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Lotus vs Lotus legal actions starts Mon. 24.Jan - Page 8 - Motorsport & Trackdays - The Lotus Forums Jump to content


Lotus vs Lotus legal actions starts Mon. 24.Jan


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Ferrari still think they run the show, add to that Vijay Mallaya, and Frank Williams, who never seem to agree to anything, and all bets are off.

Be interesting to see what happens if the judgement is the agreement was not legally terminated and therefore Lotus Racing is still the legal property of TF. :gathering:

Edited by Roger the Dodger

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Teams won't agree to the name change as they would get a share of the prize money that Fernandes' team would miss out on. So HRT, Marussia Virgin, Force India have no reason to vote for the name change. Why doesn't Lotus Renault change their chassis name to Lotus? Same reason only more so.

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All that would happen is TF would continue with his strange obsession of giving free international promotion of a Norfolk based sports car company.

"Strange obsession?" I think we can all acknowledge that TF is an astute businessman, I suspect he may have believed that an F1 team called Lotus was worth a lot more in sponsorship dollars than one call XYZ Airlines. Personally I think he has a point.

Life is like a sewer, what you get out of it, depends on what you put into it. (Tom Leahrer)

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"Strange obsession?" I think we can all acknowledge that TF is an astute businessman, I suspect he may have believed that an F1 team called Lotus was worth a lot more in sponsorship dollars than one call XYZ Airlines. Personally I think he has a point.

long term, I can see TF buying Group Lotus from Proton (the Malaysian Government) when they run out of money....

I suspect that was always the game plan.

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Owch!

What the BBC call a robust exchange I call a fight!

team Lotus using words about GL like "Proton using downright lies" and "designed to paint a very negative picture of the shareholders and founders of 1MRT and to cloud the truth ahead of the court case between 1MRT and Group Lotus"

And the comments afterwards seem to be 90% in favour of TF. It does look like a bullying tactic when you read the whole article.

http://joesaward.wordpress.com/2011/02/18/lotus-versus-lotus-more-slugging/

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Prediction:

If even half of the analysis in Joe Saward's article and the comments/observations that follow are true, then GL haven't a prayer of prevailing in court, and they will offer a substantially increased sum to TF to buy him out. The only salient question remaining is whether he will accept such an appropriately valued payment, or take the high road and continue racing as Team Lotus, knowing that he can look forward to either a win in court, or Group withdrawing from the battlefield.

Being second is to be the first of the ones who lose.

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IF it goes to court, and if it gets as far as judgement, both sides will win something. I am sure that TF had broken some of the conditions of using Lotus Racing license, the only risk is that these will be so petty that they will be seen as inconsequential. Group will lose almost all of the Team Lotus naming rights spat. This was sold for good money each time, with individuals all clever enough to draft up a decent contract. I cannot see that "Team Lotus" name / IP rights giving exclusivity on the Lotus name in F1, or Hunt would have been starting litigation in 2010 as owner of "team Lotus" rights at that time.

IMHO we will see Team Air Asia in 2012, with a slug of funding that may not ever be declared fully in the press. Could easily then see Genii Team Lotus Renault disappear slowly as the funding (both Proton & Genii) dries up. I would call an overall damages "win" for Fernandes if it goes all the way.

What is REALLY clever though, is that in 2009 it was seen by enthusiasts as a bad idea for Litespeed to dig up the Team Lotus name and use it on a new British F1 team. After a stormy one year relationship with Group Lotus, we are happy for a Malaysian businessman to use it for a malaysian flag carrying team - Fernandes media management is awesome IMHO

Edited by simonb
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I cannot see that "Team Lotus" name / IP rights giving exclusivity on the Lotus name in F1, or Hunt would have been starting litigation in 2010 as owner of "team Lotus" rights at that time.
.

Why didn't Mr. Hunt protest to using the Lotus name in F1 last year. Or did he had a contract with MalaysiaF1 from the start, and was that the trigger fot Group Lotus to stop them?

