Laser racing and while some rain might fall on our heads, the sky will not. All is fine with the Laser class. Bruce no long holds the keys to the nukes and he ain't getting them back, but if he has ownership of any valid rights, or is owed past royalties, the court will without doubt enable him to extract fair compensation for same from LPE. I bet its the lawyers that win though.

 

All I care is that class sailors don't lose and that is no longer a realistic option. The sky really is not falling (or has not fallen) despite many endless claims to the contrary for what... years now?

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Still no news regarding the motions hearing, so we have to continue to wait to hear something worthwhile.

In the mean-time, the Wikipedia entry for Laser sports an updated, toned down section on Litigation.

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laser_%28dinghy%29

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It is consistent. Just stir the pot once in a while and they all rise back to the top.

 

I still predict simply and clearly that the case has not been (for some time) and will not be an issue for the class sailors. With the rule change in place the nuclear option has been removed and this is a commercial dispute that does not impact sailors. Supply is actually better now than it was prior and no LPE does not have the class over a barrel. The "sky is falling crowd" that posts here are unique in that 1.) the vast majority are not class members (or even regular Laser sailors in many cases), 2.) like to distort things, and 3.) can be wound up like a top.

 

So if Kirby wins, he is likely to stop LPE building boats to his design while LPE will prevent anybody else selling boats called Laser in their territory. And that will not impact sailors.......I like your wishful thinking.

 

And to think that LPE doesn't have the class over a barrel is probably the most naive statement so far. You really think it is a coincidence that having stopped paying sponsorship money to the ILCA and having treated them like shit, LPE suddenly has a change of heart that coincides with the legal case against Kirby? ISAF ratifies the rule change and MacLaren prams becomes a sponsor and of course there it is a coincidence. One has no bearing on the other because ISAF's core constituents are the exact target market for a pram company. :wacko:

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I like your posts Simon. Always good for a laugh.

 

But yes, sure, whatever you say... the sailors in the class are doomed and the sky will fall no matter who wins. Lights out for folks that race Lasers either way. Sure thing.

 

I say the sky does NOT fall no matter who wins.

 

Want to wager a bottle that the Laser class sailors are still going strong racing their exact same boats a year after the case ends?

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It is consistent. Just stir the pot once in a while and they all rise back to the top.

 

I still predict simply and clearly that the case has not been (for some time) and will not be an issue for the class sailors. With the rule change in place the nuclear option has been removed and this is a commercial dispute that does not impact sailors. Supply is actually better now than it was prior and no LPE does not have the class over a barrel. The "sky is falling crowd" that posts here are unique in that 1.) the vast majority are not class members (or even regular Laser sailors in many cases), 2.) like to distort things, and 3.) can be wound up like a top.

 

So if Kirby wins, he is likely to stop LPE building boats to his design while LPE will prevent anybody else selling boats called Laser in their territory. And that will not impact sailors.......I like your wishful thinking.

 

And to think that LPE doesn't have the class over a barrel is probably the most naive statement so far. You really think it is a coincidence that having stopped paying sponsorship money to the ILCA and having treated them like shit, LPE suddenly has a change of heart that coincides with the legal case against Kirby? ISAF ratifies the rule change and MacLaren prams becomes a sponsor and of course there it is a coincidence. One has no bearing on the other because ISAF's core constituents are the exact target market for a pram company. :wacko:

 

Lol, nice one

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There is a hearing scheduled for June 15.

 

Probably nothing very important by the looks of it. Its all motions for summary judgement, which AIUI in practice means that only accusations that were particularly wild or optimistic get slung out.

They seem to be:

ILCA saying that the court has no power over us and we didn't do anything wrong anyway.

Kirby saying that some but not all of Rastregar's counter claims are invalid

And motions from Global Sailing which I can't see any detail of at all, but probably much like ILCA.

 

It would be quite significant for ILCA if they were to win the summary judgement, but I suspect that's to an extent tangental, and it makes little difference to anything if some of Rastregars wilder counterclaims are slung out. On the whole though AIUI summary judgement decisions give you no clues how well or badly the main issues might be doing.

 

Basically IMHO its more money for lawyers and no progress on the main issues.

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All things considered...people come out and race Lasers, therefore I will come out and race Lasers. I am skeptical about the chances of any new hiking dinghy getting real traction because the cognoscenti has already gone to kitesurfing, foiling moths, whatever....

