ILCA gives LPE the boot... seeking new Laser builder

jgh66

Anarchist
Of course but that is why I am asking Tracey if the same royalty is being applied to all existing builder equally. 
As far from what I've seen here BKI had an agreement with 2% on the wholesale price what would be something like +/- 80 euros per boat, that maybe every builder or client has to pay per boat. Someone posted something about an offer of 1000000 € or $? as royalties for LPE per year that would mean 500-700 € per boat if the name Laser stays with the class. Since LPE as Trademark owner does not have to pay, but all other builders have to pay to LPE it could still be a somehow unfair competition between the new builders (and LPA/LPJ when they have to pay royalties to LPE for sales in their region) and LPE. I'm interested how ILCA and WS want to solve this. It would be much fairer in my opinion if the class would vote for changing the class rules like explained by Eric to avoid such unfair competition. LPE would already have enough advantage due to not having to invest in new tooling, marketing and building up a new dealer network.

Maybe Tracey can answer how this all fits together, and if my fears are true. 

 
If the trade mark owners have in principle agreed to a OMOD structure with a licensing process in place based on FRAND principles, then the rubber really has to hit the road when they start negotiating the process for calculating the license fees.

It is going to be very difficult. I believe it could ultimately be successful with patience and calm, thick skinned leadership from the ILCA and WS but it will inevitably be acrimonious at various stages of the negotiations and the starting positions are likely to be wide apart.

Here are what I suspect will be some of the challenges:

1. As far as I am aware, there is no benchmark for SSO's adopting a FRAND policy on trademarks. In fact, quite the opposite. The SSO's usually adopt a FRAND policy on technology and encourage the members (manufacturers) to compete, each using their own brand with access to the same technology.  It is almost unheard of for an SSO to require a manufacturer to share their brand name with competitors (I truly cannot think of an example but if anyone on this forum has, let us know) .  So the parties in this negotiation are not only doing something new in sailing industry, they trying to establish a licensing process with almost no industrial precedent at all.

In hindsight, what Tracy and some of the ILCA leadership would have preferred is a more typical arrangement.....share the technology on a FRAND basis and let the builders compete with brand and service.  I think the class leadership could have portrayed the rule change NOT as a name change...but the adoption of an umbrella name for the class of Olympic Single Handed One Design Dinghy (OSHODD)...that would allow other brands IN ADDITION  to the Laser brand , not as a REPLACEMENT for the  Laser brand.   IMHO, one of the most insightful quotes from Tracy was :

The proposed rule change would simply un-brand the class rules only
IMO, it would be a simple and elegant solution.

But it is academic, because currently it seems the Laser consortium is going to try a more difficult and complex agreement of licensing the trade mark.

2. In a typical bilateral trademark licensing agreement without FRAND and without an SSO (which in this case is WS), the two parties, licensee and trade mark owner sit down to find if there is a mutually beneficial royalty fee, profitable to both parties. If there is not, there is no agreement....if there is, it often takes months to fine tune and document.  Trade mark licenses range widely depending on the value of the brand and margin on the product. I personally have experience only of very high margin brand names that commanded high  license fees that would probably surprise you .  ILCA's lawyers have obviously done some research on trade mark license fees and put out a first proposal. Its a starting point.  LP will likely come back with a different number.

3. What makes this difficult is that it is not ostensibly a bilateral negotiation with 2 known parties calculating the costs and benefits of licensing a the trade mark. The parties are trying to establish a fair licensing fee in the absence of knowing who the licensee is.

4. I say "ostensibly"  because I suspect this will at some stage devolve into a bilateral negotiation between LP and PSA. PSA will wants to export Lasers into LP's markets.  PSA will be negotiating for a low as possible royalty. LP will be negotiating for as high as possible royalty.  ILCA will be trying to mediate but obviously (representing its members) leaning towards a lower fee.   IT is this bilateral negotiation between LP and PSA that will make the proceedings so difficult because LP and PSA hate each other......and have been engaged in a bitter law suit with each other for 6 years. 

5. There is undeniably a personality issue. Farzad Rastegaar has the reputation of being a difficult personality in negotiation. I say this objectively not pejoratively, not taking sides , and not saying whether his position is right or wrong. I merely observe that negotiations with the owner of LP often tend to take a long time to reach a conclusion and tend to include some measure of acrimony along the way. It requires a certain skill to keep negotiations on track with this type of personality.

