SEPANG, Malaysia, March 22, 2012 (AFP) - Formula One's Force India has been ordered to stump up 850,000 euros in unpaid fees to an aerodynamics company after a long-running court case.
The pay-out was demanded by the High Court in London on Wednesday following a copyright infringement case, according to a lawyers' statement seen by AFP and media reports.
Force India had accused wind-tunnel operators Aerolab and Caterham technical chief Mike Gascoyne of systematic copyright breaches which it valued
at 13 million pounds ($20.6 million).
But while Force India were awarded 25,000 euros for minor copyright breaches, the court also ordered it to pay 846,000 euros in fees owed to
Aerolab for development work.
The court found that Caterham, formerly Team Lotus, had copied some computer files of Force India, mainly as a short cut for its own tests.
Certain small Force India-designed components were then used in Team Lotus's 2010 car.
"The outcome is plainly a very satisfactory one for all of the defendants but particularly for Mr. Gascoyne who was sued in his personal capacity," said
lawyer Tim Bamford.
Gascoyne, in Malaysia for this week's Malaysian Grand Prix, expressed his reaction via Twitter.
"Just to put the record straight I was totally cleared of any wrongdoing and all the claims made against me by Force India were dismissed," he said.
Force India did not comment on their large pay-out but said the copyright infringement would now be referred to Formula One's governing body.
London's Daily Telegraph said Force India's losses could rise to four million pounds including legal costs.