Styling scuffle: Henrik Fisker files £68 million lawsuit against Aston Martin

Published: 05 January 2016

► Fisker files £68 million damages case against Aston
► Aston claimed to be forcing Fisker out of the market
► Contention focuses on new ‘Force 1’ supercar

Henrik Fisker, the man behind Fisker Automotive, is attempting to sue Aston Martin for damages in excess of $100 million. That’s around £68 million, at today’s rates.

Fisker, previously design director at Aston Martin and responsible for the V8 Vantage and the DB9, claims that Aston has requested that he does not reveal his latest project. The car, called the Force 1, was due to be revealed at the upcoming Detroit motor show.

Aston, however, thinks that the new Force 1 bears too much of a resemblance to a DB10. Consequently, it doesn’t want Fisker to display the car because Aston will be forced to protect its intellectual property rights on the grounds of design similarity.

So now Fisker’s suing Aston?

Fisker is of the opinion that Aston Martin is effectively attempting to strong-arm him out of the sports car industry. He received a letter, regarding the display of the Force 1 at Detroit, stating that ‘Aston Martin will not hesitate to protect its valuable rights if necessary.’

This was percieved as a threat of legal action, based on an incomplete render, prompting Fisker to fire up a civil extortion lawsuit.

His case states that this potential litigation would also subject Fisker to ‘public humiliation, embarrassment in the industry and significant financial losses.’

Preventing the display of the Force 1, a £200k carbonfibre sports coupe, would likely cause considerable damage to the project itself, causing Fisker further angst.

Hang on, haven’t they fought before?

You’re not imagining things. On March 27 last year, Aston Martin filed a case against Fisker over his Project Thunderbolt concept.

It was based on a Vanquish and, due to its similar looks, was deemed to represent an infringement of Aston’s intellectual property rights.

Fisker then decided that he would not produce the Thunderbolt, so Aston Martin withdrew the lawsuit.

A short release followed in which it was stated that: ‘The Parties confirm that that they have amicably resolved those matters, as well as any attendant misunderstandings.’

Perhaps they weren’t resolved as well as they had hoped.

By Lewis Kingston

Formerly of this parish. Inveterate car buyer and seller; currently owner of a '68 Charger project car