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While I agree with many of Gouv's points, he is off the mark on one important detail.....

 

My predicted scenario:
The lawyers win
The judge gets paid
The folks who take depositions and courthouse janitors get rent money
The worlds will be sail in Kingston
Our fleet eI'll meet for dinner after the races every Wednesday
I will host the Easter Laser Regatta again
The Cubs will not win the World Series

 

...........................................................

...........................................................

.............................................................

...........................................................

..........................................................

..........................................................

The Cubs will win the world series.

The more important question is whether we will still be alive to see it. This brings us back to Kirby. I'm afraid its not looking good for Bruce. That is to say that the odds of Bruce seeing the Cubs win the world series is not as good for Bruce as it is, for example, my son seeing them win the world series. When we bring mortality into the equation, then the question is not only will they win? But When will they win?

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  • 2 weeks later...

There is a hearing scheduled for June 15.

 

Looks as if its now been postponed to September.

 

Can anyone seriously argue with the proposition that your legal system is a nightmarish mess that only benefits the lawyers? Not that I suppose its any different over here.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Someone is being successful at delaying. Makes me wonder in whose interest would a delay be?

 

Motion Hearing set for 9/18/2015 02:00 PM in Courtroom Three, 141 Church St., New Haven, CT before Judge Jeffrey A. Meyer

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This case is proceeding at a relatively normal pace, neither faster not slower than a typical complex commercial suit of this nature. See my earlier prediction on timing..

 

Given the relatively small amount of money at stake (and it is all about the money), it is surprising that settlement discussions have not yet been more productive. Sometimes there is a party that needs to feel the pain of legal fees to understand the gain of settlement.

 

The cost of the motion hearings and preparation will apply a little more pain and the results of the motions will add a little more definition to the respective strengths and weaknesses of each party's claim ..leading nicely into Fall (autumn for the ROW) settlement discussions.

I have always found that settlement discussions going into the holidays and year end have a better chance of success. It is a good time of the year to "move on with life"

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  • 3 weeks later...

Gouv, Gouv, you're thinking that the legal system is there for the benefit of the clients. Clearly its not, its there for the benefit of the lawyers...

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  • 3 weeks later...

Less than a month (26 days) to go before the motions hearing... September 18... very glad its not all about the money, as evidenced by statements going back to the beginning of the action. Guess what? I'm not into sailing Lasers for the money either!

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This is a commercial litigation and it is entirely about money.

 

It is about who has the right to make money by building and selling Lasers in which markets.

It is about who has the right to collect contractual build fees ( aka money) in which markets and whether those contracts were cancelled or not.

It is about the sale of the income stream from those build fees to the highest bidder from two competing bidders.

 

The narrow focus of this case is money....and when both sides realize they are spending a lot of money on an asset of diminishing worth....in a legal dispute that does not have any tangible benefit for the good folks who actually sail Lasers.....then they will settle......for money.

 

Law suits are started by clients and prolonged by clients.

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This is a commercial litigation and it is entirely about money.

 

It is about who has the right to make money by building and selling Lasers in which markets.

It is about who has the right to collect contractual build fees ( aka money) in which markets and whether those contracts were cancelled or not.

It is about the sale of the income stream from those build fees to the highest bidder from two competing bidders.

 

The narrow focus of this case is money....and when both sides realize they are spending a lot of money on an asset of diminishing worth....in a legal dispute that does not have any tangible benefit for the good folks who actually sail Lasers.....then they will settle......for money.

 

Law suits are started by clients and prolonged by clients.

 

IPLore sure showed me. The powers of deductive reasoning IPLore demonstrates show that IPLore without a doubt cannot see past the money.

 

Even disregarding IPLore's own description that goes slightly beyond the money (though apparently IPLore can't see it), I doubt that I could ever provide a better example of how cynical and short sighted in the extreme a person can be.

 

I can only conclude that IPLore's take on Bruce Kirby's media statements regarding principles was that Mr Kirby was cynical in making those statements, and perhaps was and is judging Mr Kirby to be wrong. Further, that LPLore necessarily is contending that there is no shred of evidence that Mr Kirby cares for anything to do with sailing beyond the money - or perhaps that Mr Kirby's motives cannot possibly be anything beyond or in addition to money in any way.

 

Yup, IPLore, you sure showed me.

