Vijay Mallya's Force India is set to initiate legal action against Formula One team Lotus on a charge of breach of intellectual property...Legal action has been started against this year's Formula One newcomers Lotus by Force India-Mercedes. The charge is 'very serious breach of intellectual property'. The legal procedure has been initiated against Michael Gascoyne, the chief technical officer of Lotus, and Aerolab, the aerodynamic design company. Force India have alleged that Aerolab has used information and technology from their partnership with them, to assist in the building of the 2010 Lotus racing car. It has also been claimed that the wind tunnel design of the Lotus T127 chassis was created by components and tires licensed to them exclusively by Bridgestone.
Force India said on their official website, "The Force India F1 Team confirms it has instigated UK civil proceedings against 1Malaysia Racing Team SDN BHD (a Malaysian company), 1Malaysia Racing Team (UK) Limited (Lotus Racing's parent companies), Michael Gascoyne and Aerolab SRL. Force India also confirms that a complaint for disclosure of confidential information was filed in December 2009 with the competent authorities in Italy and that investigations are being conducted. Force India believes that Lotus Racing, via its use of Aerolab and Fondtech facilities and data, has utilized and benefited from the use of Force India F1 Team's intellectual property, including components and tires exclusively licensed by Bridgestone to the Force India F1 Team, on its wind tunnel model design for the current Lotus T127 chassis without permission from the Force India F1 Team. Force India states these are very serious claims and therefore it would not be taking such action if it could not provide supportive evidence."
Very strangely, this legal initiative comes on the same day immediately after Lotus went on to confirm that three designers from Force India have been hired by them. Mark Smith will take over as Lotus' technical director, Lewis Butler will join as the chief designer, and Marianne Hinson will come in and head the aerodynamics division. Lotus owner Tony Fernandes said, "I am honored that these fantastic talents have put their faith in Lotus, and see the very bright future we have." Lotus entered the current Formula One season and have not been able to make any sort of mark on the grid. In fact they are yet to collect their first point of the season (check standings: Formula One: McLaren Stops Red Bull Charge at Turkish Grand Prix), and are desperately in need of a push.
To counter the allegations, Lotus said though a statement, "Aerolab vigorously denies any wrongdoing and has provided Lotus Racing with a full indemnity in relation to the claim." Anyway, it seems like this new controversy will not be able to be easily settled by all concerned parties and we will definitely hear more of it in the current Formula One Season.
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