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

hoom

Super Anarchist
6,398
528
Orkland
That LP response seems like a complete non-sequitur if you ask me. They don't even bother to deny the breach that occurred only go straight to a weak defamation position.
That and rub the sailors noses in poop with

managed by a full-time professional team paid for by the builders through increased plaque fees
ie We charge you the sailor extra $$$ on your boat so that we can pay ourselves $$$ to continue to operate independently of and in opposition to the Class Association that is run by & for you the sailor.

 

CaptainAhab

Anarchist
795
201
South Australia
The only reason for them not to allow a inspection  would be a change in material or construction. I'm having a hard time imagining them lowering the quality.

Perhaps they figured out that it was more cost effective to glue the mast step and hull/deck joints with a gun adhesive like Plexus or West System Six10. Its got to be better than mixing up batches of bondo. Perhaps the quality of exterior plywood has gotten so bad that they had to start using marine ply for deck blocking. 

The other option could be they've been using a chopper gun and a Laser resembles a cheap tub instead of a boat.

 

Board skiff

Super Anarchist
1,606
672
The only reason for them not to allow a inspection  would be a change in material or construction. 
Well now, that’s not true. Maybe ILCA wanted LPE to pay their inspection expenses (from Texas) and LPE declined. Maybe the proposed date was inconvenient.  Maybe the ILCA rep didn’t have the necessary PPE to get to the factory floor.  Maybe the shop was full of commercially sensitive ARC rigs and ILCA were wanting to spy.  Who knows?

 

Daniel Holman

Anarchist
565
128
Maybe they wanted to force ILCA to react?
None of what sosoomi said would be in any way remarkable if ILCA and lpe had a decent functional relationship.

As it is, looks like the relationship has not been good, and ILCA were waiting for an opportunity to throw the book at lpe.

 

Wess

Super Anarchist
You folks are cracking me up. I think there is information spread over 4 threads about this latest move by ILCA (somebody pick one; any one).  Alas all anyone can do is speculate because there is precious little information (and pretty vague claims) in the public domain.

The only thing for sure is LPE own the name (for now).  Speculation but LPE's past statements make me think they are potentially pursuing a tortuous interference claim re ILCA.  Would further speculate that ILCA feels they are standing on firm ground.

Kinda wishing the Laser gets dropped from the Olympics.  That would eventually force the class and builders (whomever both ends up being) to focus more at the grass roots level which is where Laser was born.

But for now it sounds like more lawyers are going to make more money from sailors... sigh... 

 

dgmckim

Anarchist
582
282
North Carolina
Or maybe LP acts like a complacent monopoly and made an enormous blunder by miscalculating
i try not to paint anyone as incompetent or complacent as a default argument about their actions. this stuff is always more complicated than it appears on the surface. While people see LP as making counterintuitive or inexplicable choices, they may have a very good reason for doing such in terms of their own business priorities. I'm not defending LPs actions - they have made things very difficult for laser sailors, issues which seem to have resolved (somewhat) lately.

I hope the laser stays in the olympics. it's the only sailing class that really deserves to be there, to begin with, and the reason it deserves to be there has nothing to do with LP. it has everything to do with the number of sailors who sail it, the relatively low cost of entry and the breadth of the class around the world.

 

martin 'hoff

Super Anarchist
2,050
978
Miami
While people see LP as making counterintuitive or inexplicable choices, they may have a very good reason for doing such in terms of their own business priorities.
What was the Easter Islander saying, or thinking, while he chopped down the last tree?

Clearly, had a very good reason, in terms of his worldview and priorities...

 

Wess

Super Anarchist
I hope the laser stays in the olympics. it's the only sailing class that really deserves to be there, to begin with, and the reason it deserves to be there has nothing to do with LP. it has everything to do with the number of sailors who sail it, the relatively low cost of entry and the breadth of the class around the world.
You seem to be involved with the Laser at a club and grass roots level so your comment is interesting to me.  The Laser was always my favorite boat to race.  So accessible, pure and simple.  But the builders, and class is focused more on the high level sailors and not the club/grass roots.  I don't mean that as a criticism.  The class should represent its dues paying members and the numbers clearly tell a story that grass roots and club level sailors are not there (joining ILCA).  Now I don't know which came first, the chicken or the egg... ie if club sailors don't join because the class focus is at sailors above them or if the focus is there because club level sailors never joined in large numbers (I suspect this). All that said if you take away the Olympics the class would be forced to focus more at the club and grass roots level and that might be good.  Or not; YMMV!!