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This is a commercial litigation and it is entirely about money.

 

It is about who has the right to make money by building and selling Lasers in which markets.

It is about who has the right to collect contractual build fees ( aka money) in which markets and whether those contracts were cancelled or not.

It is about the sale of the income stream from those build fees to the highest bidder from two competing bidders.

 

The narrow focus of this case is money....and when both sides realize they are spending a lot of money on an asset of diminishing worth....in a legal dispute that does not have any tangible benefit for the good folks who actually sail Lasers.....then they will settle......for money.

 

Law suits are started by clients and prolonged by clients.

 

IPLore sure showed me. The powers of deductive reasoning IPLore demonstrates show that IPLore without a doubt cannot see past the money.

 

Even disregarding IPLore's own description that goes slightly beyond the money (though apparently IPLore can't see it), I doubt that I could ever provide a better example of how cynical and short sighted in the extreme a person can be.

 

I can only conclude that IPLore's take on Bruce Kirby's media statements regarding principles was that Mr Kirby was cynical in making those statements, and perhaps was and is judging Mr Kirby to be wrong. Further, that LPLore necessarily is contending that there is no shred of evidence that Mr Kirby cares for anything to do with sailing beyond the money - or perhaps that Mr Kirby's motives cannot possibly be anything beyond or in addition to money in any way.

 

Yup, IPLore, you sure showed me.

 

Nobody could show you anything, LOL.

 

But are you serious telling me the nice old grey haired man with his hand endlessly in my pocket, and my kid's pocket and their kid's pocket and so on and so on forever, has not won yet? The class association has not been sued back to the stone ages and forced to disband? The century old class rules have not been forced back to ensure pockets could be endless accessed?

 

I am so confused... I though it was a slam dunk? I though you said the old man would quickly and easily win a preliminary injunction against these evil crooks robbing him of his high tech intellectual property rights.

 

What a shame. I guess he is so disheartened and broke that he was unable to launch his long promised Torch fairy tale. I mean Dire Straights had a song that was right up nice old grey old man's alley. Almost as old as the boat (not really but still pretty old).

 

So many lies....

 

To live such an injustice for so long must be so hard Cant...

 

:P :P :P

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A wife and a boyfriend. Dang, I am hot!

 

Maybe I could appear in Mr. Ks theme song.

 

 

Wait so are you admitting that Kirby might not be right Canntt? The class might not lose? OMG :huh:

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Yea, I'll pay the class association that made the boat and class what it is, not some old greedy dude that drew some shit on a napkin 100 years ago and then wants every generation into infinity to pay his heirs into infinity for the napkin. And apparently partnered up with some down under dudes to rule the world. All while screwing the folks that made the class that made his sorry ass rich.

 

I want to sing bye bye Bruce instead of:

 

 

There is only one Bruce... and his name is Springsteen!

 

All in my warped demented uninformed opinion.

 

Only Canntt speaks the truth and gospel according to the greedy grey hair.

 

Thank God for the entertainment value of this thread.

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There is a lot we would agree and disagree Gouv.

 

But I am damn sure that you are responsible for more current Laser sailors than the greedy grey hair dude.

 

In any event I am not going to pay him a dime more than the class and court says I have to.

 

And I would bet a lot that the court says we (the class) don't have to go back to the old rules that allowed him hold everyone hostage over a 100 year old napkin.

 

Just one opinion and worth what you paid.

 

PS - Didn't quote you so you can still play the game.

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Wess

 

You always choose to ignore come very basic facts, ones that have been set out above and you still refuse to even consider. Until finally forced to be legal action, the association and LPE used Kirby's name when they were not entitled to. That is beyond any doubt. They did it for a period of about 2.5 years, knowingly, because during that period they chose to ignore the legal approaches mad eby Kirby for them to correct that position. And here is the strange thing - it was easy for them to correct the situation by doing what they were finally forced to do, changing the plaques. This tells us that either or both (assoc and/or LPE) saw some benefit of continuing to use the Kirby name and they did it in full knowledge that they were no longer paying for that benefit.

 

You also keep going on about how Kirby is taking money from the sailors etc. I therefore assume the boats came down in price once LPE stopped paying Kirby.......which of course they did not so the money that used to go to Kirby now ends up in the pocket of LPE. It is also interesting to note that the point when LPE cut Kirby out coincides with when they dropped almost all sponsorship of the class which only started again when ILCA and ISAF agreed to support LPE by issuing plaques they were withholding. It also coincides with a period when spares were hard to get hold of and the prices of those spares went up. I think you have a very warped view of who has their hand in your pocket and the benefits or otherwise that come from that.

