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Callaway Seeks Permanent Injunction Against Titleist

kemaukemau Advanced Members Posts: 5,148
edited January 2008 in Golf Balls
No More ProV1 Use on Tour or Sale at end of 2008
Can you imagine if this goes through???



Full Article Here



Select paragraphs taken from proposed order.....



"1. Acushnet’s professional golfers currently under contract are permitted to play ProV1 products through the end of the 2008 calendar year. However, in addition to the notice required below in paragraph 4, Acushnet shall notify in writing all professional golfers affiliated with Acushnet that ProV1 products will no longer be available after December 31, 2008.



2. Distributors and retailers of Acushnet’s products, and Acushnet customers may dispose of remaining ProV1 product inventory in their physical possession by sale or otherwise, but Acushnet shall not further supply any distributors, retailers and/or customers with ProV1 products as of the date of this Order."
Post edited by Unknown User on
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Comments

  • jjc2257jjc2257 Advanced Members Posts: 384
    Is there any real chance that this could actually happen?
  • SakmanSakman @ryansako Marshals Posts: 6,291 mod
    ****, talk about kicking someone while they're down...



    IMO, this will be settled out of court for an undisclosed amount of $$$. Guess we'll just have to wait to see what happens.



    Nice find.
  • TM golf guyTM golf guy Advanced Members Posts: 9,985
    This could be very interesting. I agree though, I think it will just be settled for a large amount of money.
  • woodlandsgolfer woodlandsgolfer Advanced Members Posts: 904 ✭✭
    jjc2257 wrote on Jan 20 2008, 07:34 PM:
    Is there any real chance that this could actually happen?




    It is very real that this could happen. The key with the wording is that injunctive relief means that money can't solve all the problems. The damage goes beyond financial matters. But then again, with patents in general, this stuff happens all the time. Companies are constantly suing to protect their patents. And many times they settle and no one really ever hears about it.
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  • BEND OF THE RIVER GCBEND OF THE RIVER GC Charter Members Posts: 6,559
    edited January 2008
    Sakman wrote on Jan 20 2008, 08:43 PM:
    ****, talk about kicking someone while they're down...



    IMO, this will be settled out of court for an undisclosed amount of $$$. Guess we'll just have to wait to see what happens.



    Nice find.




    I highly doubt it as Callaway surely wants a large slice of Titleist's already huge market share in the golf ball industry.



    Titleist will release something they call "better" to replace the Pro V1 line.



    Strart stocking up on the V1 and V1x people!



    They will also want to stop making thembecause they won't want to pay out all the royalty monies to B-Stone and Callaway forever.
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  • rtk90 rtk90 Advanced Members Posts: 455
    i doubt it will matter it will prob be tied up in courts forever and nothing will ever be heard of it again... if it does go through however i guess i wont have an alternate to the B330-S... lol
  • bogeykbogeyk Advanced Members Posts: 987 ✭✭
    edited January 2008
    They could settle for stock and Callaway could let another company go to pot as they did with Hogan. Just kidding. This could really kill Titleist where the ball is their money maker. I would have to guess a settlement is unlikely. Callaway isn't hurting for money and it would be a cash cow to eliminate the number one competition. I would bet that Bridgestone, Nike, and Srixon are interested in the outcome as well.
  • QueenCityGolferQueenCityGolfer Pin Seeker Extraordinaire Members Posts: 69
    The real question is...Would Callaway be pushing this lawsuit if they were the undisputed leader in the industry? Doubt it.



    There isn't a company in the world that doesn't look at new products and try to improve on them. Callaway is acting like Titleist stole their recipe or something. How many inovations has Titleist made over the last 50+ years that Callaway benefits from today?



    Callaway Golf: A better game by design. If you can't beat em', sue em'.
  • SakmanSakman @ryansako Marshals Posts: 6,291 mod
    BEND OF THE RIVER GC wrote on Jan 20 2008, 08:57 PM:
    Sakman wrote on Jan 20 2008, 08:43 PM:
    ****, talk about kicking someone while they're down...



    IMO, this will be settled out of court for an undisclosed amount of $$$. Guess we'll just have to wait to see what happens.



    Nice find.




    I highly doubt it as Callaway surely wants a large slice of Titleist's already huge market share in the golf ball industry.



    Titleist will release something they call "better" to replace the Pro V1 line.



    Strart stocking up on the V1 and V1x people!



    They will also want to stop making thembecause they won't want to pay out all the royalty monies to B-Stone and Callaway forever.




    I agree, which OEM doesn't want a piece of the Titleist pie? The problem is that I cannot see the golf industry without the Pro V1. This is why I think it's going to be settled differently.



