Lotus court summary

Lotus and Lotus were in court today in London, with Mr Justice Peter Smith presiding. The judge has previously ruled over several important cases including that of whether Dan Brown’s Da Vinci Code was breaching copyright and a suit between boxer Lennox Lewis and his promoter.
He quickly rejected the bid for a summary judgement, but pushed for an early date for a full trial, preferably before the season. In the end, they have pencilled in March 21st – just under a week before the Australian GP – and the case will probably last ten days. The intention is to bring everything into this trial: the breaking of the sponsorship agreement by Group Lotus (today’s judgement), and the ownership of the Team Lotus name (which would originally have happened towards the end of the year). It means that we will see two Lotus teams on track in Bahrain and Australia, but who knows which teams will be racing when we get to Lotus’s and Proton’s home race in Malaysia in April? Will Renault or Lotus be running under the Lotus name?
My hope is that Team Lotus will retain their name. I am convinced that they have the rights to use the name. The only thing I am not certain about is what will happen over the sponsorship agreement. Which way will it go? The reason for breaking it might have been ‘trivial’, but legally it could still be a fair ruling.
Proton, through Group Lotus, own a fair part of the Renault team. But it’s costing the parent company a lot of money. I’m not sure how a ruling might affect this part of the business, but I think Dany Bahar (Group Lotus CEO) could see pressure from his Malaysian bosses one way or the other. We’d all much prefer a settlement out of court, but it’s not going to happen.
Less than two months till this begins… I wish it was over already.


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