Posts Tagged 'bruce kirby'

3 strikes for Laser Performance

this is more applicable to Laser sailors than Sunfish sailors, but trickle down effects will likely cause supply issues for Sunfish sailors as well. Sunfish boats and parts have been really hard to find in stock recently, and with LP having to pay this much in fines and legal fees, I can’t imagine it’s going to get any better for a while. LP is no longer a licensed Laser builder, wonder how long they’ll hang on to the Sunfish as well.

Scuttlebutt has the following article about the ongoing saga between the designer of the Laser sailboat, Bruce Kirby, and the sailboat builder, Laser Performance.

This case is about a long-running dispute involving Laser sailboats. In 2013, plaintiffs

Bruce Kirby and his namesake company Bruce Kirby, Inc. (“BKI”) filed this action against multiple defendants including defendants Quarter Moon, Inc. (“QMI”) and LaserPerformance

(Europe) Ltd. (“LPE”).

Following years of pre-trial litigation, I presided over a jury trial in February 2020 on claims for trademark infringement under the Lanham Act and for common law misappropriation of Bruce Kirby’s name. The jury returned a verdict in favor of both Kirby and BKI.

First, it awarded damages of $4,337,157.49 to BKI for trademark infringement by QMI. Second, it found both QMI and LPE liable to Kirby for misappropriation of his name, awarding damages of $2,520,578.81 against LPE and nominal damages against QMI.

It also found that both QMI and LPE should be liable for punitive damages for the misappropriation claim in an amount to be determined by the Court.

Defendants have moved to dismiss for lack of jurisdiction and for a new trial, while plaintiffs have moved for entry of judgment in their favor. For the reasons set forth below, I will deny defendants’ motion to dismiss and for a new trial, but I will grant in major part plaintiffs’ motion for entry of judgment (subject to a reduction in the damages award), for attorneys’ fees under the Lanham Act, and for punitive damages under Connecticut common law.

All in all, I will award damages of $4,577,315.14 along with payment of $804,179.44 in punitive damages, which includes attorneys’ fees in the amount of $734,528.30.

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