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Lotus wins - Lotus loses

A High Court decision in London on Friday has ruled that Team Lotus [owned by Tony Fernandes] can continue to race in Formula One under the name following a legal dispute with Group Lotus [owned by Proton].

The court hearing has been a long time in coming following a fall out between the two parties last year.

In regards to that particular argument, Mr Justice Peter Smith ruled in favour of Group Lotus and that Team Lotus must pay it damages for the breach of a licensing agreement in 2010.

However in regards to the use of the name in F1, Mr Justice Peter Smith ruled in favour of Team Lotus who bought the rights to the name ahead of the start of this season from businessman David Hunt.

That decision means that they can continue to race with the Team Lotus badge and name and in the traditional Lotus racing colours of British racing green.

Group Lotus will continue to sponsor Renault, can continue to use the black and gold livery made famous by the John Player Special sponsorship of the 1980's and in the future are the only team who can race as just 'Lotus'.

'It's a victory for Team Lotus and Tony Fernandes in that they can continue to use the Team Lotus name in Formula 1. Group Lotus will clearly be disappointed but at least this allows them to continue in F1 as sponsors of the Renault team.' BBC F1 pit-lane reporter Ted Kravitz said on the verdict.

Team Lotus Team principal Tony Fernandes told Autosport Magazine: 'We are all pleased that it has been clarified that we are the rightful owners of Team Lotus. We have always been confident that the factual evidence we presented would lead to this decision and today's judgment confirms that belief.

'We are of course disappointed about the decision that Group Lotus was entitled to end the licence agreement in 2010. We entered into that contract on the basis that we were beginning a long-term partnership with Group Lotus but unfortunately they then used technical breaches of the merchandising pre-notification process to bring the licence and our partnership to an end.

'However, my fellow shareholders and I are firm believers that when one door closes another door opens. In the early days of our agreement we realised its termination was inevitable and as events have unfolded the end of the licence has proved positive for us, with many new avenues being opened up as a result.'

Unfortunately the decision leaves the confusing situation that there are two teams running with the Lotus name in Formula One.

Which has led to Group Lotus deciding to appeal.

'Team Lotus has the right to continue to race in Formula 1 under the name Team Lotus but the effect of the Judgment is that only Group Lotus can use the name 'Lotus' on its own in F1.

'Group Lotus is concerned that this aspect of the Judgment will cause confusion in the eyes of spectators and the wider public. Accordingly, Group Lotus is seeking leave to appeal so that the right to use the Lotus brand in Formula 1 is clarified once and for all in the interests of the sport and the fans. Group Lotus and its shareholder Proton Holding Bhd are confident of success on appeal.'
a statement issued by the car company read.

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The Journalist

Writer: Red5 Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Saturday May 28 2011

Time: 11:00AM


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