I copied this from sailing anarchy. Someone appears to have done a careful SEO search.
From ‘strange tales of sailing and the law’ comes this nugget; it seems a guy named Richard Smith has defeated the America’s Cup and its legendarily aggressive intellectual property subsidiary, ACPI, and Smith now claims he now owns the trademark on the following words:
“America’s Cup Masters, America’s Cup Legends, AC Masters, AC Legends, Classic America’s Cup, America’s Cup Classics, Historic America’s Cup, America’s Cup Heritage, Heritage America’s Cup, International America’s Cup Class Masters, International America’s Cup Class Legends, IACC Masters, IACC Legends, America’s Cup Class Masters, America’s Cup Class Legends, ACC Masters, ACC Legends, J Class Masters, J Class Legends, 12 Metre Masters, 12 Metre Legends, 12 Meter Masters, 12 Meter Legends, Twelve Metre Masters, Twelve Metre Legends, Twelve Meter Masters, Twelve Meter Legends, Universal Rule Masters, Universal Rule Legends, History of the America’s Cup, America’s Cup History and America’s Cup Hall of Fame.”
ACPI is best known to us as the company that used threats and intimidation to ban the Little America’s Cup from using its own name; a name that had been used for decades before any America’s Cup holder started enforcing it’s claimed rights to the words. Our analysis showed us that it was likely America’s Cup’s Trademark claims were far weaker than they seemed to believe, and we encouraged someone to stand up to bullying by the AC admins, or alternatively we called for the AC to back down and try to help preserve sailing history and the name of a great event, but they ignored all pleas for logic, in favor of greed and exclusivity.
And at least according to one guy, intellectual property law seems to have caught up with the nasty folks at ACPI, even though it seems to have happened very quietly. From the ‘news’ section of AmericasCupMasters.com last March:
“Trademark agents instructed by Sam Hollis, legal counsel for America’s Cup and CEO of America’s Cup Properties Incorporated, have conceded that America’s Cup Properties Incorporated and the America’s Cup Event Authority do not own any intellectual property in America’s Cup Masters. A spokesman for the owners of America’s Cup Masters said today:“We are delighted that the absurdly hostile attempt to take control of the America’s Cup Masters intellectual property by lawyers acting on behalf of America’s Cup Properties and America’s Cup Event Authority has collapsed.”
A quick look at TESS didn’t find any trademarks registered under America’s Cup Masters in the US, but the mere fact that Smith’s site hasn’t been nuked off the internet indicates that the thousand-dollar-an-hour lawyers working for Ellison’s mob didn’t have a case. More importantly, it indicates that they may not have a case against anyone, especially the Little America’s Cup guys. The silence in this case further suggests that Mr. Smith may have agreed to keep quiet about it for the time being, perhaps to prevent appeals or other legal-fee churns, or he may just be British…we’re not sure. But Smith is definitely not going away, using his newfound mastery over the ACPI folks to begin promoting a series of regattas for (we think) 12 metre yachts, or perhaps Tom Ehman’s Super 12s? It’s hard to say, really, though those interested should browse the Masters site for news here.
The Super 12 link could be very interesting given the intellectual property conversation, especially if the link between Smith and Ehman is something more than coincidence; Ehman worked for ACPI for years enforcing America’s Cup trademark rights against dozens of potential infringers…
a recent response to the “official” letter. As I read it; missing the point.; however self serving.
At last a statement of fact. accurately expressing things as they are.
The proposed boats would never measure as a twelve meter. They are being proposed as the next evolution of the twelve meter however.
you will see that the photos are of past 12 meters and IACC yachts which were successors to the 12’s in the America’s Cup.
INTERNATIONAL TWELVE METRE ASSOCIATION 7 Warner St.
Newport RI 02840
20 January 2016 By Email
Mr. Thomas F. Ehman
San Francisco Yacht Racing Cup
We have followed with interest your efforts to establish a new racing class in San Francisco conceptually modelled on the International Twelve Metre.
While we have no issue with the formation of such a class, the International Twelve Metre Class does object to your continued use of the heritage and history of our class in the promotion of your new one.
As I have mentioned to you before, our Class is active and healthy, especially in the North American Fleet based in Newport, and the in the Northern European Fleet based in the Baltic where the newest Twelve was launched in 2015. This is in addition to the recent refurbishment or restoration of several Twelves such as VICTORY ’83, DEFENDER, BLUE MARLIN, ITALIA II, and VIM.
Further, we have registered with authorities our objection to your use of the International Twelve Metre Class Insignia. Such use is completely at odds with the mutual respect for each other that has existed between sailboat classes since the adoption of such insignia at national and international levels.