What is REALLY clever though, is that in 2009 it was seen by enthusiasts as a bad idea for Litespeed to dig up the Team Lotus name and use it on a new British F1 team. After a stormy one year relationship with Group Lotus, we are happy for a Malaysian businessman to use it for a malaysian flag carrying team - Fernandes media management is awesome IMHO

Mr Fernandez was extremely lucky that Mr. Bahar appeared to the podium who did al sorts of things to make himself very unpopular (Changing Lotus into a marketing oriented company) thus having being given the situation that Lotus was not anymore the nice lovable sportscar brand, but a big bully OEM, while he could play the underdog. If Mr. Bahar was a car guy, and did not do all this marketing nonsense while building the nicest lightest new cars. He would have gotten away with the F1 situation and people would accept the rebranding of Renault,

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Why didn't Mr. Hunt protest to using the Lotus name in F1 last year. Or did he had a contract with MalaysiaF1 from the start, and was that the trigger fot Group Lotus to stop them?

on what grounds?

his trademark was 'Team Lotus' not 'Lotus' etc.

That aside, at the time, it was easier/faster/cheaper for TF to 'buy' a licence from GL, longer term, he was always going to try and buy 'Team Lotus', just in the timeframe of 2009, this was not high up the list of things to do I suspect.

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on what grounds?

his trademark was 'Team Lotus' not 'Lotus' etc.

That aside, at the time, it was easier/faster/cheaper for TF to 'buy' a licence from GL, longer term, he was always going to try and buy 'Team Lotus', just in the timeframe of 2009, this was not high up the list of things to do I suspect.

If you read the interview with David Hunt, he clearly states that Tony Fernandes approached him to get the Lotus name back into F1, and Hunt said to him to give Group Lotus the chance first, which they took. He may have planned to buy the rights to "Team Lotus" later, but not a year later, only the circumstances with GL causing him too.

What is the difference between an overtake and a crash? An overtake is a crash that never happened!

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IF it goes to court, and if it gets as far as judgement, both sides will win something

To edit your quote

IF it goes to court, and if it gets as far as judgement, both sides lawyers will win

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If you read the interview with David Hunt, he clearly states that Tony Fernandes approached him to get the Lotus name back into F1, and Hunt said to him to give Group Lotus the chance first, which they took. He may have planned to buy the rights to "Team Lotus" later, but not a year later, only the circumstances with GL causing him too.

your implying that TF only went back to David Hunt /after/ GL revoked their licence... not sure that's the case...

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your implying that TF only went back to David Hunt /after/ GL revoked their licence... not sure that's the case...

I wasn't implying that, I should have really put that Tony approached David Hunt prior to getting the licensing contract from Group Lotus

What is the difference between an overtake and a crash? An overtake is a crash that never happened!

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I just don't get it. From everything I read and know, GL their case is weak, whereas TF seems to have the legal rights. I have been very fortunate to be in close contact with David Hunt, since long and I do know lots more details than appears in the press.

GL are looking for funding, but why would a bank lend money to a company, in the midst of a potentially very expensive legal battle, when part of their investment could go to the legal costs?

TF has correctly valued the name Team Lotus at £5 mill for the rights (this is the figure hinted at that it cost TF), £17 mill in prize money for 10th place, Goodwill attached to the name in F1 and a substantial figure of millions in legal costs and lost time. If I was him, I would have asked even 5 million more for all the trouble, bad things that Bahar has said about the Team in the press.

Why, when the company is looking for substantial investment would it blow £30 mill or so, of car development money? That’s why I don't see an out of court settlement. Team Lotus can’t just give it up now. They have gone too far and would lose face.

The only way I see it working for GL now is winning the court case, however improbable.

However the tactics being used don't seem to be geared to that, they seem to be aimed at forcing TF to part with the name out of court. Which he plainly isn’t going to do, unless GL pay through the nose. I must admit that the misinformation and what TF calls “Downright Lies” doesn’t seem to paint GL in glory, especially to “would be” investors. The company has always been a friendly face! From the link to Sawards latest blog people aren’t best pleased at GL tactics.

That’s why I'm confused at the whole thing and can’t help but think that this is extremely poor business practice at this time. But yet I can only think that this is marketing guru Bahar at his best, so I fear the worst is yet to come.