    FWIW, I'm not a Pro V player either...
  • kemaukemau Advanced Members Posts: 5,148
    QueenCityGolfer wrote on Jan 20 2008, 09:08 PM:
    The real question is...Would Callaway be pushing this lawsuit if they were the undisputed leader in the industry? Doubt it.



    There isn't a company in the world that doesn't look at new products and try to improve on them. Callaway is acting like Titleist stole their recipe or something. How many inovations has Titleist made over the last 50+ years that Callaway benefits from today?



    Callaway Golf: A better game by design. If you can't beat em', sue em'.




    the real answer is......yes Callaway would be pushing a lawsuit and that would be regardless of their position in the industry. this is the 2nd time Titleist has infringed upon the disputed patents in question. therefore Callaway is indeed acting like Titleist stole their recipe because they did. you're not innovating something if you're stealing from two companies to do it
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  • woodlandsgolfer woodlandsgolfer Advanced Members Posts: 904 ✭✭
    QueenCityGolfer wrote on Jan 20 2008, 08:08 PM:
    The real question is...Would Callaway be pushing this lawsuit if they were the undisputed leader in the industry? Doubt it.



    There isn't a company in the world that doesn't look at new products and try to improve on them. Callaway is acting like Titleist stole their recipe or something. How many inovations has Titleist made over the last 50+ years that Callaway benefits from today?



    Callaway Golf: A better game by design. If you can't beat em', sue em'.




    Sure they would be. You have to protect your products. If you aren't actively protecting it, someone will be actively trying to duplicate and make it better without you knowing. That's how manufacturers work.



    And according to the jury, Callaway should be acting like Titleist stole their recipe. Because according to the jury, they did. It really doesn't matter how many things Titleist has done over the last 50+ years. Based on this ruling, they infringed on Callaway's patents and Callaway is seeking injunctive relief. When seeking injunctive relief, you've got have a really, really, really good case. Apparently, they do. It will be interesting to see how it plays out.



    Maybe Titleist should come up with the ProV2 or something, because by this time next year, they may be needing.
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  • MR MIZUN0MR MIZUN0 Advanced Members Posts: 564
    This looks like a good case if you ask me......in the future there may be no Pro V's (if titleist stopped producing Pro V's, how much do you think their stock would go down, their stock has been slowly receding over the month.)
  • strapper22strapper22 Members Posts: 8
    Callaway would not go to court for the fun of it.They definately feel they have an issue!

    Cally purchased Topflite and Hogan (owned by Topflite at the time) for their ball business - Patents and research department. Callaway balls are built by the better patents developed by Toplfite research.



    Amazing that the guy who developed the Titleist Pro V left the company a couple of years ago, and is now responsible for the development of the Taylormade Reds & Blacks.... Interesting, do you think he knew something!
  • woodlandsgolfer woodlandsgolfer Advanced Members Posts: 904 ✭✭
    MR MIZUN0 wrote on Jan 20 2008, 09:16 PM:
    This looks like a good case if you ask me......in the future there may be no Pro V's (if titleist stopped producing Pro V's, how much do you think their stock would go down, their stock has been slowly receding over the month.)




    How much do you think their stock would go down? It probably wouldn't put a huge dent in Fortune Brands, Acushnet's parent company. But as far as Titleist, unless they can come up with something quick and do some great PR, it could be the end of the road. Are they going to live off their clubs? Hardly, Titleist is a ball company that makes clubs.
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  • skinkmanskinkman Banned Posts: 953
    i hate patent thieves image/black eye.gif' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=';)' />



    slime balls..
  • Ace In The HoleAce In The Hole What blocks growth is ignorance. Advanced Members Posts: 1,562
    edited January 2008
    Pro-V's will not be taken off the shelf ever, but I can tell you that Callaway will have there hands in the pocket of Acushnet for a large percentage of sales till the end of time, the Pro-v1 name is to big for Callaway to take off the market it would be in their best interest to settle out of court to get a percentage of the Acushnet sales from the Pro-v1 Callaway may hold the patent on the Tech but Titleist holds all rights on the name. Just my two cents, me thinks the consumer will never know/see the difference.
  • stpstp Advanced Members Posts: 981
    edited January 2008
    quote from queencitygolfer



    "The real question is...Would Callaway be pushing this lawsuit if they were the undisputed leader in the industry? Doubt it.



    There isn't a company in the world that doesn't look at new products and try to improve on them. Callaway is acting like Titleist stole their recipe or something. How many inovations has Titleist made over the last 50+ years that Callaway benefits from today?



    Callaway Golf: A better game by design. If you can't beat em', sue em'."







