Progress Towards Laser Olympic 2024 Agreements

On May 19th the World Sailing Council voted to retain the Laser and Laser Radial Class boats as equipment for the Men’s and Women’s One-Person Dinghy events for the 2024 Olympics.

Full approval for the 2024 Games is now contingent on the relevant parties agreeing to the terms of the Olympic Classes Contract by August 1, 2019.

Included in this new Olympic Classes Contract is a requirement that if the boat or equipment is protected by patents, trademarks (as Laser is) or other intellectual property, the owner of the IP rights is required to grant a license to any qualified new manufacturer on fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory terms (known as ‘FRAND’).

World Sailing is leading discussions with ILCA and the builders with the goal of obtaining agreement on the Olympic Classes Contract and implementing a FRAND compliant licensing policy before August 1, 2019.

Obtaining agreement with the current builders, the IP rights holders will allow the class to remain Olympic and to continue under the Laser brand name.

ILCA has a Plan B which would remove the requirement for the boats and equipment to be provided by Laser trade mark holders. This Plan B would only be enacted if the builders and trade mark holders do not agree to the WS set terms and deadline of 1 August 2019.

Plan B requires a class rule change which it self needs a vote and 2/3rd majority approval by class members. ILCA has said that they will delay putting the rule change proposal to the vote until no agreement with the builders to WS’s terms and deadline is possible.

There is a more detailed update on the ILCA web site HERE.

There is a comprehensive description HERE by ILCA President Tracy Usher covering the issues and ILCA action on Plan A and what will be needed for Plan B. Either course of action if implemented by August 1, 2019 would see the Laser retained in the Olympics in 2024.