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Cool.

I think rastegar probably owes Kirby a bunch if money

And

I never did see the ad saying:

We no longer jay napkin guy so we are lowering the price of our product

 

And I haven't seen anything from the class saying

As we are no longer hostage to the old agreements we are allowing $100 sails from Intrnsity and others

 

 

There is lots of money grabbing but I don't think kirbys fee is a significant factor in our toy's price

 

Gouv -

 

Yea there are lots of folks grabbing money. I do think the class association wears a white hat though.

 

Like I said, there is a lot we would disagree, LOL :D

 

Had to quote you once so you canntt completely disappear.

 

Cheers.

 

PS - Simon, There are so few facts in your posts that its not worth responding even for the giggles that come with the other resident idiot. Talk to me when the court forces the class back to the old rules. Bet you it does not happen. Bet you still keep babbling even after it doesn't. Promise you I will shut-up and pay if it does.

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The ILCA is wrong when they say "is not a Laser", They have no authority to say that. Doesn't matter how many times they say it. What they can say is "is not a class legal Laser" and that is their job, to set the rules for class legal Lasers but they have no authority over the trade mark owner calling any boat a Laser.

 

There are a large number of publications generated by the ILCA and previous North Anerican builders in which the phrase "is not a Laser" follows prose about modifications or boats with non Builder parts.

The production of any non "Laser" sailboat called Laser by the Laser copyright owner would certainly open the door for a claim any boat that pretty much looks like a Laser is a laser.

The various owners of the Laser trademark have distributed Laser Class materials with each new boat.

The deliberate inclusion of a publication with the product by the trademark owner which describes exactly what is not the trademarked product certainly indicates the owner agrees with that description

How ludicrous is it to spend forty years distributing a publication claiming your product is to be considered a fake and those who would present it are cheaters unless certain criteria are met

And then

To claim

"We are not bound by all that."

 

For forty years EVERY NEW LASER CAME WITH A PUBLICATION SAYING "THIS PRODUCT IS NOT A LASER UNLESS....."

 

Why should anyone deny that during those forty years, the trademark owner's intent was honest and legitimate?

 

Re-stated

For forty years somebody told anyone who would listen, "If we stop doing these things our products are no longer to be considered to be Lasers."

 

They stopped

 

What say you??

 

 

Good question Gouv. I think it's to hard to answer - other than a short sighted 'of course they are still Lasers', though that being said then so are the copies made in Eastern Europe and South America, or are they?

 

The main players are waiting for the remaining matters to be heard by the courts.

 

The ILCA's actions have been an enabler of Rastegar and co's desire to unilaterally deem a signed contract void. Whether or not that was their intention was and is immaterial.

 

If the contracts are upheld, then there are more issues to resolve, namely:

  • whether or not Rastegar is able to continue to manufacture the boat designed by Kirby, if he does, there may be another action by Kirby.
  • what if anything the ILCA will do in response, factoring in the Australian and Japanese licensed builders, and ex ILCA members who state they will not rejoin because of Laser Performance's actions and because of the way the fundamental rule change was made.
  • what will happen with the growing Asian market, or other markets not currently served properly by a builder. Should South America have a builder? Middle East / Africa?
  • what will happen with the trademark action
  • if, when and how Kirby will proceed with plans for the Torch. (Kirby has stated publicly that it's on hold until the legal action has run it's course).

I'm sure there are more issues. Because some of these issues, the Torch makes sense.

 

Ultimately, it's up to sailors, and some Olympians and world champs have spoken out publicly in favor of Kirby, others privately. Many have taken a hands off approach. What Robert Scheidt says, for example, carries some impact.

 

The sailors will vote with their feet.

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I really don't give a damn whether Kirby gets to stay in charge in the contracts are good are they are but the fact is the class and rested are conspired to use Kirby's name without paying him for a certain period of time

It seems to me that it's very likely they owe Kirby some money

Hard to follow this one Gouv.

