“And in the courtroom, Team Lotus and Group Lotus are jockeying hard for the rights to use the Lotus name. It’s still anybody’s case at this point! It looks like Team Lotus has the advantage…no, wait, now Group Lotus is coming back hard…but Team Lotus is putting up a strong defense…here comes the judge! The two teams are neck and neck! Here comes the verdict…IT’S GROUP LOTUS! GROUP LOTUS WINS!!!” —Fictional announcer we just made up
Yes, the battle between the two Formula One teams using the Lotus name has taken a turn for Group Lotus, as the judge who heard the case between the two Lotuses ruled (mostly) in favor of the brand connected to the Lotus street cars. The decision says Team Lotus (or, to break it down as far as it will go, the green-and-yellow team) must pay damages to Group Lotus (who race under the Renault banner—the black-and-gold car); the decision also cancels certain trademarks Team Lotus’s parent company, 1Malaysia Racing Team, holds on the Team Lotus name.
One thing the decision doesn’t do, however, is simplify the Formula One starting grid. Under Mr. Justice* Peter Smith’s ruling, Team Lotus can continue to use the “Team Lotus” name and badge for their F1 team, which Team Lotus owner Tony Fernandes is trumpeting as a victory for his side. Since the ruling means the black-and-gold car still cannot be officially called a “Lotus,” Group Lotus plans on appealing the verdict in order to obtain sole custody of the Lotus name. [via Planet-F1, Autocar]
*The title “Mr. Justice” is used for judges in the United Kingdom.