Titleist win patent dispute

Titleist manufacturers Acushnet have announced that a US District Court has given a final judgment in its favour.

Acushnet Company, the makers of Titleist golf balls, golf clubs and apparel, have announced that the US District Court of Delaware has given a final judgment in its favour.

This in its long-running patent dispute with Callaway Golf.

The judge, the statement said, denied Callaway’s request for a new trial, and the case was now officially closed in the US District Court more than five years after Callaway filed a lawsuit asserting that Acushnet’s Titleist Pro V1 golf balls infringed on four Callaway patents.

“Today’s positive ruling substantiates what our contention has been throughout this process, that the patents in question were invalid and should never have been issued,” said Joe Nauman, Executive Vice President Corporate and Legal, Acushnet Company.

“We had confidence that once we had the opportunity to present all the evidence, and as we continued to receive favorable rulings from the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office (PTO), we would prevail.

“The confirmation by the US District Court is another significant step in finalising this case.”

Acushnet’s statement this week said the dispute began in January 2006 when Acushnet requested that the PTO re-examine the four patents in question.

Callaway then filed a lawsuit in February 2006 asserting that Acushnet’s Titleist Pro V1 golf balls infringed certain claims of those patents.

In March 2010, a jury determined that all four patents were invalid as “obvious and anticipated”.

Last month, the PTO affirmed the patent examiner’s decision that the claims of four Callaway Golf patents were invalid. On Monday the judge upheld the jury verdict on obviousness and rejected Callaway’s request for a new trial.

Callaway has the option, however, to appeal the case to the Federal Circuit.

Acushnet Company is the industry leader in developing golf ball technology and has over 700 active golf ball patents – more than any other manufacturer.

Titleist Pro V1 golf balls, Acushnet stated, are the product of technology developed and accumulated by the Acushnet Company over the past 20 years, and over 65 Acushnet Company patents are related to the Pro V1 family.