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the straight scoopy on "Clark Sails"

Hi Chuck,

Brian Kerrigan was kind enough to write to me this morning and share a bit
of the history of his company.

There is no connection between his company and the Clark Sails of Seattle
that was the OEM sailmaker for our boats.  He has no legal basis for any
demand that we stop using the phrase "Clark Sails".

When his company was in business in the 1970's as Clark Sails, it was asked
to relinquish its name to Clark Sails (of Seattle).  From Brian's message:
"After Tom Clark died in 1989, the new owner called the owner of Clark
Sails in Washington and was given permission to reclaim the original name
of Clark Sails, which is us. We are in Essex, CT."

Another bit from Brian's note to me (note the website link):
>We have made some san juan 23 sails. Not on a regular basis though. We are
>mostly a traditional sail loft that uses dacron in our sails. We don't get
>into mylars or kevlars as they don't last very long. If you want to visit
>our site we are at

As I undestand Brian's message to me this morning, Clark Sails of
Connecticut does not own the copyright to the documents we are presenting
on the web site, and has never owned the copyright.  He does indeed claim
to own the trademark to the name "Clark Sails" (based only on Brian's
message, not based on any research of my own).

Even if Brian's claim to ownership and federal registry of the trademark
"Clark Sails" is correct, he does not have the right to restrict us from
referring to the phrase.  That would be like Bill Gates demanding that CNN
not use the word "Microsoft".  If another company popped up and wanted to
call themselves Clark Sails that might be another story.  But he has no
right to prevent us from saying "Clark Sails made the original SJ23 sails".
Chuck, your decision to remove the name from the web pages is kind and
shows good faith, but based on my own understanding is completely

Brian, I regret to say that I think you've manufactured a tempest in a
You have gone far out of your way to create some ill will for your company
among a dedicated bunch of sailors and former prospective customers.  I do
believe that until now there might have been potential for confusion
between your firm and the company that made the original San Juan sails.
But I will most assuredly make certain than anyone I talk to understands
that you are completely independent of that good loft.

Hal Mueller  
Corvallis, Oregon (dance)
Home:  (541) 752-4776
Work:  (541) 754-4490

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