If nothing else there is one lesson here for all classes (or manufacturers).  Own everything.  All rights.  The name, the specs (or builders manual), etc...  This diluted ownership (of rights) structure sure ain't working so well for Laser anymore.

 

dgmckim

Anarchist
582
282
North Carolina
You seem to be involved with the Laser at a club and grass roots level so your comment is interesting to me.  The Laser was always my favorite boat to race.  So accessible, pure and simple.  But the builders, and class is focused more on the high level sailors and not the club/grass roots.  I don't mean that as a criticism.  The class should represent its dues paying members and the numbers clearly tell a story that grass roots and club level sailors are not there (joining ILCA).  Now I don't know which came first, the chicken or the egg... ie if club sailors don't join because the class focus is at sailors above them or if the focus is there because club level sailors never joined in large numbers (I suspect this). All that said if you take away the Olympics the class would be forced to focus more at the club and grass roots level and that might be good.  Or not; YMMV!!

If nothing else there is one lesson here for all classes (or manufacturers).  Own everything.  All rights.  The name, the specs (or builders manual), etc...  This diluted ownership (of rights) structure sure ain't working so well for Laser anymore.
My point was that from an Olympics standpoint, it would make sense to have the most accessible boat be the Olympic boat. This falls within the general understanding of Olympic Spirit, which might be defined as "The important thing is not to win, but to take part". In that sense, the more opportunity you have for people to get to the Olympics, the better.

 

Rum Runner

Rum Runner
5,277
294
Illinois
My point was that from an Olympics standpoint, it would make sense to have the most accessible boat be the Olympic boat. This falls within the general understanding of Olympic Spirit, which might be defined as "The important thing is not to win, but to take part". In that sense, the more opportunity you have for people to get to the Olympics, the better.
And you actually believe that the members of the IOC believe this? Their actual credo is more akin to, "Money Talks, Bullshit Walks".

 

dgmckim

Anarchist
582
282
North Carolina
And you actually believe that the members of the IOC believe this? Their actual credo is more akin to, "Money Talks, Bullshit Walks".
Nowhere in there did I assert what I think the IOC believes. I said what I thought regarding the Olympic equipment selection. What the IOC values will be evident when they make their choice. I thought it was pretty clear that it was my opinion on the matter, not what I think the IOC believes.

 

RobG

Super Anarchist
2,873
749
The only reason for them not to allow a inspection  would be a change in material or construction.
You're assuming a rational explanation. Nothing I've read or heard about LPE makes me think you should expect that. :-(

 

Bill5

Super Anarchist
2,651
2,128
Western Canada
World Sailing were to have inspected the manufacturing facility as part of the selection process. LPE must have hid all the secret stuff, although the WS inspection probably didn’t dive too deep. 

WS: “What is behind that locked door?”

LPE: “Um, er, just storage. Nothing in there of interest. Certainly nothing that impacts how we make Lasers. Honest! Are those RS fuckers telling you we are up to something?!?!”

WS: “Uh, no... just looking for the toilet...”

 
LASERPERFORMANCE RESPONSE TO ILCA

STATEMENT OF 27 MARCH 2019 2 April 2019

LASERPERFORMANCE (“LP”) finds the recent events deplorable as well as potentially catastrophic for the Laser sailors and the class organization as configured today. It is important to know the background to the current dispute.

The falsehoods and misrepresentations contained in the official ILCA announcement are disturbing since they reflect on the class organization and bear on the credibility of governance of the class.

LP makes the following statements and responds to ILCA’s misleading statements:

▪️ LP has granted ILCA certain rights to use the Laser Trademark for its activities pursuant to an intellectual property license dated February 1998 (the “1998 Agreement”).

▪️ LP has been seeking a renewal of the 1998 Agreement which expires after multiple extensions on 31 August 2019.

▪️ ILCA has steadfastly refused to enter into a renewal agreement of like substance and has refused to have any meetings with LP on the matter.

▪️ LP refused to have ILCA undertake an inspection of LP’s facilities five months before expiry of 1998 Agreement and after three years of ILCA refusing to renew its license under the 1998 Agreement.

▪️ LP does not and has not refused inspection of its manufacturing facility or its products by other legitimate regulatory bodies. Indeed, LP has formally requested World Sailing to inspect LP’s facility given that they are the ultimate authority for compliance and the issuance of the boats’ plaques.

▪️ ILCA has not shared any of this with the sailors nor have they proposed how it would operate without a valid license from LP after August 2019.