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As you are well aware, the current 12 Metre Class Insignia has been in continuous use since the adoption of the Second International Rule. Further, the addition of an “S” was used by the Scandinavian 12’s built to the Second Rule but prior to the effective date of universal implementation of the Second Rule. Subsequently, as you also are aware, the “S” has been used by yachts built to the Universal Rule at 17’ rating, specifically the Herreshoff “S” Boat one-design first launched in 1919, and still an active racing class.
Since you have decided not to affiliate your new concept with the Twelve Metre Class, we demand that you and your agents immediately cease using the Twelve Metre in promoting your effort, and cease using the International Twelve Metre Class Insignia.
As I have written to you before, ITMA, our owners, and our sponsors do not wish to see our class, legacy, or brand diluted by your efforts. If your effort is worthwhile it should be able to stand on its own, not on the Twelve Metre Class.
W.H. Dyer Jones, President.
Cc: ITMA Officers and Members
Banque Populaire’s record stands intact. Here is Brian Hancock’s report:
There is a cruel reality that sets in when you run out of runway and that’s exactly what happened this morning aboard Spindrift Racing, the 130-foot long (40-meter) trimaran in search of the Jules Verne record. The reality set in aboard IDEC Sport a few days ago when they knew that it would be impossible to close the gap between their position and the finish off Ushant on the west coast of France in the time that they had left to break the record, but aboard Spindrift 2 things were different. Until the last few days that still had a chance of breaking the record but the combination of a ridge of high pressure directly in their path and some stormy seas ahead the crew made the tough decision to stop sailing in record setting mode.
The gig is up. Banque Populaire V will retain the record of 45 days, 13 hours, 22 minutes, and 53 seconds set back in 2012.
The message on Spindrift’s Facebook page reads as follows; “We are 2,200 nautical miles from the finish line off Ushant and we are on our 43rd day at sea.” They would have to close that distance at an average speed of roughly 36 knots in order to break the record. Their Facebook post continued. “Although the crew have battled incessantly, closing the gap by more than 700 miles in the last three days, we still remain 170 miles off the pace.” The pace they are referring to is where Banque Populaire V was at the same time into their record setting circumnavigation. In addition to the almost 200 mile deficit it was the weather that did them in. A ridge of the Azores High has blocked their direct route with violent storms closer to the French coast forecast.
Between the two weather obstacles it will be all but impossible to get to the finish in record setting time. Spindrift skipper Yann Guichard released a short statement saying “We have not given up, but although the record is no longer attainable, the adventure continues. Our goal is, of course, to complete the circle of this voyage around the world and to cross the finish line off Ushant.”
Truthfully Banque Populaire V’s record pace was more ahead of Spindrift Racing than behind. There were a few occasions, especially in the early days where both Spindrift and IDEC Sport were well ahead of the record, but the Southern Ocean was not kind. More specifically the proximity of ice, which was further north than normal, forced both boats to sail a longer distance than Banque Populaire V. Despite the extra miles sailed, Spindrift 2 rounded Cape Horn with a sizable lead over the record holder but that lead faded quickly in the fickle winds off the South American coast.
And then you run out of runway. There is the finish line, an imaginary line that runs from the Créac’h lighthouse on Ile de Oessant (Ushant Island) to Lizard Point on the southwest corner of England. And there is the clock. End of story. It’s a tough ending but let’s not forget that the record is held by Loick Peyron, probably the most experienced sailor alive.
He and his crack crew had their own fair share of problems but they sailed an impeccable circumnavigation and so for now their record stands and it’s going to be a tough one to beat. – Brian Hancock.
No one will remember which boat will win the Sydney-Hobart rave on corrected time. Comanche was first to finish and did so in spectacular style. I thought a smaller boat would have survived the southerly buster while the 100 footers would have all withdrawn with damage. Hats off the the seamanship.
Meanwhile in the southern atlantic both IDEC and Spindrift are losing ground by the minute to the “Ghost” Banque Populaire.
BOTH SPINDRIFT AND IDEC ARE AHEAD OF BANQUE POPULAIRE EXITING THE PACIFIC. WITH ABOUT 7,000 MILES LEFT TO THE FINISH AND 15 DAYS. SPINDRIFT IS ABOUT 500 MILES IN FRONT OF THE RECORD RIGHT NOW AND IDEC IS 175 MILES AHEAD.
NAVIGATING THE HIGH PRESSURE ZONES WILL BE THE TRICK SAILING NORTH IN THE ATLANTIC ONCE AGAIN.