By Emily Goddard

London 2012 has settled out-of-court in the design row surrounding the Olympic Cauldron ©Getty ImagesLondon 2012 has agreed an out-of-court settlement with a United States-based consultancy Atopia after a row erupted over the origins of the design of the Olympic Cauldron.

The firm claimed that between 2006 and 2008 it had developed concepts for the Games' sustainability pavilion to be built using flower-shaped elements, one for each participating nation that would be brought in by "bearers" and constructed during the Opening Ceremony, which took place two years ago today.

Atopia then highlighted the similarities between their designs and that of the Olympic Cauldron, developed by Heatherwick Studio, which featured 204 individual "petals", one for each participating nation, which were brought into the Olympic Stadium during the Opening Ceremony to build the Cauldron.

Atopia insisted it was not accusing anyone of plagiarism, but Thomas Heatherwick branded the claims as "spurious nonsense".

However, London 2012 has now acknowledged that Atopia did work on the proposed temporary sustainability pavilion for the Games.

A statement said it had submitted a proposal including: "the live-time construction of the pavilion in the Opening Ceremony for the Games; the pavilion being made from 200+ flower shaped forms, one for each of the  participating nations; the flower-shaped forms to be brought into the Opening Ceremony by 'bearers' in each participating nations team; as part of the Ceremony the 'bearers' to pass each flower shaped form to the 'next generation' to be 'planted' and 'deployed' as a pavilion; and after the Games the flower shaped forms to be returned to the participating nations."

Thomas Heatherwick’s design for the London 2012 Olympic Cauldron featured 204 individual “petals” - one for each participating nation ©Getty ImagesThomas Heatherwick’s design for the London 2012 Olympic Cauldron featured 204 individual “petals” - one for each participating nation ©Getty Images

Joint liquidator Phillip Sykes added: "I can confirm that the settlement agreement between Atopia and LOCOG explicitly excludes any confirmation or acceptance of any liability on the part of LOCOG or anyone else.

"It is between Atopia and LOCOG and has no implications for any other party."

Heatherwick reiterated that the move had nothing to do with him.

"I knew nothing of this settlement until today and it has no implication for any of the creative team," he said.

"As we've said before, the design process was categorically our own, from start to finish."

London 2012 Olympic Opening Ceremony director Danny Boyle also insisted there was no foul play.

"We tried to acknowledge all inspirations and contributions, great and small, and while it's inevitable some were innocently overlooked, can assure everyone, the public, Atopia, LOCOG's liquidators, judges, lawyers, that at no point did any of the creative team involved in creating the Opening Ceremony see or hear about Atopia's work," he said.

"We studiously avoided any of LOCOG's development work prior to our involvement precisely so that we could create an original Ceremony, beholden to no one and based on what we saw as the best of British culture.

"It would beggar belief if we had taken, unacknowledged, an idea for so fundamental a part of the show from an American company."

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