▪️ ILCA is not legally able to seek new manufacturers for Laser products in LP territory without LP’s consent. LP territory covers the world excluding Australia, New Zealand (PSA) and Japan, Korea (PSJ). This is a simple matter of ownership of intellectual property and LP will enforce against any party who attempts to violate LP’s intellectual property rights.

▪️ ILCA can indeed appoint new builders in Performance Sailcraft Australia (PSA) and Performance Sailcraft Japan (PSJ) limited territory; however, neither of them can supply boats into LP territory without LP’s consent.

▪️ PSA has tried in the past to import illegally into LP territory by a variety of schemes. LP has successfully enforced its property rights against PSA and will continue to enforce its rights against PSA and any collaborating dealers or persons. The last of such legal action was in Belgium and it was adjudicated in favor of LP with the dealer involved filing for bankruptcy to avoid payment of award pursuant to the court judgment.

▪️ PSA is unable to supply LP’s output even if they could legally sell into LP territories. Indeed, the last time PSA agreed to support a class event – also a World event – was the Youth Worlds 2016 in New Zealand with 105 boats which ended up in PSA withdrawing its support three months before the event.

▪️ PSA’s withdrawal meant cancellation of the event except for WS reaching out to LP to step in both to save the event and to prevent the adverse effects a major cancellation impacting the Olympics standing of Laser.

▪️ The 2024 Olympic is in Paris, France – an LP territory and LP can be the only authorized supplier of Laser boats at such event.

▪️ ILCA decertifying the most established and the original manufacturer of Laser sailboats will not end the supply of LP Lasers to our markets. However, it will signal to the Olympic authorities that the most popular Olympic sailing event has poor governance and leadership, leading to unpredictable supply.

▪️ LP, in partnership with its outstanding dealership network, has consistently shown that it is the only supplier that can consistently provide support to events and sailors at a global level.

LP proposes the following to prevent the implosion of the Laser class organization:

A. ILCA sign the renewal agreement to the 1998 Agreement in order to continue to use the granted trademark rights. 
B. ILCA move back to Europe where 75% of Laser sailors live and sail. 
C. ILCA appoint a professional executive team to run the class operations paid for by increased plaque fees charged to the builders.

LASERPERFORMANCE 
2 April 2019

[email protected]

 

MR.CLEAN

Moderator
45,426
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Strip away all the other bravado and chest beating and you end up with an admission that LP refused to let ILCA inspect the factory. Apparently that is breach of their license agreement with ILCA.
It's also a fairly common reason to repudiate a manufacturing contracts. 

If I don't make sure my client has the right to inspect its manufacturer in an agreement, it's probably malpractice.  Once the agreement is executed, If a party doesn't enforce its rights,  it may be deemed to have waived them.

Unless somehow the rules for manufacturing dinghies are different than the truck axles I am literally looking at in a manufacturing requirements contract I'm reviewing, or unless LPE's right to inspect isn't as clear as they seem to think. 

Call me crazy but it also seems like Rastey admitted in their release that they didn't allow ILCA in to inspect? 

 

JimC

Not actually an anarchist.
8,144
1,016
South East England
Remember this from the Sunfish Thread?: 

https://www.sunfishclass.org/documents/ISCA_President_Letter_Nov-07-17.pdf 

The World Council was prepared to sign a trademark agreement until LP required that the ISCA initials and the name International Sunfish Class Association name were to be signed over to LP as well. This was a deal breaker for the World Council.
One wonders if LPE were trying to pull a similar stunt on the ILCA. I don't speak lawyerese, but the phrase "agreement of like substance" doesn't seem to me to quite mean "identical to the previous agreement".

Incidentally this is the latest from ISCA

https://www.sunfishclass.org/news/article/sunfish-class-and-laser-performance

The Sunfish Class is disappointed to hear the news from ILCA and wants to share with all Sunfish Class members that our Class is working with LP to strengthen our relationship with the builder whereby LP will more actively support ISCA and USSCA operations and the Class will work with and support LP to achieve their objectives of geographic expansion and greater participation within the Sunfish Class by youth and women sailors.

 
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WCB

Super Anarchist
4,198
738
Park City, UT
Remember this from the Sunfish Thread?: 

https://www.sunfishclass.org/documents/ISCA_President_Letter_Nov-07-17.pdf 

One wonders if LPE were trying to pull a similar stunt on the ILCA. I don't speak lawyerese, but the phrase "agreement of like substance" doesn't seem to me to quite mean "identical to the previous agreement".

