Team Lotus name fight at High Court

The conflict over the Team Lotus name is heading for the High Court which will hold an initial hearing into the rights surrounding it.

Team Lotus owner Tony Fernandes claims he bought the rights to use the name in Formula One when he realised that Group Lotus were preparing to end a licensing deal allowing Mr Fernandes to use it.

Group Lotus did terminate the deal, then announced a seven-year title sponsorship agreement with Renault.

But Mr Fernandes insists his deal is legal and is pursuing the case so the High Court will issue a summary judgment - a determination made by a court without a full trial - on Monday or Tuesday.

Team Lotus expects that the judge will declare that the facts are hard to establish, and that the case will go to full trial next winter, which would leave the chance of an out-of-court settlement being reached beforehand.

Group Lotus CEO Dany Bahar said: "I don't think it will be a matter solved by English courts: I think it will be solved before that. But if we have to go the legal way, we will, and our shareholders will support that."

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