The International Laser Class Association (ILCA) claim rule change approved by more than two-thirds of the members.
The ILCA claims that the proposed change to the Class Rules to modify the definition of a builder has been approved by more than two-thirds of the members responding to the published ballot.
The rule change proposal was to remove the requirement for a class approved builder to ‘have the rights to use a Laser trademark’.
This proposel was a work-around by ILCA to ensure that the ‘Laser’ could comply with the World Sailing FRAND policies for Olympic classes.
The FRAND policy requires the existing three builders to agree to allow other builders to sell boats called ‘Lasers’ in their territories, for a licensing fee.
As they have been unable to agree on the licensing fee, ILCA came up with this rule change proposal to ‘decouple’ the class from the trademark owners.
By members voting to remove the requirement, new builders would be able to sell ‘Lasers’ without a trademark agreement with the existing builders.
This is what ILCA is now claiming has been approved by 81% of the members, and based on the ballots remaining to be confirmed, it is expected that the final result will be approximately 79% YES, 21% NO.
The ILCA has now submitted the rule change proposal to World Sailing as required under World Sailing Regulation 10, and the change will go into immediate effect after World Sailing confirmation is received.
It is not clear if this means that dinghy known as the ‘Laser’ will now be sold as the ‘ILCA’ or some other name by any company deciding to build and market them.
The World Sailing Board has yet to announce its view on all of this.