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.
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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