 

If you are talking about the name on the sticker, I agree there is a potential dispute over who said what when relative to when the name came off. Money may change hands over that; agree. But AFAIK its chump change and irrelevant for the future (its only about the past) compared to what happens with the class rule. That was the ultimate leverage is and what made it forever even though contracts had expiration dates. That's what drives the future and all I care about in the remaining case. Would love to see the black hat knocked off the trademark owner too but no way to do that presently; so a necessary evil sadly.

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I really don't give a damn whether Kirby gets to stay in charge in the contracts are good are they are but the fact is the class and rested are conspired to use Kirby's name without paying him for a certain period of time

It seems to me that it's very likely they owe Kirby some money

 

Yes, I agree with SimonN's facts re the period of time that they continued using Kirby's name, though in the scale of things, there are more important issues to deal with. Back in the 1970s, when Kirby was very active in setting up the system, he proved himself to effectively put in a full time job's effort (or more) for chump change. If he didn't, then the class would not have grown as it did. Yes things have changed over the last 45 years.

 

The reason that the rights are important to iron out, is that it may mean the difference between a class that grows into new markets or not. The rights come back to the signed contracts and whether or not they are still valid. Kirby clearly thinks they are.

 

It's very clear that with Kirby, he acts out of a passion for the sport of sailing, with many actions that support that over the years, including recent. I'm sure money may be a factor, but people have have more than one motivation that drives them.

 

This is why the outcome of the legal action before the courts makes a difference.

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Wess

 

Facts are facts. Plaques were issued with Kirby's name and they used Kirby's name to promote the boat without paying him for doing so. Forget any contracts for a moment. You simply cannot use a person's name and reputation like that without permission. Strange thing is, you are the only person who seems to think it is OK.

 

You also ignore a key point that destroys your argument. LPE stopped paying Kirby for their benefit, not for the benefit of the customers. They did not pass on the savings.

 

Finally, if we use your argument, pension/superannuation companies would have the right to stop paying pensions if somebody lives too long.

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One thing that struck me is that I think that some people have no idea what a small boat designer does in order to get a class up and running, and then support it, while actually being paid very little. I know few such designers and they have to work unbelievably hard. I see somebody like Julian Bethwaite, who most would consider pretty successful, and trust me, he seems to work pretty damned hard and has to spend a fair amount of time away from home in order to support the classes he has designed. And unless he is one of those eccentric rich guys who hides his wealth well (and forces his wife out to work ;) !) and also lies a lot, he really isn't getting rich at the expense of the sailors. In fact, IMO, for what he puts in, he probably doesn't get enough return. I suspect he hopes that his boats continue to succeed so he gets a long term return on all the effort he has put in and that maybe one will become a really big seller (Laser style). I find it hard to believe that Bruce Kirby put in any less effort with the Laser, yet some want to reduce that effort to being nothing more than a sketch. If Kirby had been commissioned to do a design and had done nothing more, then I could accept there should be a limit on how long he can earn from his single act of designing (which is how things usually work). However, even the most uncharitable has to acknowledge BK did a huge amount for the class back in the day while he would maintain that he has been continually involved until LPE's attempt to shut him out. Yes, Kirby got lucky that the Laser did as well as it has done, but conversely, successful designs need more continued involvement than unsuccessful ones.

 

What I find unbelievable is that there are some on here who would rather put money in LPE's pocket than in BK's pocket, because make no mistake, that is exactly what this is about. BK spent a significant part of his career supporting the class with no control over how much he would be paid while LPE is doing all it can to make as much money as they can from the class.

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I don't know how much value there is in this stage of the discussion since its not going to change any minds, but it's well worth pointing out that when it comes to founding a class designing the boat is the easy bit, and not the most important.

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.

while he would maintain that he has been continually involved until LPE's attempt to shut him out.

 

Is that true? He'd been selling certain right off as estate planning (his words iirc). Unsurprising at his age.

 

I personally think it's fatuous to position this as a moral issue though the unattractive ownership of LPE makes that all too easy. It's a legal issue and one on which this thread has provided more noise than illumination.

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.

while he would maintain that he has been continually involved until LPE's attempt to shut him out.

 

Is that true? He'd been selling certain right off as estate planning (his words iirc). Unsurprising at his age.

 

I personally think it's fatuous to position this as a moral issue though the unattractive ownership of LPE makes that all too easy. It's a legal issue and one on which this thread has provided more noise than illumination.

