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The big mistake of this all was Proton providing the rights to Tony to use the Lotus name. It's best for the brand if Tony sticks another badge on its cars asap.

I don't know why people want TF to drop the Lotus name?? He's a fan like all of us who own or follow Lotus, it just so happens he has a load of money as well enabling him to build an F1 team. As the autosport article said, he acknowledges he's not Colin Chapman, no one's gonna be Colin Chapman, but what he has done is bought the brand back to F1 after a 16 year absence and starting a team from scratch, you have to admire the man for that.

He could have spent all his money and sponsored a team at the front of the grid with a license from Lotus to use the name, but he didn't, he felt the purist way was to start a new team, one that fans could truly believe in, just like the old Lotus F1.

DB obviously feels F1 is important to the branding of the 'new Lotus', personally I think he should concentrate on making the new cars and spent the money he has on TF's team, regardless of where they are on the grid. God just to be in F1 is a privilege, plus TF's team are aiming for mid field in 2011. If DB had spent the money on TF team they may have got there quicker with a bigger budget.

Another factor to remember is it's not always about the money, it's about the people the teams employ. Chapman was the genius behind Team Lotus, he also employed a lot of clever people, he didn't win races because of how much money he had, he won because he came up with the clever ideas applied to his cars and finding the loop holes in the rules to work to his advantage. If you look at a lot of his creations, they were not expensive, just simple clever applied solutions, but produced results better than other teams.

At the end of the day, technically TF and DB's teams are just names on a car, not pure Lotus, no new team is ever going to be that, but if I'm picking one, then TF is the closest you will get to what Team Lotus was before.

GavinS1, actually from a professional point of view, the TF Lotus logo is well thought out, the shape and colours are instantly recognisable as a connection to the Lotus brand.

Another thing regarding the DB car. Considering they bought 25% of the team, it doesn't get you much coverage on the car, one over sized Lotus emblem on the front that looks awful because it is too big, name on the rear wing and I assume their choice of colour scheme that represents a brand from old Team Lotus. Considering DB wants to move the brand forward as a new type Lotus brand, I would have thought black and gold was 'out of date' as a colour scheme, you can see that Renault are the main concern on the car.

Edited by OwenGT3

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I don't know why people want TF to drop the Lotus name?? He's a fan like all of us who own or follow Lotus, it just so happens he has a load of money as well enabling him to build an F1 team. As the autosport article said, he acknowledges he's not Colin Chapman, no one's gonna be Colin Chapman, but what he has done is bought the brand back to F1 after a 16 year absence and starting a team from scratch, you have to admire the man for that.

He could have spent all his money and sponsored a team at the front of the grid with a license from Lotus to use the name, but he didn't, he felt the purist way was to start a new team, one that fans could truly believe in, just like the old Lotus F1.

Let me first say that I do admire imensly the job by both Fernandes, Gascoyne and the team this year. I have watched every single race this year and been rooting from them with great enthusiasm. This was very much however based on the desire to see Lotus back in F1, and the fact that they not only went about their business professionally, but did it with respect for both the heritage of Team Lotus and with the blessing of the factory (Group Lotus).

I am not however so sure that the decision to build a team from scratch had so much to do with purity, but as the grid was expanded it was an opportiity for them to get on the grid. I do hovever seriously doubt that there is any way they would have gotten there without the Lotus name and backing from Proton/Group Lotus. I remember reading quite a bit about a year ago to the effect that Mike Kilberly was very keen to get Lotus back on the grid, and lobbied extensively with Bernie Ecclestone/Max Mosley to get the entry.

Fernandes might be a lifetime fan and enthusiast, but foremost he is a businessman. He saw an opportunity to get not only his own F1 team on the grid, but do it with a licensing deal that gave him a name with shedloads of heritage in the same deal. This was a business decission, pure and simple, and it is obvious that he had plannes on how to make money on the deal. See here for instance: http://biz.thestar.c...02&sec=business

I am in no position to make judgment on the reasoning for GL to pull the licensing deal, but as far as I have been able to see Lotus Racing have been quite active on the licensing side this year already, with stuff like the LR8 energy drink and other stuff. If this gives GL a good case to pull the licensing deal or not however, I have no idea.

Please correct me if I am wrong but it seems to me that Proton did not have a the right to give a mandate to Tony as they did not have the rights to the name in the first place. What do I know? I'm just an F1 fan and terminally confused part Lotus owner who, like most Lotus owners, is struggling to see the common sense through the legal-speak, business-hype and ego-massaging posturing. Once again the true winners will be the lawyers,

Now I’m no expert on trademark law by a long way, but it seems clear that Team Lotus Ventures (TLV) do have some rights to the Team Lotus name (and a logo) in F1. Their class protection of this is however quite vague/weak, so the way I see it there really are two ways to look at this:

- Do Team Lotus Ventures (TLV) have a legal case to prevent Group Lotus from using the Lotus name in F1

- Do GL have a legal case to prevent TLV from using the Team Lotus name in F1

To understand this I think the following elements of the history leading up to Team Lotus getting a protected trademark is interesting:

1952: Lotus Engineering LTD is formed by Chapman to build customer cars of his designs. The ACBC Lotus logo is first used the MKVI.