6. I would not be surprised if the starting points are far apart at the beginning. 

I find myself wondering, if the parties should agree in principle they are looking for a fair licensing agreement and then bring in an independent, professional mediator, experienced in trade mark law to try and help the parties arrive at a conclusion as to what that fair licensing agreement looks like

 

Bruce Hudson

Super Anarchist
3,251
846
New Zealand
But.........so much of the negative rumours, innuendo and misinformation is coming from you. 
I don't think so.

First, even if that were true on this forum, Sailing Anarchy is a very small part of Laser sailing. Are you really putting forward for example that most of the misinformation at the European masters is coming from me?

Much has been said about me releasing what Rastegar allegedly said. By the time I released it, damage was already being done because of the people already talking about it. 

It is clear to me that there is a huge difference between accusations about impropriety and questioning whether or not impropriety exists. I have made the point that perceived impropriety can be just as damaging. I have several years of questioning whether impropriety exists, and you IPLore are now trying to promote that I am creating the same rumours myself? 

In actual fact IPLore, I am working hard to undermine misinformation. Here's an example of personal communication from a European sailor I was talking with.

I don't agree with the statement that the class represents the sailors... That's an ILCA view which IMHO isn't commonly shared amongst European Laser sailors.... BTW who is John Bertrand? And why do you go through such efforts to defend the ILCA position?
The statement he was referring to was by John Bertrand in the interview with Tom E. The individual had been indoctrinated by LaserPerformance, which is a very real problem the class faces right now, and a driver of the very real rift between EurILCA executive committee and ILCA World Council. 

Any legitimate attempts to deal with misinformation directly, necessitates that same misinformation to be 'outed' - then vigorously tested.

Here is an example of IPLore misinformation. First, what Tracy actually said was:

The proposed rule change would simply un-brand the class rules only and would allow the scenario you describe. If the current effort towards a procedure for approving new builders and licensing the Laser trademark is successful then all boats would continue to be Lasers even if we did change the class rules.
To which IPLore, having used a selected portion of the quote (in blue) said:

IMO, it would be a simple and elegant solution.

But it is academic, because currently it seems the Laser consortium is going to try a more difficult and complex agreement of licensing the trade mark.
Actually, it still is a simple and elegant solution.

Having all new builders licensed to use the Laser brand is also simple.

The notion to "un brand" the Laser class rules is now academic is misinformation, and will be until an agreement to use the Laser brand is reached.

---

IPLore has tried to promote that he/she is neutral, though throughout has consistently taken positions which benefit one trademark holder. This is very true in the above comment. 

The position IPLore promotes is complex, and deliberately ignores why World Sailing has created their Olympic Equipment Policy, and how that related to Luca Devoti's legal action. The policy includes but is not limited to FRAND. To comply with the World Sailing Olympic Equipment Policy, there needs to be more builders.

In relation to branding, having multiple builders means either retaining the Laser brand for all builders; or if a satisfactory agreement is not reached, using one or more alternate brands for the same design of boat.

At the heart is the notion that the brand is more important than the boat design, however the Laser brand is not critical to the sport. For all enterprises it the product and service which originally define and then drive the reputation of any brand, not the other way around.

Continuation of the Laser brand is desirable, but not critical. Two of the three Laser brand holders have already agreed. 

To facilitate using more than one brand, ILCA are proposing to remove the rule which requires the Laser brand to be used.

Those who have the best interests of the class at heart know this, and are right now serving the class well by not entering into an agreement which will significantly drive up the cost of the boat.

 
Last edited by a moderator:

JimC

Not actually an anarchist.
8,187
1,087
South East England
. Since LPE as Trademark owner does not have to pay,
LPE is not the trademark owner and my uninformed guess is that they pay through the nose. The Trademark is owned by a separate and offshore organisation, Velum, albeit they both basically controlled by the same people. AIUI its not unusual in these cases for the trading company to pay a damn great whack to the IP owner as it makes for a favourable tax situation. My understanding is that its by no means unknown for companies in LPEs position to be paying IP fees that are a long way from fair and reasonable. 

