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“The #1 Ball In Golf…Was Built On Callaway Golf Technology” says Callaway

titleist vs callaway

Titleist & Callaway Both Release Statements…What Is This, Hollywood?

Can Titleist Save The Pro V1 Brand?

If your a regular at our MGS blog you’re already aware that Callaway won a monsterous court battle against it’s golf ball rival Titleist a little over a week ago. If you’re new here…feel free to get yourself up to speed (past article). We won’t bore you with the court reported details…but basically the ruling was quite the smack-down on Titleist. I mean think about it…the Pro V1 is what comes to mind nowadays when you hear the name Titleist.

Titleist…”You Just Don’t Make Them Like You Used To”

And this means that they will not be allowed to sell the most popular golf ball of all time ever again…well atleast in its original form. You see Titleist has already come up with a replacement that they will continue to call the Pro V1 to the public…they would be morons not to. But it is NOT the same ball. “In September 2008, we converted production of the existing Pro V1 models so that they are outside of the patents in question”, said Joe Nauman, chief legal counsel for Titleist parent Acushnet Company. Did you know this…pretty interesting huh?

Titleist Hires Britney Spears Publicist? Seriously…Maybe They Should

Titleist was first to send out a press release in an attempt to minimize the damages (read here) although I think the damage might already be done. But…you never know…they might hire Britney’s publicist…I mean if they can get her back on top then saving the Pro V1′s career is a piece of cake.

Callaway’s Response To Titleist Press Release:

“You may have heard about the recent federal court injunction barring the sale of Titleist Pro V1 golf balls in the United States beginning in 2009. There are a lot of questions out there, and we want to give you the straight story from our perspective. What does Callaway Golf have to do with this injunction and what does it mean to you, the consumer? In a nutshell, we believe the court victory described below shows that the Pro V1 golf balls were built on Callaway Golf technology. In fact, after hearing all the evidence, a federal court has ordered Titleist to stop selling the infringing golf balls effective January 1, 2009. Read on for the details.titlesit prov1

What is the injunction? This is a legal ruling that validates and protects Callaway Golf’s proprietary, patented golf ball technology. A federal court has issued a permanent injunction to block the manufacture and sale of infringing Titleist Pro V1 family of golf balls by Acushnet and by participating retailers. As a result, the infringing Pro V1 and Pro V1x golf balls cannot be sold by retailers in the United States after Jan. 1, 2009. At the request of Callaway Golf, the federal court has allowed professional golfers to play current and past model Pro V1 golf balls through the end of the current calendar year.

When did this happen, and how long is it in effect? The ruling, issued Nov. 10 from the United States District Court in Wilmington, Delaware, grants Callaway Golf’s request for a permanent injunction to stop the sale of Acushnet’s infringing line of Titleist Pro V1 family of golf balls. In an earlier concession in the case, Acushnet admitted that it infringed our patents. In its November 10 ruling the Court also rejected Acushnet’s request to overturn a December 2007 jury verdict that found Callaway Golf’s golf ball patents were valid.

Why does this matter to Callaway Golf? Callaway Golf has some 1,130 U.S. patents and more than 2,100 worldwide patents; in 2007 alone, the Company was granted 94 U.S. patents. Callaway Golf vigorously defends its technology and inventions against infringement.

“Callaway Golf has invested millions of dollars in research and development to create innovative products for millions of golfers around the world, and has protected those products with one of the broadest patent portfolios in golf,” said Steve McCracken, Senior Executive Vice President, Chief Administrative Officer, Callaway Golf. “We are very pleased with the Court’s decision which will stop the sale of these infringing Pro V1 golf balls. We believe in and encourage vigorous competition in business and on the golf course, because it helps create better products and better golfers, but we also believe in playing by the rules.”

What happens now? Acushnet recently announced that it has converted its production facilities to make an interim version of its existing Pro V1 golf balls that, Acushnet asserts, do not infringe the Callaway Golf patent in issue in the current lawsuit. Callaway Golf is examining those interim golf balls to determine if they violate any Callaway Golf patents. Acushnet has also announced it will appeal the trial court’s rulings.”