 

 

Yes, Kirby was in the process of selling his rights, though as covered previously, there were terms in the contract which allow the sale that were not met, so the sale was not completed.

 

The moral and legal questions surround whether one party has the right to unilaterally remove themselves from a contract. The two parties who appear to think that this is OK are the ISAF (as discussed previously) and Rastegar with his two companies who, through after purchasing existing businesses, signed a 'builder's agreement' with Kirby. The moral parts of the argument, if any, are about when contractual obligations are broken.

 

Dogwatch is in good company when making the point that legal and moral are different. It's supported by the following Harvard Law discussion paper by Steven Shavell that I recently read on the subject:

Why would individuals tend to hold the view that breach is wrong? The core of the explanation, I believe, is that contractual agreements are seen by individuals as close to, or as not even distinguishable from, promises made in every day life. Such promises are statements that most people think they have a moral obligation to honor. We are taught from childhood that our promises ought to be kept, and this view is reinforced throughout our lives. Thus, it is natural for us to identify contracts with the promises that we have learned to treat as having moral valence. We do not pause to consider that contracts are in fact different from promises made in social intercourse, and that breaking contracts, unlike breaking promises, results in the payment of damages.

(source = http://www.law.harvard.edu/programs/olin_center/papers/pdf/Shavell_631.pdf )

 

Having said that, can it be morally right to not keep a contracted promise? (That's a different question).

 

It's fairly clear on the evidence so far presented that Rastegar did not keep his contracted promise regarding the payment of royalties, however it is up to a judge to find that in consideration of all technical and legal matters, and to award damages if he finds there was a breach.

 

If damages for the royalties are awarded, prior to this the judge would necessarily need to rule on whether the contract is valid. And if the contract is valid, then Kirby's termination of Rastegar as a builder of a boat of Kirby's design may be found to be legal and proper, which means there are more damages to consider. And Rastegar will be bound by the termination clauses, which is why it's not just about the money.

 

The central part of the dispute is a comparatively straightforward matter.

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"The moral and legal questions surround whether one party has the right to unilaterally remove themselves from a contract."

 

If you start from that premise there's only one conclusion. However after nearly 2700 posts on this thread, I'm certain that nobody at all posting here can so far clearly explain the legal situation in its entirety. The moral arguments presented by, for example, Simon, tend not relate to the legal position. They tend to contrast the contribution of BK to sailing with that of the buggy manufacturer (OK the latter not the case with Simon's recent post). It is that I find to be fatuous.

 

As to whether breaking a contract is necessarily immoral, courts decide contractual matters on balance of probability. That in itself makes it clear we are in a world of opinion rather than moral certainty. I also think contracts between people, people and companies, and companies and companies are three different matters and it is debatable whether relationships between companies are a matter of morality at all.

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"The moral and legal questions surround whether one party has the right to unilaterally remove themselves from a contract."

 

If you start from that premise there's only one conclusion. However after nearly 2700 posts on this thread, I'm certain that nobody at all posting here can so far clearly explain the legal situation in its entirety. The moral arguments presented by, for example, Simon, tend not relate to the legal position. They tend to contrast the contribution of BK to sailing with that of the buggy manufacturer (OK the latter not the case with Simon's recent post). It is that I find to be fatuous.

 

As to whether breaking a contract is necessarily immoral, courts decide contractual matters on balance of probability. That in itself makes it clear we are in a world of opinion rather than moral certainty. I also think contracts between people, people and companies, and companies and companies are three different matters and it is debatable whether relationships between companies are a matter of morality at all.

 

I'm finding myself agreeing more than disagreeing with you on the latter, though with the former, my question is meant to be genuine, not rhetorical in any way. In short, it's not a given that the judge will find in favor of Kirby, as stated there are many possible technical and legal considerations. So far, I have not read any valid reason put forward by Rastegar et al as to how the contract is not binding - but just because that is my opinion, as I have said ad nauseam, in the end it is up to the judge. Such attempts to openly discuss and get to the kernel of the case have been thwarted by such questions of morality, which most recently have been inspired by the trolling antics of a minority. By the way, Steven Shavell makes a strong argument about how the moral questions apply less to contracts.

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Dogwatch

 

2 points. First, you are correct. He was in the process of trying to sell his 'rights", so it is fair to say his involvement was due or did stop at that point, namely when he was about 80 years old. Although I am not sure exactly what he did on a daily basis, it is clear from various correspondence that he still needed to dedicate time to the Laser, even though it is such a mature class.