 
Last edited by a moderator:

Board skiff

Super Anarchist
1,606
672
Agreeing a fair and reasonable fee will not be simple.  Rastegar will claim, with some justification, that he should not be out of pocket from the move to FRAND. That is,  the license fee paid to him should equal the net profit he would have made had he built the boat.  However there are at least two problems with this.

1. It may not be that simple to figure out the precise profit per boat he makes, given the complex business structure where his left hand is paying his right hand.

2. If newly licensed builders have to pay a fee big enough to cover Rastegar’s losses, the price of Lasers will go up, which will not be reasonable to anyone else.   New builders will not be able to compete on price, which is, almost by definition, unreasonable. 

 

jgh66

Anarchist
LPE is not the trademark owner
You are of course right. Though this makes no real difference to the commercial advantage the business owner finally has. Even if he moves money from one company to the other for tax or legal reasons he could either offer the boats cheaper than his competitors, or earn more money that could be spend for marketing or the like.... 

This FRAND stuff was about fair competition or ? 

 

Bruce Hudson

Super Anarchist
3,251
846
New Zealand
IPLore's latest post all about me contains many factual errors, mostly falsely characterizes what I have said over the last few years. When IPLore said "You vacillate between the pros and cons and then throw in a totally irrelevant quote from someone you received a message from", it is incorrect in multiple ways. 

You seem angry IPLore. Maybe you are annoyed that I am trying to deal with misinformation outside of this forum? Maybe you are annoyed that I see through your attempts to promote the Laser trademark? I admire your post about the Laser trademark, which shows a very specific line of thinking. Incidentally it is remarkably similar to a line of thinking being shared in private.

What I oppose IPLore is your misinformation, and your attempts to reframe the conversation to justify a high license fee.

---

I'm not being vindictive here IPLore, but I'm happy to expose your tactics. Please, could you be so kind as to backing that up a quote of me being vindictive? Otherwise people here will continue to think you are full of crap.

I have an allegiance for PSA and Global Sailing? My allegiance was and remains with ILCA and then Bruce Kirby.

Mostly, I want ILCA to remain in the control of the sailors.

---

Here's some unpleasant words that we should take more notice of than IPLore's attempts to yet again focus on me:

ILCA CAUGHT SPREADING FAKE NEWS Meeting with EURILCA members, ILCA's Eric Faust makes a number of claims in this video that are false and are questioned by the well-informed European members. But the biggest false claim is that LaserPerformance has refused to negotiate with ILCA. We remind ILCA that at the November 2018 ILCA World Council LP requested an all-party meeting to discuss our pending contractual issues in Dusseldorf around 9 January 2019. When LP formally requested ILCA to meet, there was NO REPLY even though we sent a number of reminders. We could have settled our issues then and would not be where we are today, with Eric spinning the story his way to get votes to drop the Laser name. The strategy all along has been to get rid of LP and commercialize ILCA with PSA as a partner.
Note that Laser Performance say that what Eric said is false, but doesn't say exactly what is false. Actually, I don't believe that what Eric said was false at all.

Please, can anyone show me where PSA, PSJ, Global Sailing, Bruce Kirby or ILCA has said anything remotely as unpleasant (or untrue), then I will happily criticize them.

It is unfortunate that such unpleasantness is being echoed by some Laser sailors, who until recently have relied on very few sources of information.

---

I apologize if I am wrong,
Apology accepted.

---

Agreeing a fair and reasonable fee will not be simple.  Rastegar will claim, with some justification, that he should not be out of pocket from the move to FRAND. That is,  the license fee paid to him should equal the net profit he would have made had he built the boat.  However there are at least two problems with this.

1. It may not be that simple to figure out the precise profit per boat he makes, given the complex business structure where his left hand is paying his right hand.

2. If newly licensed builders have to pay a fee big enough to cover Rastegar’s losses, the price of Lasers will go up, which will not be reasonable to anyone else.   New builders will not be able to compete on price, which is, almost by definition, unreasonable. 
Agreed more than not. (FRAND is not equivalent to World Sailing Olympic Equipment Policy, it is a part of it).

There is no agreement that the boat has to be branded Laser for ever. All of the agreements have exit clauses. 

There is a legal pathway to move forward without the Laser brand. What makes agreeing simple is that if the choice is made to no longer brand the boats "Laser" is made, then Rastegar will be even more out of pocket.

I believe that all ILCA World Council members are genuine when they say no longer using the Laser name would be a shame.

