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Groups Lotus wins the right to use the Lotus name in F1...Or do they?

By Rigval on 13 Jun 2011

Attached Image

As expected the company that builds Lotus cars for the road has won the High Court battle over the use of the Lotus name in Formula 1. The legal tussle began sometime ago when both Group Lotus and 1 Malaysia Racing Team a.k.a. Team Lotus, run by AirAsia head honcho Tony Fernandes basically parted ways when Group Lotus claimed that Team Lotus had breached the Lotus name (as 'Team Lotus' confusingly) licensing agreement.

However, Justice Peter Smith, the presiding jugde over this matter had also ruled that Team Lotus also retained the right to race in Formula One under its existing name. That basically means that Group Lotus can continue racing through its sponsorship of the Renault team (or in full the Lotus-Renault GP team) and Team Lotus continues as Team Lotus

Anyway, other judgments awarded was the right for Group Lotus to use the black and gold livery. This basically means that Team Lotus must stick to their current British Racing Green and yellow livery. Team Lotus was instructed to pay Group Lotus for damages on the breach of the licensing agreement. How much has not been stated. So Team Lotus cannot use anything related to Group Lotus or in that whether it has any relation to the road-going cars that Lotus builds as Group Lotus was also adjudged in the same matter that they have the right to continue to use the Lotus name on road cars.

Group Lotus may have won this battle but this basically means that there will still be two Lotus named teams racing in Formula 1. So they are mounting an appeal on the matter “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,". But right now, imagine the amount of marketing exposure having more cars advertising the Lotus name in Formula 1 regardless of who owns what. I suppose the name 'Lotus' gets more exposure any which way it goes. The winner is Lotus. The loser is Lotus.

So what about Team Lotus then? Carry on as usual I suppose and now add the fact that Team Lotus owner Tony Fernandes recently acquired Caterham Carswhich produces the Lotus 7 based Caterham Super 7, and it is this semblance of a 'Lotus Family Relation' that somehow legitimizes Team Lotus' use of the Lotus name. Or Not. There will be an Formula 1 tie-up with Caterham marketing all over Team Lotus' cars. Or is this the escape route that Tony Fernandes will use out of this wrangle? Where Team Lotus will become Team Caterham?

Anyway, until the final judgment is given on the appeal made by Team Lotus as regards the use of the name in Formula 1 this tussle isn't over. And you it isn't over until the fat lady sings, or in this case, a High Court in the UK.

Attached Image: team_lotus_f1_car_with_caterham_7.jpg
– Team Lotus F1 car with a Caterham

europe, formula 1, motorsports and 8 more...

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Written by Rigval
Born in 1972. Married with a kid. Loves B-road drives and have driven cars from the 1950s to date.

  • 1
Joseph22 Jun 14 2011 04:57 PM
this is one hell of confusing blog... so which lotus is which??
  • 1
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