Incidentally this is the latest from ISCA

https://www.sunfishclass.org/news/article/sunfish-class-and-laser-performance
It's hard to feel that LP has any credibility since they have all but destroyed the Laser class in the US.  What retailers are left, and they've diminished greatly because LP wants to go direct to the consumer, can't get parts from the supplier because LP doesn't pay their bills.  When I talked to somebody in the know here in the US it sounded like LP was down to one employee.  There was some surprise as to who that person was and the position that they had found themself.  I don't know how the Sunfish class thinks that they can work with this format.  I applaud the decision to leave LP.  I work on a lot of Lasers to promote our fleet and I have had to go to "practice parts" too many times because you can't get the "legal" parts. Quite literally, there would be no "practice part" industry if it wasn't for the missteps of LP.

 

Wess

Super Anarchist
LASERPERFORMANCE RESPONSE TO ILCA

STATEMENT OF 27 MARCH 2019 2 April 2019

LASERPERFORMANCE (“LP”) finds the recent events deplorable as well as potentially catastrophic for the Laser sailors and the class organization as configured today. It is important to know the background to the current dispute.

The falsehoods and misrepresentations contained in the official ILCA announcement are disturbing since they reflect on the class organization and bear on the credibility of governance of the class.

LP makes the following statements and responds to ILCA’s misleading statements:

▪️ LP has granted ILCA certain rights to use the Laser Trademark for its activities pursuant to an intellectual property license dated February 1998 (the “1998 Agreement”).

▪️ LP has been seeking a renewal of the 1998 Agreement which expires after multiple extensions on 31 August 2019.

▪️ ILCA has steadfastly refused to enter into a renewal agreement of like substance and has refused to have any meetings with LP on the matter.

▪️ LP refused to have ILCA undertake an inspection of LP’s facilities five months before expiry of 1998 Agreement and after three years of ILCA refusing to renew its license under the 1998 Agreement.

▪️ LP does not and has not refused inspection of its manufacturing facility or its products by other legitimate regulatory bodies. Indeed, LP has formally requested World Sailing to inspect LP’s facility given that they are the ultimate authority for compliance and the issuance of the boats’ plaques.

▪️ ILCA has not shared any of this with the sailors nor have they proposed how it would operate without a valid license from LP after August 2019.

▪️ ILCA is not legally able to seek new manufacturers for Laser products in LP territory without LP’s consent. LP territory covers the world excluding Australia, New Zealand (PSA) and Japan, Korea (PSJ). This is a simple matter of ownership of intellectual property and LP will enforce against any party who attempts to violate LP’s intellectual property rights.

▪️ ILCA can indeed appoint new builders in Performance Sailcraft Australia (PSA) and Performance Sailcraft Japan (PSJ) limited territory; however, neither of them can supply boats into LP territory without LP’s consent.

▪️ PSA has tried in the past to import illegally into LP territory by a variety of schemes. LP has successfully enforced its property rights against PSA and will continue to enforce its rights against PSA and any collaborating dealers or persons. The last of such legal action was in Belgium and it was adjudicated in favor of LP with the dealer involved filing for bankruptcy to avoid payment of award pursuant to the court judgment.

▪️ PSA is unable to supply LP’s output even if they could legally sell into LP territories. Indeed, the last time PSA agreed to support a class event – also a World event – was the Youth Worlds 2016 in New Zealand with 105 boats which ended up in PSA withdrawing its support three months before the event.

▪️ PSA’s withdrawal meant cancellation of the event except for WS reaching out to LP to step in both to save the event and to prevent the adverse effects a major cancellation impacting the Olympics standing of Laser.

▪️ The 2024 Olympic is in Paris, France – an LP territory and LP can be the only authorized supplier of Laser boats at such event.

▪️ ILCA decertifying the most established and the original manufacturer of Laser sailboats will not end the supply of LP Lasers to our markets. However, it will signal to the Olympic authorities that the most popular Olympic sailing event has poor governance and leadership, leading to unpredictable supply.

▪️ LP, in partnership with its outstanding dealership network, has consistently shown that it is the only supplier that can consistently provide support to events and sailors at a global level.

LP proposes the following to prevent the implosion of the Laser class organization:

A. ILCA sign the renewal agreement to the 1998 Agreement in order to continue to use the granted trademark rights. 
B. ILCA move back to Europe where 75% of Laser sailors live and sail. 
C. ILCA appoint a professional executive team to run the class operations paid for by increased plaque fees charged to the builders.

LASERPERFORMANCE 
2 April 2019

[email protected]
Thanks for posting that VWAP.  That is one hell of a statement. This is gonna be messy.

 
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