Sahara Force India F1’s press statement re copyright
The following statement was released this morning by the Sahara Force India F1 team:
“Following the publication of Team Lotus wind tunnel model pictures in November 2009, Force India Formula One Team lodged a complaint with the Criminal Court in Italy and subsequently commenced civil proceedings in the UK High Court, citing concerns in respect of Team Lotus, Aerolab and Mike Gascoyne illegally copying Force India Formula One Team design intellectual property accessed from secure files held at Aerolab.
“The case was heard at the High Court, London, during January, 2012, with Mr Justice Arnold finding Team Lotus (now known as Caterham) and Aerolab liable for copyright infringement and using confidential information respectively. Some parts created using Force India confidential information were used on the ‘Team Lotus’ race cars in the early part of the 2010 season.
“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, whilst the Italian criminal case against Mike Gascoyne, Tony Fernandes and Jean-Claude Migeot remains ongoing.”
A spokesman for CaterhamF1 has pointed out that, although Aerolab and (the then) Team Lotus were found liable for copyright infringement, it is incorrect to cite Mike Gascoyne or Tony Fernandes in a headline as part of the proceedings, even though the SFI release clearly introduces “Team Lotus” (of which Tony Fernandes was then Team Principal) “and Aerolab and Mike Gascoyne” as the subjects of the verdict. My apologies to Messrs Fernandes and Gascoyne in that case for implying that they were associated in any way with either (the then) Team Lotus F1 team or with Aerolab.
To this background, I contacted the SFI F1 team to ask if they still stand by the wording of their press release (which to my knowledge is the only statement so far published by either party). SFI replied that they stand by it in its entirety.
Interesting development; not new in F1, though: Shadow/Arrows, Ferrari/McLaren, or indeed, Renault/McLaren.
The flow of staff between teams probably contributes to these cases, let’s wait and see, as Kimi says.