Verdict reached in Lotus name saga
After weeks of deliberation, the London High Court has ruled that Tony Fernandes’s Norfolk-based Formula One team can continue to trade under the name Team Lotus.
The verdict, delivered earlier today, will be appealed by Group Lotus, which according to a statement from its head of legal, Sarah Price, has objected to the result on the grounds of continual confusion between Team Lotus and its own Lotus Renault GP outfit.
“The on-going dispute with Team Lotus and associated companies has been a cause for concern for all at Group Lotus,” said Price.
“Despite the detailed judgment there are issues which still require clarification and we remain committed to obtaining this much needed clarity for the many fans of the Lotus marque – we are extremely grateful for their continued support.
“The decision to appeal has not been taken lightly.”
Although the judge ruled that Fernandes’s outfit had been in breach of its licensing agreement with Group Lotus in 2010, the Malaysian tycoon said he was pleased with the overall outcome.
“We are all pleased that it has been clarified that we are the rightful owners of Team Lotus,” said Fernandes.
“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 our 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.
“We wanted to develop a long-term relationship with Group Lotus and help them sell more cars around the world but that door closed and now we are delighted that we can turn our attention to ensuring success for Caterham Cars on the road and Team Lotus on track.
“These are two very exciting brands and their future development, bringing these two iconic brands together under the Caterham Team Lotus umbrella, will see us introduce new Caterham cars and a range of new Team Lotus brands into the global marketplace.
“Now our main aim is to build on the solid foundations that has made Caterham Cars the model for how to run a profitable contemporary car company and add more history to the incredible story of Team Lotus over the coming months and years and with the people, spirit, passion and determination we have in both businesses we know that marks the next stage in our incredible story.”
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