It is better for Rastegar to agree to licensing builders for free (or a small fee), rather than for the boat we currently call the Laser to use other brands.

For example, the brand "SailLaser", ("LaserPerformance has opened new SailLaser Centres on Lake Garda in Italy and in Berlin, Germany and aims to open new franchise centres globally on an on-going basis." Source.) . This and other uses of the Laser brand lose value if the name Laser is no longer a ubiquitous part of sailing.

Maybe as part of the deal Rastegar can have global rights to license merchandise (caps, jackets etc) and global rights to sell "SailLaser" franchises (Including Oceania, Korea and Japan) as they intended.

 
Last edited by a moderator:
The above by IPLore's latest post all about me contains many factual errors, mostly falsely characterizes what I have said over the last few years. When you said "You vacillate between the pros and cons and then throw in a totally irrelevant quote from someone you received a message from" is incorrect in multiple ways. 

You seem angry IPLore. Maybe you are annoyed that I see through your attempts to promote the Laser trademark? I admire your note which shows one line of thinking, which is incidentally remarkably similar to a line of thinking being shared in private. What I oppose IPLore is your misinformation, you attempts to reframe the conversation to justify a high license fee.

---

I'm not being vindictive here IPLore, but I'm happy to expose your tactics. Please, could be so kind as backing that up a quote of me being vindictive? Otherwise people here will continue to think you are full of crap.

I have an allegiance for PSA and Global Sailing? My allegiance was and remains with ILCA and then Bruce Kirby.

Mostly, I want ILCA to remain in the control of the sailors.

---

Here's some unpleasant words that we should take more notice of than IPLore's attempts to yet again focus on me:

Note that Laser Performance say that what Eric said is false, but doesn't say exactly what is false. Actually, I don't believe that what Eric said was false at all.

Please, can anyone show me where PSA, PSJ, Global Sailing, Bruce Kirby or ILCA has said anything remotely as unpleasant (or untrue), then I will happily criticize them.

It is unfortunate that such unpleasantness is being echoed by some Laser sailors, who until recently have relied on very few sources of information.

-
In case, Gantt/Bruce's post creates the misapprehension that I am communicating with him in private, I want to reassure other anarchists that I am not.

Neither have my position and opinions ever been biased in favor of Laser Performance...or for that matter biased in favor of PSA or Global sailing.

I will let my posts stand in comparison to Gantt's and the audience can judge which ones are informative and contribute some objective insight to the discussion, and which do not.

Have a great weekend and July 4th.

 
Last edited by a moderator:

JimC

Not actually an anarchist.
8,187
1,087
South East England
 and the audience can judge which ones are informative and contribute some objective insight to the discussion, 
One aspect of internet discourse that puzzles me is the way people think that persistent personal abuse and ad hominem attacks somehow reduce the credibility of the abused, rather than that of the abuser.

 

Wess

Super Anarchist
One aspect of internet discourse that puzzles me is the way people think that persistent personal abuse and ad hominem attacks somehow reduce the credibility of the abused, rather than that of the abuser.
Really; I mean its so hard to pick between facts and unbiased opinion and lies and slander. As pointed out in the last thread, one idiot reportedly runs a marketing company based on misleading polls.The other dude accurately predicted what was going to happen with the litigation long before it happened.  One I ignore and the other is always an interesting and insightful read even when I disagree with him. 

But hey this is pretty simple.

The parties will agree or they wont.

If they wont there will be a vote and the class will vote to keep or boot LPE.

If they vote yes we go to court, the class fractures, and life sucks.

If they vote no at a minimum life sucks for some who want to buy Laser outside of Europe.

So lets hope the parties agree and someone who canntt ever tell the truth or come to the table with an open mind (or any mind at all) grows up.

Are we bored by the lack of news or solid information from anyone yet?

 

Bruce Hudson

Super Anarchist
3,251
846
New Zealand
Really; I mean its so hard to pick between facts and unbiased opinion and lies and slander. As pointed out in the last thread, one idiot reportedly runs a marketing company based on misleading polls.The other dude accurately predicted what was going to happen with the litigation long before it happened.  One I ignore and the other is always an interesting and insightful read even when I disagree with him. 
(In case anyone thinks Wess is referring to me, I have never run a marketing company based on misleading polls. My companies have had very to do with any type of polls.) According to Wess, IPLore is interesting and insightful? AND in addition, the personal attacks on me are consistently liked by Tillerman.

