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STAR CLIPPERS, INC. WINS IN U.S. COURT OF APPEALS

 STAR CLIPPERS, INC. WINS IN U.S. COURT OF APPEALS
 MIAMI, Jan. 7 /PRNewswire/ -- Star Clippers, Inc., the Miami-based


cruise line with the two largest sailing clipper ships ever built, announced today it has won total victory in the law suit that sought to deny continued use of the word "clipper" to describe its unique sailing ships and cruises.
 The U.S. Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit in St. Louis has quickly ruled unanimously that the Lower District Court was "clearly erroneous" in finding the term "clipper" is not generic in regard to ships and related cruise services. Instead, it is a merely descriptive term that may freely be used as Star Clippers had maintained from the beginning. The judgment applied to a suit brought incredibly by the operators of small coastal power vessels, Clipper Cruise Line, that it alone somehow was entitled to use the word "clipper", Star Clippers said.
 In overturning the Lower Court, the Court of Appeals quoted the definition of clipper in Webster's New International Dictionary, Third edition, 1981: "A fast sailing ship, especially a full-rigged ship of a type developed by American builders about 1840, characterized by long slender lines, an overhanging bow, tall raking masts, and a large sail area."
 The court continued, in its ruling signed for the courts, Chief Judge Donald Lay: "A clipper ship is clearly a common term which has enjoyed a common meaning and usage. Under these circumstances, we conclude, Clipper Cruise Line may not prohibit Star Clippers from describing its services as what they are -- cruises aboard sailing ships bearing a strong resemblance to the clipper ships of old. To avoid unreasonably restraining the public's use of the language, the exclusive appropriation of generic words must be discouraged. The public has an interest in the "natural enrichment of the language and the prevention of the 'diminution of the language through private acquisition'."
 Accordingly, the Court of Appeals ruled: "Judgment reversed and remanded with directions to dissolve the preliminary injunction and to dismiss the complaint."
 Mikael Krafft, owner-builder in 1990 and 1991 of the two sailing clipper ships, "Star Flyer" and "Star Clipper", said the Court of Appeals finding does more than affirm the right of his ships to continue use of the word "clipper." He said: "It also guarantees continued free use of the word by myriads of ships of all kinds, throughout the world. All have sought to pay homage by relating the word to the great period in American life when in the mid-19th century U.S. sailing clipper ships were the swiftest long distance carriers of cargo and passengers. It also means in the United States and in the rest of the world an unbroken tradition of 150 years is free to continue.
 "The clippers established the United States as the pioneer in international scheduled commerce and actually made the U.S. for a period the greatest shipping nation in the world, developing modern shipping for peaceful uses. Clipper quickly came in common use to mean great speed under sail.
 "This has been a victory as well for common sense," he said. "It has been baffling to have been singled out for an unjust lawsuit during our first passenger season introducing the biggest sailing clipper ships ever seen. We based much of our design on those of Donald McKay, perhaps the greatest naval architect of the clipper ship period, whom I have admired since my boyhood when I started my life-long dream to build a true clipper ship. This lawsuit has been an unbelievable process for us in Europe. I have been inundated with letters of shock about the lawsuit from maritime museums, maritime organizations and sailing buffs, in the United States and abroad, offering all support and business.
 "Now Star Clippers can concentrate on our cruises in the Caribbean and the Mediterranean, and as the only passenger sail ships scheduling regular sailings across the Atlantic. "Star Flyer" will go eastbound in late June, the first commercial square-rigged vessel to do so since the early days of this century. Both she and "Star Clipper" will carry passengers on the Columbus route westbound in the late summer and mid-fall, celebrating his 500th anniversary.
 "Such crossings are what fast sailing clipper ships are all about, and one reason we fought to maintain our right to call ourselves by that designation. I am grateful to the American court system for upholding general rights to the word "clipper."
 -0- 1/7/92
 /CONTACT: Alan Bell or Robert Kneeley of Robert Kneeley & Co., 305-493-8220, for Star Clippers, Inc./ CO: Star Clippers, Inc. ST: Florida IN: LEI MAR SU:


AW-SS -- FL003 -- 7257 01/07/92 10:44 EST
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Date:Jan 7, 1992
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