    Your argument is ridiculous. Titleist/achushnet has lost significant patent infringement lawsuits to Callaway and Bridgstone. They have stolen intellectual property from those two companies. If you steal you go to jail. In the corporate world you lose money or are prohibited form doing something. In this case not continuing to produce a ball with stolen technology.
  • bambooluvbambooluv Advanced Members Posts: 1,273
    Ace In The Hole wrote on Jan 20 2008, 09:40 PM:
    Pro-V's will not be taken off the shelf ever, but I can tell you that Callaway will have there hands in the pocket of Acushnet for a large percentage of sales till the end of time, the Pro-v1 name is to big for Callaway to take off the market it would be in their best interest to settle out of court to get a percentage of the Acushnet sales from the Pro-v1 Callaway may hold the patent on the Tech but Titleist holds all rights on the name. Just my two cents, me thinks the consumer will never know/see the difference.






    Good point, but coming off the heels of the bridgestone loss ( which no one really knows how much bridgestone is getting) this will be the deciding hit on them.
  • kemaukemau Advanced Members Posts: 5,148
    Ace In The Hole wrote on Jan 20 2008, 10:40 PM:
    the Pro-v1 name is to big for Callaway to take off the market it would be in their best interest to settle out of court




    the ProV1 name is too big for Callaway to take off the market?!?! it would be in their best interest to settle out of court?!?! i hope you seriously don't believe that.....but somehow i think you do.
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  • ChrisM84ChrisM84 Members Posts: 414
    Titleist will just bring out a new ball.



    And probably still out sell Callaway.
  • wardogatcwardogatc Advanced Members Posts: 219
    They should refer to the case of Callahan Auto Parts vs. Zalinsky Auto Parts. In a landmark ploy, Callahan avoided a buyout by selling their product to Zalinsky, thus making the necessary capital to avoid a bank forclosure. Zalinsky had planned to buy out Callahan, close the production factory, and sell the Callahan product as a premium name in Zalinsky stores. Maybe Acushnet should try this with Callaway.



    Just an idea...shut up Richard!
  • kemaukemau Advanced Members Posts: 5,148
    ChrisM84 wrote on Jan 20 2008, 10:57 PM:
    Titleist will just bring out a new ball.




    and the point being this is what they should've done in the first place back then......but since they had nothing they took from others and called it their own
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  • scubusscubus Advanced Members Posts: 194
    ChrisM84 wrote on Jan 20 2008, 10:57 PM:
    Titleist will just bring out a new ball.



    And probably still out sell Callaway.


    If they had the ability to bring out a new ball with similar or improved performance, don't you think they would have done that rather than steal patents and risk this very scenario?
  • BD57BD57 Advanced Members Posts: 254 ✭✭
    Some of you guys - yes, you, QC - ought to read a bit before posting.



    The premise of the Callaway's suit is 1) the Pro V1 steals patent technology owned by Callaway; 2) Titleist stole the technology because it feared its clock was about to be cleaned by the Rule 35 golf ball; 3) but for Titleist's theft of Callaway's technology, Titleist's clock would've been cleaned.



    If the information available is correct, prior to trial, Titleist admitted it was using the patented technology; it didn't answer by saying "We didn't do it," its response was "the patents never should've been issued in the first place." The jury resolved that question against Titleist on 8 of the 9 patent claims.



    So .... Titleist stole the technology other people spent their own money to develop & that's "ok?"



    The central premise of patent law is that inventors must benefit from their inventions or else they won't pay the price they pay in terms of time, money, etc. to invent. Patent law does this by giving the inventor the right to control (and profit from) his/her invention for a set period of time, after which the public at large can use the technology freely.



    Based on the current status of the case, the Pro V1's are based on stolen technology. If it stands up, Titleist ought to have its nose bloodied.
  • StugyGolfStugyGolf PING Player Advanced Members Posts: 669
    I want to get this thing straight as some of the lingo is confusing me...



    Callaway wants to force Titleist to stop production of the ProV1/ProV1x for reasons of copywrite infringement by the end of 08?



    ****... I dont wana play Callaways, they suck...



    I'm guna have to tell my coach to start stocking up...
  • scubusscubus Advanced Members Posts: 194
    Cdn_golfer wrote on Jan 20 2008, 11:40 PM:
    I want to get this thing straight as some of the lingo is confusing me...



    Callaway wants to force Titleist to stop production of the ProV1/ProV1x for reasons of copywrite infringement by the end of 08?



    ****... I dont wana play Callaways, they suck...



    I'm guna have to tell my coach to start stocking up...


