FondTech has reacted positively to the announcement that Force India's appeal against the initial ruling in its intellectual property case has been thrown out by Court of Appeal.
The Silverstone-based team was awarded €25,000 in damages after a judge ruled that CAD files had been used as a shortcut in the design of the 2010 Lotus Racing car, with January FondTech acquisition Aerolab having started work with the team – now known as Caterham F1 - shortly after its previous relationship with Force India broke down.
Force India – which was forced by the same original hearing to pay Aerolab €850,000 in unpaid fees – decided to appeal the ruling, which took place in March 2012, arguing that the compensation awarded wasn't a representative of the breach that had occurred.
According to a statement issued by FondTech on the eve of the German Grand Prix, the appeal's dismissal 'confirms that the trial judge was entitled to arrive at his verdict of wholly exonerating 1Malaysia Racing Team and awarding Force India just €25,000 by way of compensation.
The figure, which was originally awarded in relation to admitted and limited wrongful acts on the part of some Aerolab employees, was substantially less than the more substantial sum Force India had sought for what they claimed to be much more extensive wrongdoing. The verdict was based on oral evidence of Aerolab employees and after Force India had been given access to all relevant documents that it hoped would provide proof of conspiracy, something the trial judge originally concluded they had not 'come close' to doing.
“On behalf of everyone at FondTech, I am delighted and relieved by today's judgment,” FondTech MD Jean Claude Migeot admitted, “Due to the complex nature of this case, there was always an opportunity for facts to be misconstrued, but I have maintained faith that the rightful outcome would be reached.
“While this has been a lengthy process, it has also been a necessary one in order to wholly restore FondTech's reputation as a trustworthy industry-leading supplier. I sincerely believe that today's verdict does just that.”
Migeot added that he hoped that the dismissal would be the final chapter of the legal process in England, allowing FondTech to again focus on its business activities.