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If you read the interview with David Hunt, he clearly states that Tony Fernandes approached him to get the Lotus name back into F1, and Hunt said to him to give Group Lotus the chance first, which they took. He may have planned to buy the rights to "Team Lotus" later, but not a year later, only the circumstances with GL causing him too.

This I don't understand,

- Why would Mr. Hunt say please try it with Group Lotus first, thereby reducing the value of the Team Lotus brand to zero.

If that is really his statement, he allows to have a second Lotus name in F1. So the current claim of F1Malaysia to not allow Group Lotus in F1 is not legal.

- If the "Team Lotus" name of Mr. Hunt is so valuable as it is claimed now, why din't F1Malaysia continue to push for the licence of Mr. Hunt, and ignore/or get the the Lotus Racing name afterwards. Did Tony really expect when acquiring the license from Group Lotus that he could use the real Lotus brand (Logo)?

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Antonys wrong here (I'll quote exactly what Mr Hunt says) According to Mr Hunt they gave Group Lotus a chance to buy the rights and then license to TF but they declined. David never said that TF should go to Lotus first: Heres the quote from the interview, see how you understand it:

"When I was first approached by Tony in 2009 we agreed to give Proton first crack at doing a deal with me, but they blew it. They were shown respect, but did not reciprocate. So when I got into serious negotiations with Tony I think it is very revealing that Group Lotus/Proton then frantically tried to re-open negotiations on several occasions. Why would they do this if they believed we did not own anything?

I told them they’d blown their chance"

To stop anymore incorrect quotes you can read David Hunts interview here:

http://www.theracedriver.com/2010/11/david-hunt-exclusive-on-team-lotus/

To put a disclaimer in here: I am only linking DH's interview for purposes of avoiding incorrect statements. I am not siding with one side or the other and have no opinion. I couldn't find a GL response to this interview and therefore cannot post up the "other side of the story". I'm not being biased or 1 sided and encourage someone else to post up their response should you be able to locate it.

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Tony,

You are the real diplomat, here. I never had the feeling that you choose any side at all, except from your dad's side, but that is only normal! The only one choosing sides here is me! I have choosen DH's side (please note: not TF's side) way back in 1995. David should receive a medal for all his attempts to bring Team Lotus back into F1. He really put in a lot of efforts.

GL really got the chance to take over Team Lotus, and not on one, but on several occasions, last year AND in the past 15 years.

The fact that GL had TF forbidden, to use the Lotus/Team Lotus logo and obliged to add Racing, will be important for the court. It is one of (many) things that shows that GL/Proton were very well aware that they did not own anything.

Has any one taken in account that TF had to pay quite some money to GL/Proton, to use that "Lotus name" in F1, while they were not even owning it, funny isn't it? One TF has won his case in court, I'm sure we will want that money back, with a nice intrest... and who could blame him?

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Sorry Kiimbers, when I read that interview I got the wrong end of the stick

The fact that GL had TF forbidden, to use the Lotus/Team Lotus logo and obliged to add Racing, will be important for the court. It is one of (many) things that shows that GL/Proton were very well aware that they did not own anything.

Has any one taken in account that TF had to pay quite some money to GL/Proton, to use that "Lotus name" in F1, while they were not even owning it, funny isn't it? One TF has won his case in court, I'm sure we will want that money back, with a nice intrest... and who could blame him?

Group Lotus own nearly every other trademark/copyright to the "Lotus" name, except for "Team Lotus", so what they did licensing the name "Lotus Racing" to TF was legit and not a problem, because there isn't just one "Lotus Brand", so TF cannot claim his money back on those grounds. He may, not sure though be able to get some money back if Proton/GL are found to have terminated the naming license without proper cause though.

What is the difference between an overtake and a crash? An overtake is a crash that never happened!

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I've followed this unfortunate story from the very beginning.

Lotus cars of road and track. In what was once a united front, a fans favourite, a Great British legend, is now causing even it's own fans to in-fight.

I can't help but feel this court case is going to rock the company to it's core and end very badly. For the company, the brand and the fans.

I hope i'm wrong.

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