    I think it is actually patent infringement, but essentially, yes.
  • QueenCityGolferQueenCityGolfer Pin Seeker Extraordinaire Members Posts: 69
    edited January 2008
    Callaway specifically says in that document that they seek to "level the playing field." They further state that the Pro V1 golf ball has boosted the sales of other Titleist equipment, and seem to suggest that compensation/penalties of some kind is just for that as well, because it has caused Callaway "irreparable harm." Callaway believes that Titleist is not entitled of any of their success in any area (clubs, apparel, Footjoy shoes/gloves) because of one semi-similar golf ball, despite the fact that Titleist was the leader in the industry long before the Pro V1, or even Callaway Golf itself came along. So they are basically saying, anything Titleist has earned since the Pro V was released, is partially Callaway's. Sorry, but that argument is absurd.



    It's especially absurd because is comes from Callaway, the same company which has produced countless non-conforming metal woods over the last decade, which have definitely boosted their position in the marketplace. The public was/is largely unaware of that. People just gravitated to these clubs because balls flew off these clubs like rockets. People didn't know, or care why. Should Titleist be able to seek damages for that? Callaway woods out-sell Titleist woods like 3-1 don't they? Why? Did glowing reviews, recommendations, praise and awards for the non-conforming Callaway products from every major golf media outlet in the world, result in mass profit, and subsequent industry domination for Callaway? I would say it played a **** of a big part, yeah. And has the perception/assumption of their products performance charactaristics changed in the minds of consumers? Absolutely not. So what's the difference here? Callaway broke rules/laws/a code of ethics, to attain an unfair advantage in the marketplace, which is exactly the same thing they accuse Titleist of doing. Sorry, but I have no sympathy for Callaway. They are equally as guilty as Titleist if we are talking about fairness and "infringement."



    Now if they just sought to have the Pro V in it's current form, pulled from production, I might, and it's a strong "might", see some legitimacy in their argument, but what they are seemingly seeking is absurd.
  • gibbygibby Members Posts: 325
    Let's be realistic.........if we have this conversation in one or two years, nothing will have changed! so this is all wasted conversation!!!!!!
  • Cameron Circle TCameron Circle T The Doc Junior Mod Squad Posts: 2,210
    probly file for some sort of licensing agreement, get titleist to give them a share of the profits of every sale.





    if the prov1 doesnt exist it doesnt guarantee cally more money. if they have a portion of all sales of pro v's its guaranteed money.





    they'll have some exorbitant licensing agreement or something, and make a killing...
  • BFCBFC Lefty Boomers Posts: 589
    Quenn your funny. You get bent out of shape because a company has produced non-conforming clubs but yet back up a company that has ADMITED to stealing patents. They are no LAWS against no conforming clubs, just rules to this stupid game we play. As of last year so did Cobra (who owns Cobra again?) and Nike. Did they too gain an unfair advantage in the market place?



    Stealing intelectual property however is against real (ie civil/criminal) laws.
  • jklosterjkloster Members Posts: 69
    edited January 2008
    gibby wrote on Jan 21 2008, 01:50 AM:
    Let's be realistic.........if we have this conversation in one or two years, nothing will have changed! so this is all wasted conversation!!!!!!




    That's a little disingenuous .... Titleist has been spending millions defending itself from Bridgestone and Cally and will be forced to continue to do so. These suits have effectively tied up upper management for the past two years. Then, to add to it, they haven't had a great year on equipment either....leading to a huge shakeup that effectively has Cobra pulling double duty - designing both their clubs as well as Titleist's...though I realize it's the same labor pool.



    So in short....depending on how nasty this gets it could cause serious development issues for Titleist.



    I'm all for a strong defense of patents, but the docs make it pretty clear that Cally is is swinging for a grad slam when all they really have is a ground-rule double.
  • scottyallanbscottyallanb Berkley High School Golf Coach Advanced Members Posts: 1,735
    edited January 2008
    That was going to be my point exactly. You cant compare stealing to making a non-conforming product. Also dont believe that the non-conforming arguement is a good one either. Nike got killed when the word came out that their Sumo's were non-conforming. They lost a solid month of sales when the word came out. If you remember that was right during the holiday buying spree. This was straight from a Nike reps lips.



    Bridgestone is already getting a piece of Titleist Golf ball sales and it seems like this could be a court decision that could hurt their court decision. If Prov's are not being sold Bridgestone isnt getting paid. Again I dont like seeing a big name like Titleist needing to steal its way to the top. There are already rumors that there club line might get dismantled. Where will it end. Man my Titleist tatoo is coming back to haunt me. What a drunk night with a bunch of golfers will do to you.



