Force India launch legal challenge against Lotus

Force India have today launched legal action against Lotus Racing for using its intellectual property on their 2010 race car.

The team believe that Lotus Racing, via its use of Aerolab and Fondtech facilities and data, has used ‘and benefited from’ Force India’s intellectual property, which includes components and tyres exclusively licensed to Vijay Mallya’s team, on its wind tunnel model for the current T127 chassis without permission.

In a statement released today, the team detailed the legal challenge: “Force India have instigated UK civil proceedings against 1Malaysia Racing Team SDN BHD (A Malaysian company), 1Malaysia Racing Team (UK) Limited (Lotus Racing’s parent companies), [Lotus Chief Technical Officer] Mike Gascoyne, and Aerolab SRL. The team have also confirmed 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.”

Later in the statement, the team acknowledge the severity of this action:

“Force India states that these are very serious claims and therefore it would not be taking such action if it could not provide supportive evidence.

The statement continues:

“Additionally Force India would like to clarify that any action between Aerolab and Force India for undue termination of contract is now being addressed by the courts. Force India confirms it paid approximately one million euros in autumn 2009 to secure the payment claimed by Aerolab and it is now for the competent courts to decide whether, indeed, this outstanding amount should be paid to Aerolab given the seriousness of these current allegations.”