1954: Team Lotus is for legal reasons of splitting risk formed as a separate company to go racing. It is owned by Chapman, and are in all practial terms the Works team of Lotus Engineering Ltd.

1959: Lotus Engineering LTD becomes Group Lotus, which is made up of Lotus Cars Ltd and Lotus Components LTD.

1962: Group Lotus register the ACBC Lotus logo in class 12 (motor vehicles). Team Lotus continue to use this, or variations of this up until the team folds in 1994, but are due to the ownership of the logo effectively licensing it from GL.

1968: GL is publicly listed, but Chapman keeps a controlling stake in the company, and contiues to treat it very much as his own (something that later results in the DeLorean mess, but that’s another story).

1988: Team Lotus register the words Team Lotus and a variation of the ACBC logo in class 35 (which includes ”renting out advertising space on racing vehicles). There does however seem to be an agreement in place from GL that regulates the use of the logo and name. (http://www.ipo.gov.u...sticnum=1337455 and http://www.ipo.gov.u...sticnum=1338435)

1993: GL is sold to Romani Artioli/Butgatti

1994: Team Lotus folds and David Hunt though his company Paintglossy LTD (later renamed Team Lotus Ventures) buy the remains

Feb 1995: TLV try to extend their converage in Class 35 but fails because of objection from GL (http://www.ipo.gov.u...ults/o21098.pdf).

1996: Proton buy 80% of GL from Romano Artioli, increased to 100% in 2003

Jan 2002: GL apply for a registration of the word Lotus class 35, and at the same time files an application for the revocation of the TLV registration in the same class. They are partially sucessfull, and in May 2003 TLV lose the registration apart from a specific application of Class 35 to F1 (http://www.ipo.gov.u...ults/o14703.pdf). A registration of the remaining clasification is made to GL (http://www.ipo.gov.u...ademark=2289924)

April 2002 TLV apply for a registration of the words TEAM LOTUS in class 35 (again) and class 41 (which includes ”running of a motor racing team”). The 41 registration goes through in Sept 2003 and the class 35 registration goes though with a similar restriction as their previous registration in May 2005.

May 2002: GL files for registration of the word LOTUS in class 6, 21 and 35. The registration goes through in Oct 2003 (http://www.ipo.gov.u...himnum=E2708196)

Oct 2008: GL files for a revocation of the TLV registration in class 41 and are successfull in jan 2010 as TLV consents to the revocation (http://www.ipo.gov.u...ults/o02610.pdf).

So to sum up, yes TLV does have a claim to the Team Lotus name and logo, but only in a class which allows them to use the Team Lotus name in a role of selling ad space on a F1 car. To me, this seems a very weak basis for branding an entire F1 team, especially as It seems Fernandes has plans to use the brand to much more, like the LR8 energy drink and various other merchandising.

GL on the other hand have very strong coverage of both their logo and the word Lotus in many different classes relating to both cars, racing and merchandising. Given all of this I would say that I think TLV have very slim chance of preventing GL to use the word Lotus in F1, but GL have a pretty strong basis to prevent TLV (now owned by Fernandes) to use the Team Lotus name and logo anywhere outside of on the side of an F1 car. Given this, I also think that talk of Fernandes using the word Lotus in any way on a road car will be completely shot down by GL, and is hence only an attemt to stir up the media.

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I think the "who is legally correct" discussions miss the point.

The issue is not who under English law owns English trademark rights.

The issue is a South East Asian one, and at every step, Tony Fernandes has held the upper hand.

If Proton crush him, and he has to race as "1st Malaysian" whilst Proton race as a French / Norfolk mix ,who has the upper hand at home in Malaysia?

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If I was a Bentley fan, Williams F1, Ferrari or Coca-Cola,

Should I be allowed then to start a,

Bentley F1 team.

Williams sportscar company,

Ferrari airplanes, or red home applicances with a horse logo

Coca Cola, candy (Which will taste horrible)

I understand that Tony was righted to licence the name for some years. But this is obviously a big mistake by Proton. If you have a brand and logo you should protect it with your life as it's the most valuable asset in your company, and should never allow somebody else controlling it. How good their intensions might appear.

Why can't Tony put something of a Brabham or Tyrell logo on his cars. Mr Brabham and Tyrell where equal passionate racers as Tony is now. I don't see any unique points that makes Tony more of a Lotus guy than Brabham or Tyrell guy.

