Force India Forced to Pay Aerolab after High Court Ruling

By Community | March 22, 2012

Design company Aerolab and Formula One team Force India have settled their dispute at the High Court in London.

Aerolab had worked with Force India until 2009, when its ended the relationship over unpaid bills – with the company then starting work with the new Caterham team (then running under the Lotus name) just days later.

Force India claimed that the Lotus T127 had featured a large number of parts copied from Force India’s design and although the court stated that the intellectual property rights had been used as a ‘shortcut’ it threw out claims that there has been ‘systematic copying’ of the design and said Force India hadn’t come close to proving that to be the case.

Force India was ordered to pay outstanding fees of more than £700,000 to Aerolab, although Force India was handed just under £21,000 in compensation for use of its intellectual property.

Despite the High Court ruling, the Silverstone-based team now plans to refer the matter to the FIA for further consideration given that using the intellectual property of other teams is banned under F1 rules.

“The UK High Court judgement, in respect of the illegal copying, will now be referred for the consideration of Formula One’s governing body, the FIA,” the team said, “whilst the Italian criminal case against Mike Gascoyne, Tony Fernandes and Jean Claude Migeot remains ongoing.”

by Ismail Uddin