September 22, 2015

ILCA - Legal Mumbo Jumbo

by Pam
I rarely read the Sailing Anarchy forum these days but when I do I always get a quick read on the some of the questions being asked by the class members (and non-members). Things usually begin with a little speculation, then a few people throw in a couple of facts, then the speculation continues on this mixture of speculation and facts. 

It's like reading one of those historic fiction novels where you can't tell where history leaves off and someone's imagination kicks in.  Finally, I get frustrated and head to the Internet to look everything up for myself just to satisfy my curiosity. 

One of the questions recently was about the ILCA.  What kind of entity is the ILCA?  Where is the main office?  I did a little research and couldn't find a definitive answer but it appears the ILCA (or their attorneys) may be misrepresenting the organization in some legal documents.  I always start by following the patents and other legal documents.  Presumably, they'll want to be sure to get this stuff right:


Radial Sail with Reinforced Luff Tube
US 8739721 - (US patent)  filed Dec. 9, 2010 and granted Jun. 3, 2014
WO 2012/076852  (PCT international application) filed Dec. 9, 2011 - will never grant
AU 2011340315 (PCT national application) - not a patent - it's still in examination
GB 2499751 (PCT national application) - not a patent - it's still in examination
US D664493 - (US design patent) filed Feb. 9, 2010 and granted Jul. 31, 2012


In 2011, the US patents were assigned to the ILCA (UK address).  

In 2013, when the UK patent application was filed, the UK database indicated the ILCA is "incorporated in the United Kingdom"

In June 2013, the Texas Comptroller lists the name of the ILCA as "Laser Class Association Inc" and indicates it is a Texas non-profit corporation with offices in Austin, TX.  The formation documents at the Texas Secretary of State list the management as Tracy Usher, Hugh Leicester, and Andy Roy with Eric Faust being the organizer and registered agent for the LCAI.  The Assumed Name (the d/b/a or doing business as) documents list the International Laser Class Association as the d/b/a for the Laser Class Association Inc.

As of Septemper 13, 2015, the UK Land Registry shows Jeff Martin as the current Lessee of 51B Church Street, Falmouth, UK TR11 3DS but the lease also indicates the lease termination date was January 31, 2013.  Companies House has always been the 'go to' place to find information about a UK company and yet the ILCA isn't listed. 

It has been suggested on Sailing Anarchy that the ILCA is an Isle of Man company which doesn't have records that can be looked up to verify anything.  It has also been suggested on Sailing Anarchy that it is a British unincorporated association which isn't required to register anywhere so it can't be verified.  

Why would Jeff Martin have the lease for the UK ILCA office in his own name unless the ILCA really is an unincorporated association, as I believe those types of entities can't hold title to property?  It is my understanding that under British law, the Isle of Man is not part of the UK.  So, given the legal documents in place that have declared the ILCA to be a UK company, I'm leaning toward believing that it is an unincorporated UK association. 

If that assumption is true, then how can the ILCA hold title to the US patents (if a UK unincorporated association has no such right to hold title to personal property which is what a patent is)?  And how could it ever hope to enforce its rights in the US patents (since it would have no right to do so)?  So, why wouldn't the ILCA want the Texas non-profit corporation to hold title to the patents instead of the UK entity? 

So, I'm left with more questions than answers. I'm going to have to stop visiting Sailing Anarchy.  It makes my head hurt.

September 17, 2015

Update on Kirby/LPE Litigation

by Pam

Karaya LASER TM Cancellation Proceeding (92/057,167)

10-Oct-14 Proceedings Terminated - contractual estoppel - the "Head Agreement" dated July 11, 1983 stated BKI "shall not at any time question or contest directly or indirectly the validity of the trademark ‘LASER’” and would not do any act “which would or is likely to invalidate the trademark ‘LASER’ in any country of the world . . . "
Velum LASER TM Cancellation Proceeding (92/057,217)

12-Oct-15 Plaintiff's Pretrail Disclosures
26-Nov-15 Plaintiff's 30-day Trail Period Ends
11-Dec-15 Defendant's Pretrial Disclosures
25-Jan-16 Defendant's 30-day Trial Period Ends
09-Feb-16 Plaintiff's 15-day Rebuttal Disclosures
10-Mar-16 Plaintiff's 15-day Rebuttal Period Ends

Kirby v. LP Lawsuit (3:13-cv-00297)
Parties: BKI - Bruce Kirby, Inc. (Plaintiff-Counterclaim Defendant)
BK - Bruce Kirby (Plaintiff-Counterclaim Defendant)
LPE - LaserPerformance (Europe) Limited (Defendant-Counterclaim Plaintiff)
QM - Quarter Moon, Incorporated (Defendant-Counterclaim Plaintiff)
ILCA - International Laser Class Association (Defendant)
GSL - Global Sailing Limited (Additional Counterclaim Defendant)
PSA - Performance Sailcraft Pty. Ltd. (Additional Counterclaim Defendant) - DISMISSED 11-20-14
KL - Kayara (Jersey) Limited (Defendant) - DISMISSED 2-27-14 - lack of personal jurisdiction
VL - Velum Limited (Defendant) -
DISMISSED 2-27-14 - lack of personal jurisdiction
ISAF - International Sailing Federal Limited (Defendant) -
DISMISSED 2/27/14 - lack of personal jurisdiction
FR - Farzad Rastegar (Defendant) -
DISMISSED 2/27/14 - failure to state claim
174 Motion to Dismiss by ILCA
180 Motion for Summary Judgment by BK, BKI
183 Motion for Summary Judgment by ILCA
184 Motion for Summary Judgment by GSL
186 Motion for Summary Judgment by LPE, QM
18-Sep-15 2:00 PM Hearing on 174, 180, 183, 184, 186 motions

Update: 9-18-15 Minutes

September 06, 2015

Duct Tape - Is There Anything It Cannot Do?

By Doug
There are many ways that we use duct tape on a Laser boom.

Around the gooseneck prevents the cunningham from getting jammed... 

Around the vang key prevents it from falling out...

As a quick repair kit (saved my butt in a race at the 1991 Worlds in Greece)...

I've even seen people tape a banana to their boom.

But as I get older, there's one more use that I have just figured out. When the vang is really cranked in, I'm finding it harder and harder to get under the boom when I tack and my mainsheet sometimes gets caught behind me on my life jacket. In fact, tipping because of this cost me a first place at a local event last year.

So here's one more use - make this...

...and put it here...

But is this legal? I checked with the Laser Class Chief Measurer Jean-Luc Michon at the recent Kingston Worlds. He said yes, it's perfectly legal.
Awesome coach Rulo from Cabarete with Jean-Luc.
So, no more getting caught under the boom... and one less thing to worry about as I get older!

Update #1: I've never used this in a regatta but was curious to learn more, so I asked the ILCA to officially rule on this during measurement at the 2016 Worlds. It was one "not sure" and one "no." So after a deliberation, the ruling was officially "no, as this use of duct tape creates another fitting."

Update #2: Jean-Luc contacted me and said that this was a misunderstanding as this would be considered to be a new fitting under Rule 42. Thanks for the update.
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