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In the unlikely event that either team won a GP, what national anthem would be played? I understand that Tony F's team would play the Malaysian anthem. For 2010 the French one was played for Renault even though the car is built in Oxfordshire. Amazingly there is a little piece of Milton Keynes that is Austrian. I think Benetton (Renault's precursor team) had God Save The Queen until 1995 and the Italian anthem subsequently. So would the new Lotus Renault team get GSTQ, The Marseillaise or the Malaysian one?

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For Lotus Renault I would anticipate an amalgamation along the lines of Simon and Garfunkel's Scarborough Fair/Canticle, with 75% of the anthem being the Marseillaise, interspersed with 25% Malaysian Negaraku as counter melody. The podium ceremony will be, of course, the driver's nationality anthem.

Owen, that was a beautiful synopsis of "the big picture.":thumbup:

Geir, it's refreshing to see someone with a command of historical details. Are you sure you're not a "plant" from Group's legal team?

Just kidding.:D

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Group Lotus are sponsors of the French Renault F1 team, so it would be Polish followed by French

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Gier, thanks for the chronological clarification.... as I said, it's probably now down to a lawyer's fee-fest.

As far as the anthem is concerned, if the two protagonists are ever on the podium together maybe they could use Elton John's "Saturday Night's Alright For Fighting" :getmecoat:

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Yes, but shouldn't it be "Sunday Night's Alright For Fighting". Now that'd make good TV, the team principles slugging it out on the podium. "I'a hita you wid mi handdbag!"

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Dany Bahar has said he does not want to use Team Lotus, to him it belongs to Colin Chapman's era of Lotus. He wants Group Lotus to earn its own history in F1!

Thats fine but then his plan is to release a new esprit, new elise and new elan (and possibly a new europa).

Nothing like clinging onto the past eh?

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Yes, but shouldn't it be "Sunday Night's Alright For Fighting".

Given that Elton re-worded "Candle In The Wind" maybe he could be persuaded to do the same for "Saturday...."

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I must say that it does seem a very Biased article in Autosport, and as it's been pointed out, full of contradictions. After fighting for the rights the losing party seems to have said "Well, I didn't want it anyway". Hmmmmm.

Frankly I wish them both well in the upcoming year, but I will keep my support with my "local" Team, based just round the corner, rather than a renamed French team.

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I am right behind you with that one Kimbers/ sorry the real Tony K! I hope all goes well for them in the next season.

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Frankly I wish them both well in the upcoming year, but I will keep my support with my "local" Team, based just round the corner, rather than a renamed French team.

Granted they're not on your doorstep, Tony, but the team owned by Renault have been based in Oxfordshire for many years... weren't they Team Benetton before that?

I visited the Renault F1 site in about 2005 on a jolly; nothing French about it bar the parent company signing the cheques and giving them engines. No onions, no bicycles, no charming Gallic toilets, no Gauloises, no contemptuous shrugs of the shoulders... Just lots of blokes called Fred and Jim bashing together cars in a glorified shed in an old quarry. I think an early Europa had as much in common with Renault as any cars coming out of Renault F1 ;)

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Will be interesting to see if (when) LotusRenaultGP switch from the French to an English licence.

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A pragmatic, business viewpoint from Gerod Lopez of Genii Capital -

http://www.autosport.com/news/report.php/id/88689

Also an interesting and honest perspective from Tony Fernandez -

http://www.autosport.com/news/report.php/id/88664

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"There is no claim that this has anything to do with the Lotus racing team of old,...":whistle:

Gerard Lopez, Renault team chairman

"Renault is, however, running in black-and-gold colours that were made famous by the old Lotus team.":left:

Observation from the autosport.com interview with Lopez

What an amazing coincidence, Gerard!:ice:

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I thought the view from Gerard Lopez pretty much hit the mark.

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The more I read the more I suspect that Genii are calling the shots and Proton just want to be able to tell the Malaysian taxpayers they have recouped their investment in Group Lotus and get out.

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Can someone actually tell me what the physical Lotus content is in either of the cars? I presume Ferraris use Ferrari engines. Likewise Mercaedes. How can the Lotus Renault cars be called a Lotus other than ownership? That's sort of like me now calling my esprit a Bierton since I own it.

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I may be corrected but I believe the Group Lotus Bahar Lotus Renault car only has Lotus/Proton as a main sponsor ....the car to all intents is still basically a Renault.

For my 2-penneth I'll be cheering on anything bearing the Lotus name - as previously mentioned I'm just glad the brand is back in F1. Tony F's concern do seem to be the spiritual successor though in my eyes.

Mansell, Hazel and Clive at the 2010 launch proved that to me........................

That said I still cannot quite figure out why Bahar did not want to invest into Fernandes' team........

Edited by nello

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That said I still cannot quite figure out why Bahar did not want to invest into Fernandes' team........

Because Genii will ultimately take over Group Lotus and naturally wanted to turn the F1 team they already own into the Lotus F1 team rather than co-operate with a competitor?

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