From the link Tillerman provided on Saturday, here are a few Q's and A's from the ILCA:1. Keep the trade mark and the name and used the equitable claim of "acquiescence" . A defensive claim of acquiescence may be available where the trademark owner has represented to the user (ie ILCA) that the mark may be used and the user relies on that representation to its prejudice (Such that if ILCA was forced to drop the trademark, they would be harmed). Knowledge that ILCA was using the mark for decades and not doing anything about it will strengthen a claim of "acquiescence". A license agreement between LuP and the ILCA allowing ILCA to use the trademark will undermine a defense of acquiescence.
2.Keep the name and claim a "fair use" or "functional" use of the trademark. The ILCA might be entitled to use the word Laser on its website or even in its name to indicate that it is an association for Laser owners provided it does not convey the impression that there is a commercial connection or affiliation with LP. For example a Jaguar repair shop in Boston can use the word Jaguar on its website and even in its name provided it is clear that it is not an authorized Jaguar dealership : http://www.brooklinejaguarbmw.com/
3. Drop the trade mark, keep the name and claim that the word "Laser" is generic and is not a trademark if it is unaccompanied by the sunburst logo. I would rate the chances of success of this option as close to zero because the word "Laser" in relation to boats is quite clearly "arbitrary" not "generic" and thus is a trademark, similar to Apple with regard to computers.
4. Drop the trademark and the name but make the cross reference . International Gamma Class Association - representing the owners of boats formerly known as Lasers. I think this is the safest and most likely option. Option #2 would have been a good one for the Sunfish Class but since the ILCA is going to appoint additional builders, I think #2 would be difficult.
Hope this is helpful IPL.
"Q: Will boats from the newly-named builders be sold under the LASER brand?
A: No. In order to avoid trademark issues and to comply with the requirements of European competition law, all current and future ILCA-approved builders will sell boats under a new brand name. ILCA and the current approved builders are finalizing the intellectual property details for the new brand, including fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory (FRAND) licensing rules. ILCA expects to announce the new brand name in the next four weeks.
Q: If the name of the boat changes, what will happen to my Laser? Will it still be legal to race?
A: All current, class-legal Lasers are and will remain ILCA class-legal. The proposed change simply changes the brand name to avoid trademark complications. The new system would allow class-legal Lasers (those with World Sailing Plaques) to participate in any ILCA event along with the new, alternately branded boats. After all, it’s the boat that matters, not the brand!
Q: How can the Laser stay in the Olympics if the name of the boat changes?
A: The name of the Olympic events that include the Laser are the “Men’s and Women’s One-Person Dinghy,” and the name of the boat is irrelevant to the Olympics. Like ILCA and World Sailing, the International Olympic Committee cares about events, athletes and equipment, not brands.
Q: Is World Sailing aware of these changes?
A: Yes. ILCA has kept World Sailing fully informed during this process and we continue to work in close cooperation with the governing body of our sport."
So, it appears they have pretty much decided already to go with 4.