We Want Your Opinion (Leave Us A Comment)

There is a lot of hoopla going on right now surrounding this case…and will be for years to come. So, what do you think?

1. Do you think this is a smart play (Callaway’s Press Release) or is their tone just annoying and childi
2. Can Titleist save the Pro V1 Brand?
3. Think this is one of the only reasons Callaway purchased Spalding/Top-Flite in the first place?
4. Patents and the R & D that go into them are expensive and you should enforce them no matter what the costs?
5. Has this effected the way you might purchase your golf balls from now on?
6. Don’t care at all and will continue to play Titleist balls?

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{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

Rick November 20, 2008 at 8:45 pm

Callaway did not create the four patents in question, Spalding did. Callaway is far-reaching
for attention. Frankly with the new products from Callaway they need to divert attention themselves…It looks like they need to go back drawing board.
Golfers who need the best will always relay on Titleist.

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mygolfspy November 21, 2008 at 9:46 am

So…are you saying that you do not think that Callaway should defend what they paid for?

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Jeff Blue November 21, 2008 at 5:51 am

I am a Callaway fan I play thier irons, driver and like the new ball but I also like the Pro V1′s. I don’t like this add because it is not thier technology they purchased it. Yes that is probably the reason they bought Spalding in the first place to help them make a dent in the ball market what I don’t understand is why they don’t use it. I do think patents should be protected and Titleist has to change but I also believe Titleist will be fine. If this puts adent in the Titleist market share it will probably help other company more than Callaway because the add is very arrogant. Will I still buy Callaway products yes, will I still buy Titleist products yes I love the 909h and can’t wait to get my hands on them. If there is one good thing that may come out of this is maybe Titleist won’t be able to get the extra 5 bucks a dozen just because of the name.

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mygolfspy November 21, 2008 at 9:48 am

Good point…if the price of golf balls goes down because of this…then that will be a victory for more then just Callaway.

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Rob November 21, 2008 at 5:18 pm

Titleist should just apologize and move on. They have all but admitted to doing it by changing the new ProV1s so they are outside the patents. I don’t see anything wrong with Callaway’s ad. It doesn’t matter if Callaway bought the patents or not. Still property of Callaway, so that to me is a non issue. I always thought ProV1s were so popular just because so many pros get paid to play them and wear the hats. Of course I can’t afford to hit them and then try to find them in the woods either so I could be missing out too. But heck, Tiger is #1 with a Nike and Phil was #2 with a Callaway so try to figure that one out.

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Anders November 22, 2008 at 12:37 pm
mygolfspy November 22, 2008 at 9:16 pm

LOL…yeah I like that one Anders…good stuff.

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Carlos November 23, 2008 at 4:48 pm

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

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Carl December 11, 2008 at 8:11 am

Neither Callaway nor Titleist accurately describe the injunction or its timing. It was effective immediately on November 10 with one exception: Acushnet’s professional golfers under contract to play the ball can continue to use it until January 1, 2009. Press statements by both companies indicate sales must stop by January 1. It is possible the companies agreed to the January 1 date notwithstanding the ruling. Titleist’s appeal is pending.

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Gary January 7, 2009 at 8:22 am

The truth of the matter is that for years, both of these companies have done their share of driving the golf industry into the toilet through their respective marketing techniques. When Callaway bought Top Flite (for which they overpaid thanks to Taylormade), they figured this was the last piece of the puzzle to be “King of the hill.” And Titleist just can’t accept the fact that the entire golf industry passed them by about 15 years ago, so the 2 companies decided to fight it out in court. The only thing that is keeping both companies alive is sales of their products in the Far East as sales in the USA keep dropping. I am amazed that Fortune Brands (owner of Titleist) is putting up with all of this. Frankly, I am sick of both them and I wish them a painful, agonizing death.

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