2011 F1 season
Lotus have won the right to continue using the name ‘Team Lotus’ in F1.
Justice Peter Smith dismissed Group Lotus’s claim to the Team Lotus name and roundel design.
He also ruled that Lotus’s use of the name ‘Team Lotus’ does not infringe Group Lotus’s trademarks in the name Lotus.
Their use of the name had been contested by Group Lotus, who make Lotus road cars and sponsor the Renault F1 team.
Last year Lotus used the name ‘Lotus Racing’ under license from Group Lotus, until it was withdrawn. Lotus bought the rights to the name ‘Team Lotus’ from David Hunt, who had acquired them when the original team collapsed at the end of 1994.
Lotus team principal Tony Fernandes wrote on Twitter: “We won. I’m over the moon. Team Lotus belongs to us. Our chassis name stays Lotus. No one can use the chassis name. We are the only Lotus. Team Lotus”
Group Lotus said they would appeal the decision. However they described the verdict as a “win on key issues” in a statement.
Sarah Price, head of legal at Group Lotus, said: “Group Lotus is pleased that its right to race under the Lotus name in F1 has been upheld and that the Defendants’ attempts to stop that have failed.
“The on-going dispute with Team Lotus and associated companies has been a cause for concern for all at Group Lotus. 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.”
The statement noted: “The judge also found that Team Lotus has the right to continue to race in Formula 1 under the name Team Lotus but the effect of the judgement is that only Group Lotus can use the name “Lotus” on its own in F1.
“Group Lotus is concerned that this aspect of the judgement 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.”
Update: Here is the verdict in full.
Lotus naming rights row
- Lotus to keep name until 2017 despite losing title sponsorship
- Lotus confirms 2012 name change to Caterham
- Renault, Lotus and Virgin to change names in 2012
- Bahar ‘determined’ to win right to call team ‘Lotus’
- Court rules Lotus have right to use name “Team Lotus”
- Fernandes: Group Lotus did their best to destroy us
- Lotus vs Lotus: Time to stop the nonsense
- Team Lotus revert to green and yellow livery for 2011
- Renault reveal R30 with new 2011 Lotus livery
- Who are the real ‘Lotus’ in F1? (Poll)
Image © Team Lotus