Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Battle over Lotus

Yesterday the Taman Indrahana Toastmasters Club had their regular bi-monthly meeting, and I was not in a happy mood because my well-prepared meeting agenda was unraveling. Some role players were excusing themselves at the eleventh hour and as the Vice President Education, I had to band-aid as best as I could. This meeting saw 23 members and guests converging at the IJM Cobra Clubhouse in Petaling Jaya, and when you hit past the 20-people mark, you know a Toastmasters meeting will be really warm and engaging. If it is a Taman Indrahana meeting, it will be much more than that – it will also be lots of fun! This meeting had a Mid-autumn Festival theme and so, we had a chance to sample a good array of different types of mooncakes. Food aside, I presented my CC speech # 4: How to Say It titled “The Beautiful Language” – of course, referring to the alluring elegance of the English language. It was very much an impromptu effort because I didn’t get to work on my speech. How could I? I was busy finding replacements for those who have bailed out on me. Still, it was amazing that as I stood there in front of everybody, I could there and then, craft a 5-plus minute speech armed with just a simple title. Looking back, the thought of me pulling off this stunt is unnerving! Never again, I swear! Next time, I promise I will prepare. I was fortunate that the words came out and I could string them together into a coherent speech And the bonus came when I was voted the Best Assignment Speaker for the evening. I think I am improving my speechmaking skills by the day!

The country’s two motorsport bigwigs – Proton Holdings Bhd and Lotus Racing Formula One team – are set to clash in the British courts over the rights to the Team Lotus name. This is going to be an interesting and potentially bruising fight because on one hand, Tony Fernandez and company claimed to have acquired the rights to the trademark Team Lotus through their purchase of Team Lotus Ventures Ltd from David Hunt, but on the other hand, Proton, the company which owns British-based Lotus sportscars are insisting they are the owners of this brand, and will take all necessary steps to protect it.

Proton chairman Nadzmi Salleh explained: "We believe the Lotus brand to be one of the most valuable brands in Formula 1 today.

On Tuesday, Lotus Racing chief executive officer Riad Asmat denied Proton Holdings Bhd’s contention that Lotus Racing had no right to use the ‘Team Lotus’ name and said they intended to clear the issue.

“We have, therefore, today issued proceedings in the English High Court for a declaration that Team Lotus Ventures has the rights to use the Team Lotus name and everything associated with that brand in relation to Formula One™,” he said in a statement on Tuesday.

“However, given that this is contested by Group Lotus we think now is the time to clear this matter up so there can be no further arguments,” he said. He is stating the obvious!

According to this webpage, accessed today, Team Lotus Ventures rights to use ‘Team Lotus” (Trade Mark 2297413A) for Class 41 goods or services (i.e. motor racing, etc) were revoked this year itself.

As this Proton statement said, Group Lotus is the owner of all rights in the Lotus automotive brand including those relating to Formula One (Webpage, posted today)

All I know is that both Proton and the Tune Group are spoiling for a fight!

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