Legal trouble ahead for Force India at Monza? UPDATE #2 (GMM) Force India has played down reports the team's assets might be seized while it is at Monza for the Italian grand prix next month.
A legal spat between the Silverstone based team and an Italian wind tunnel company has resulted in Force India being ordered to pay more than EUR 1 million to Aerolab.
Aerolab said in a statement last week that Force India's presence at Monza next month "could trigger further exchanges of action between the two parties".
But a Force India spokeswoman has played down the prospect of the team's assets being seized due to non-payment of the High Court judgment.
She said there is a separate action involving the alleged use of Force India's intellectual property, because Aerolab used a disputed wind tunnel model as the basis of Lotus' 2010 car.
"The court determined the two cases should be considered separately and ordered Force India to release the EUR 1,074,000 lodged with the court and also pay associated costs," the spokeswoman is quoted by Reuters.
"Force India is in the process of complying with the court's instructions and actively progressing the IP litigation," she added.08/20/10 The Queen’s Bench Division in the High Court of Justice in London has issued an order compelling Force India to pay 1,074,730 euros, plus damages and interest at the rate of 8%, to Italian company Aerolab who provided services to the Silverstone based team
Such an order is the first firm result in the dispute between the two companies over unpaid fees for services rendered by Aerolab to Force India.
As a result of the retaliatory action already taken by Force India, it is expected that Aerolab’s Director, Mr. Jean Claude Migeot, will soon be charged pursuant to a criminal complaint filed in Bologna. Aerolab is confident in the positive outcome of all judicial matters in this affair.
It appears that Force India’s strategy will be to try and force Aerolab into a settlement that the company has no intention of accepting. The upcoming Italian Grand Prix at Monza, during which Force India’s assets will be present under Italian jurisdiction, could trigger further exchanges of action between the two parties.08/20/10 (GMM) A legal spat involving the Force India team could be set to intensify at the forthcoming Italian grand prix.
In June, the Silverstone based team instigated action against F1 rival Lotus and the Italian wind tunnel Aerolab, claiming a model of its 2009 car was used as the basis for Lotus' T127.
Separate to the UK action, Force India said a complaint had been filed with Italian authorities.
But the affair also centers around money, with Aerolab saying last year that it is pursuing Force India for "serious and persistent breaches of contract" and unpaid fees.
It emerged on Friday that London's High Court has ordered Force India to pay more than EUR 1 million in damages to Aerolab.
But given Force India's Lotus-related complaints, Aerolab sounded unlikely to now let the matter rest.
The company said Force India's Italian action will probably result in Aerolab director Jean Claude Migeot being charged criminally in Bologna.
"It appears that Force India's strategy will be to try and force Aerolab into a settlement that the company has no intention of accepting," read a statement.
"The upcoming Italian grand prix at Monza, during which Force India's assets will be present under Italian jurisdiction, could trigger further exchanges of action between the two parties," added Aerolab.