Those "severe penalties" the FIA hands out
tend to take the form of stripping the offender of any points they accrued in the relevant year's championship.
This isn't really a problem for Caterham...
The High Court said Aerolab had breached the confidence of team Force India and that team Caterham (previously Lotus) had infringed its rival's copyright. The judge rejected claims from Force India that Caterham/Lotus and its chief technical officer, Mike Gascoyne, were liable for breach of confidence. Gascoyne previously worked …
So Force India were vindicated in the original decision but the judge took account of the fact that if they hadnt have acted like idiots in the first place the problem would have never happened. Whats called a pyrric victory for Force India.
I like these kind of rules - shows Judges in a good, sensible light :) and basically says dont be a dick and then try to hide behind the law.
Hi, Gordon 10,
I was actually thinking the exact opposite to ..... "I like these kind of rules - shows Judges in a good, sensible light :) and basically says dont be a dick and then try to hide behind the law" ...... and was thinking the judge's decision much more worthy of a cheap, easily bought prick. But I would not wish to labour the crazy point/learned opinion.
If "intellectual property" were treated as "property", AND breach of contract on the part of Force India was shown, I'd hope the Air-whatever group could get a "mechanic's lien" (do they have mechanics' liens in the UK?), which would prohibit Force India from using or selling on the "property", AND allowing Air-whatever to use or sell on that "property".
IANAL, just an engineer, but my understanding is:
If goods are given to you for repair, they can be held pending payment.
If the goods are supplied, even as part of a repair or other service then they become the property of the customer (unless there is a prior contract otherwise), and the customer becomes a debtor to the amount of the invoice. For this reason it is common for order forms to be insisted on, and to carry a condition to the effect that all goods remain the property of the seller, until the total sum (goods and services) is paid in full. Without those words it would be illegal to attempt to repossess the goods without a court order.
I would think that either the contract was valid, and the customer is due to pay the amount owing plus the costs of recovery, interest, etc. Or the contract was repudiated, whereby the seller is only due consideration for costs and inconvenience, and retains ownership of the design, including copyright. It seems tp me that the judge has ruled that the contract was not repudiated by non-payment.
Does this mean that if:
I undertake design work.
Show the results to the customer prior to payment
The customer sells the copyright on to a third party and then ceases trading.
I am left with a worthless debt, and cannot use the design within another commission?
So to summarize: Aerolab developed something for Force India for which the latter failed to pay. Because Force India failed to pay up Aerolab sold the "goods" to somebody else. Seems to me Aerolab acted perfectly reasonably.
Force India need to learn that if you want to own something you have to pay for it. And that's what the judge is telling them. I'll bet Force India aren't particularly happy with the lawyers who advised them to take this one to court.
Why is it that so many people involved in big money sports think that the normal rules don't apply?
Looking around the interwebs it seems that some people are getting very confused about this because it involves IP. Well what if it wasn't IP but just ordinary goods or services? Imagine Aerolab were your local tuning shop and that you gave them an engine to rebuild and tune, then you an engine for which you declined to pay. Would it be reasonable for the tuning shop to try to cut their losses by selling the engine to your competitor? Of course it would.
"So to summarize: Aerolab developed something for Force India for which the latter failed to pay. Because Force India failed to pay up Aerolab sold the "goods" to somebody else. Seems to me Aerolab acted perfectly reasonably."
Not quite. Force India commissioned Aerolab to do some design work, then didn't pay. Aerolab was then commissioned by the other team to do some design work and used some of the templates they'd developed for Force India as a 'short cut'. Those templates were the IP of Force India, according to the Judge, despite non-payment because of the contract and the information supplied in order to produce the templates was confidential. Not that unreasonable if the information was things like telemetry readings from their cars - that is certainly confidential information.
Nothing in this story indicates why the other team should be considered guilty of anything, however - they didn't ask for the Force India data, did they?
In your example, it would be like taking a custom engine into a garage and asking for a part to be made for it. If you don't pay, the engine is still yours - the garage can't take that away, only the part they crafted. However, the garage can't then use your engine as a template for making parts for other customers: That's where the IP infringement comes in.
Well, that's how I read it anyhow.
Vijay should go to prison IMO for failure to pay his debts. He has given F1 a bad image to say the least. Aerolabs is a dumbarse for using another clients files to generate new work and should be held accountable. Caterham/Lotus should not be allowed to race the chassis design they received from Aerolabs as it's stolen IP.
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