 

As for my argument about morals, you seem to get muddled between my debate with Wess, who is claiming that morally BK is just a money grabbing person, and any legal argument i may or may not put forward. I have acknowledged many times that they are 2 very different discussions. Wess keeps saying that BK is just fleecing the sailors for work he did years ago and therefore doesn't deserve our sympathy or support. I would argue the opposite, but readily acknowledge that sympathy and support don't win legal cases.

 

I have another reason why I hope BK wins. If he loses, it creates a real problem for those who design small boats, because they will need to spend more time and money in securing their revenue streams from their work. It means tighter contracts (and more legal fees!) and, I suspect, designers wanting to make sure that they get properly rewarded by ensuring they get more up front. In the end, it will cost sailors more money.

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I have another reason why I hope BK wins. If he loses, it creates a real problem for those who design small boats, because they will need to spend more time and money in securing their revenue streams from their work. It means tighter contracts (and more legal fees!) and, I suspect, designers wanting to make sure that they get properly rewarded by ensuring they get more up front. In the end, it will cost sailors more money.

 

To be brutal, I don't see a shortage of talented people who want to be boat designers. Also as someone who derives part of their income from IP I own, legal protection is nice but the real protection is to be an indispensable supplier of expertise to those who use the IP. Otherwise there are always people willing and able to out-spend you on lawyers and (of course) it takes very little to rack up very large bills. Actually I've seen people who should have been smart enough to know better throw away large sums on securing useless patents.

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I sold my family's 25 YO laser a few months ago so I no longer have any skin in this silly legal game.

 

This farce of rich guys aguing over things most of us will never fully understand, and them allowing rich lawers to milk money from them over as long a period of time as they can, will never make much sense to most of us no matter what the court eventually decides. There will always be many opinions about who was right and who was wrong, and we can be sure that the final legal decision will raise as many arguments than it settles. Just a big waste of time, money and egos.

 

The fact that ILCA and ISAF are involved will be upsetting a lot of influencial people. That together with the fact that the two major builders can not talk to each other or agree on anything must make it potentally possible that the support for the class from ISAF as an Olympic class must be under threat. The only thing going for the Lasaer in this aspect is that there is no clear replacement, too many people have designed and produced their own version of the mythical Laser replacement over many years without gettinhg anywhere near the numbers of sales needed to look like a viable alternative.

 

But no matter what there is absolutely no doubt that Gouv's precious game of laser racing will continue for many decades to come. There are 300,000 good reasons for that. There is also good logic to say that if Olympic status is lost Gouv's game might even get better. Less professionals makes for more chance of prizes for the average weekend punters.

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I have to laugh at those that can't win the important legal argument (reverse the class rule) so then resort to an emotional one (the class would be nothing but for Bruce).

 

Uh... Bruce has sued the class. The class changed a rules and basically said they would not be a bag man for him anymore. Bruce said he would launch a competing boat. Its dragged on for years... Its fair to say there is no love lost and yet somehow with Bruce suing us, the class still survives and thrives. So I think its fair to to say he has nothing to do with the class's current success.

 

There is a lot I would disagree with Gouv on including specifics of his role in the class but I don't doubt he cares about growing the class in his own way for sure has done way more to have a positive effect on that end than Kirby has IMHO. This thread is filled with idiots who don't even sail the boat (never mind be a class member). If they want to send Bruce their own money please feel free. But stop telling me how to spend mine. I am guessing that the court is eventually going to tell LPE to send Bruce some old money but not reverse a class rule and make my great, great, great, grand kids send Bruce's great, great,, great grand kids money form a 100 year old napkin.

 

Bruce made the class what it is. BS. That is really really rich. It ignores so so so many people current and past.

 

And, no I am no more thrilled with LPE than I am with BK but alas I am stuck with LPE because dear old Bruce sold them the trademark.

 

Like I said. Great entertainment here but nothing more.

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Save me the scroll - seems to me someone knows how much Bruce Kirby gets (or is supposed to get, or used to get, or whatever) for every new Laser sold. What is that amount?

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Well, if he is/was/should/shouldn't be collecting $3,000 a boat my feelings about his intentions would lean one way. If he is/was/should/shouldn't be collecting $50 a boat, my feelings about his intentions would lead a different way.

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