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Lotus dispute heading back to court after Bahrain

The Lotus naming dispute will return to the High Court after the F1 season begins in March.

In London on Monday, a judge rejected Group Lotus’ application for a summary ruling, which would have settled the dispute in the marque’s favour before a full trial.

The separate outfit headed by Tony Fernandes, which is also heading into the 2010 season with the Lotus name, said in a statement that “Team Lotus is delighted” with the decision.

The statement said Group Lotus’ application was thrown out “even before (the judge heard) the arguments of the barristers”.

“(It) took him (the judge) all of three minutes to say ‘Let’s get this whole thing sorted in one go’ (in March),” the Telegraph’s Tom Cary, who attended the hearing, revealed on Twitter.

Cary added that both sides were “taken aback” when Justice Peter Smith brought forward the date of the full trial from late 2011 or even 2012 to March 21.

“Although this decision was never in doubt, it means that we start the 2011 season under the Team Lotus name,” said Team Lotus.

Cary said the judge “also made it clear that he would prefer to see the two sides settle out of court before March 21”, which is a week after the season opener in Bahrain.