Neither have my position and opinions ever been biased in favor of Laser Performance...or for that matter biased in favor of PSA or Global sailing.

I will let my posts stand in comparison to Gantt's and the audience can judge which ones are informative and contribute some objective insight to the discussion, and which do not.
I can believe that IPLore does not have a bias towards "the aussies", though has had one adainast for sure. Never in favor of Laser Performance? Try this:

If the class reintroduced a rule saying that a builder needed permission and an agreement from BKI/GS we all know that BKI/GS would not give that permission to a European and American builder. At least not one that would also be approved by the trademark holder and ISAF. 9.1 "Further builders may only be appointed with the prior written approval of BKI, Trade Mark Owner and the IYRU " The effect of introducing the "Gantt rule" would be that LP would be suspended as a class legal builder and there would be a deadlock on appointing a new builder until the case is resolved. No class legal boats could be built. In the meantime LP would sue ILCA for tortious interference.
This is a positioning statement by IPLore designed to support Laser Performance. There are many to choose from, and nearly as many claims by IPLore to have no bias. IPLore's claims of having no bias were in response of a number of people suggesting that he/she did.

I don't expect to ever find out who IPLore is, and how closely or not he/she is related to Laser Performance. In the end it does not matter.

---

What matters is that IPLore is trying to promote a case that justifies a fee for using the Laser trademark. Contained in that post is misinformation and it attempts to steer readers in a specific direction in favor of one of the three Laser trademark owners, which IPLore has been doing for several years.

---

Note that IPLore has deleted / hidden his/her at least one of his/her posts above. Particularly the post liked by Tillerman which included the word "vacillate", basically an attack on me and containing many inaccuracies. Posting inflammatory content then deleting it is a common technique used to 'troll' people.

 
Last edited by a moderator:
I can believe that IPLore does not have a bias towards "the aussies", though has had one adainast for sure. Never in favor of Laser Performance? Try this:

How can anyone argue with a straight face that it benefits Laser sailors to pass a rule saying that builders worldwide need to be approved by Global Sailing/BKI?

If the class reintroduced a rule saying that a builder needed permission and an agreement from BKI/GS we all know that BKI/GS would not give that permission to a European and American builder. At least not one that would also be approved by the trademark holder and ISAF. 9.1 "Further builders may only be appointed with the prior written approval of BKI, Trade Mark Owner and the IYRU " The effect of introducing the "Gantt rule" would be that LP would be suspended as a class legal builder and there would be a deadlock on appointing a new builder until the case is resolved. No class legal boats could be built. In the meantime LP would sue ILCA for tortious interference.


This is a positioning statement by IPLore designed to support Laser Performance. There are many to choose from, and nearly as many claims by IPLore to have no bias. IPLore's claims of having no bias were in response of a number of people suggesting that he/she did.

I don't expect to ever find out who IPLore is, and how closely or not he/she is related to Laser Performance. In the end it does not matter.

-
I will probably regret resuscitating this discussion from the Torch thread with Gantt. However for the purposes of consistency, I will reaffirm that I believe my position in 2013 was both factually accurate, unbiased and consistent with my position today.

I believe that the Class Association took the correct position on behalf of class members in 2013 and did so in a legally astute and ethical manner.  I believe that the best possible position for the sailors is that builders and commercial interests do not control the class. I argued that, in the case of the Laser, no one builder should control the class by having the sole right to appoint builders around the world.......and I believe that whether it be Laser Performance or Global Sailing (PSA) or BKI .

In contrast, Gantt's position does indeed appear to have vacillated. In 2013 he argued that the ILCA was wrong to revoke the rule which would have allowed GS to control the class.  In 2019 he argues that ILCA is right to revoke a rule which allows LP to control the class in Europe and NA. .

For the sake of consistency, is Gantt ready to admit that he was wrong in 2013?  He was wrong to have suggested that the class took a decision that was not in the best interest of class members? He was wrong in his prediction that there would be dire legal consequences for the class and most especially he was wrong to imply that class officers had acted in unethical and suspicious manner.

Coincidentally (??), the only consistent thread in Gantt's posts is his support for GS's position. 

 




Top