    Scotty B





    Titleist new ball for 2009 Titleist Clone and the LIKURS. Sorry had to do it. I am a backer of Titleist just disappointed.
  • StaffBagStaffBag Titleist is... and always will be... #1 Advanced Members Posts: 642
    Blah... Blah... Blah... Blah... Blah!!



    Let's take a little step back and take a reality check with this. If Callaway wins this case, (and they might), I would bet that it won't matter much anyway.



    The ProV1 first came out around 2000. That makes this ball (and all of it's variations on the same theme) an EIGHT year old piece of technology. Yes, I know that it has been tweaked about every year or two since it first came out, but I'm sure that Titleist has been working feverishly on a replacement to this line of balls. They have already done major overhauls on the NXT line and it's offshoots of Tour and Extreme as of 2008. I would bet that there will soon be a "new" super high-end ball coming out. One that is extremely resistant to shearing, is even more stable in the wind, and will be soft as butter for feel.



    I don't know, but IF Titleist did "steal" the technology from Callaway, then the cycle has probably now run it's course and a new ball will soon be coming out for 2009!



    I have no inside information. This is just a hunch.









    But I would bet that it will come to pass and be true!



    Of course, we all know that Callaway sues Titleist... then Titleist sues Callaway.... and the cycle continues. The only money that is changing hands is with the lawyers. And all of the golfing public will be paying a rediculous amount for thier premium "rocks" in the future by 2010!



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  • dacdac Advanced Members Posts: 1,501
    wow, this is big news indeed. the whole case itself with bridgestone & callaway makes you question if titleist's control of the ball market is slipping away.
  • Night trainNight train Advanced Members Posts: 2,815 ✭✭
    There is probably a good chance the Pro V1 line will cease and as several have suggested, there will be a new Titleist premium ball of some sort to replace it.



    The question is..........can they currently produce a ball that will meet or exceed the Pro V1's performance without again using someone else's patents????????????



    It might be a lot easier said than done!
  • lgriffiths1981lgriffiths1981 Advanced Members Posts: 352
    Yikes.......I've just read the entire brief via the link and lets say that Callaway are going for it big time!!. The tone and language that they use doesn't indicate that they want a monetary settlement either, rather removal of the Pro V1 from the market place.



    The Titleist marketing guys and engineers will probably be working overtime to develop a back up plan i.e. a new ball with an aggressive marketing strategy.



    But for those with a better legal backround, if Cally win how would this affect a new product release by Titleist?... would "Pro V" have to be removed from any new release i.e. "PRO V2" could not be used for example.

    And assuming the PRO V1 was designed with Patent infringements, would a new ball have to remove these technologies??
  • kemaukemau Advanced Members Posts: 5,148
    StaffBag wrote on Jan 21 2008, 02:00 AM:
    Blah... Blah... Blah... Blah... Blah!!



    Let's take a little step back and take a reality check with this. If Callaway wins this case, (and they might), I would bet that it won't matter much anyway.



    The ProV1 first came out around 2000. That makes this ball (and all of it's variations on the same theme) an EIGHT year old piece of technology. Yes, I know that it has been tweaked about every year or two since it first came out, but I'm sure that Titleist has been working feverishly on a replacement to this line of balls. They have already done major overhauls on the NXT line and it's offshoots of Tour and Extreme as of 2008. I would bet that there will soon be a "new" super high-end ball coming out. One that is extremely resistant to shearing, is even more stable in the wind, and will be soft as butter for feel.



    I don't know, but IF Titleist did "steal" the technology from Callaway, then the cycle has probably now run it's course and a new ball will soon be coming out for 2009!



    I have no inside information. This is just a hunch.









    But I would bet that it will come to pass and be true!



    Of course, we all know that Callaway sues Titleist... then Titleist sues Callaway.... and the cycle continues. The only money that is changing hands is with the lawyers. And all of the golfing public will be paying a rediculous amount for thier premium "rocks" in the future by 2010!



    image/black eye.gif' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=';)' />




    Callaway has already won their case......this is now the penalty phase as to how Titleist should be held accountable. if Titleist has been working on a "replacement to this line of balls" then where is it??? does it take 8 years to come out with it or do we see they've been stealing from Callaway & Bridgestone so long they forgot to continue innovating to come out with their OWN breakthrough golf ball technology???



    this isn't a matter of "IF Titleist did steal the technology" as two lawsuits have proven it to be fact. and i doubt the cycle of patent use has run its course as there has been ample opportunity to say "the patents are no longer in our production runs and we have since developed something unique." hence i see it to mean they're still using it as the proposed motions applies to "the infringement of the Relevant Patent Claims.....with regard to, any of the Pro V1 line of golf balls including the Pro V1, Pro V1x, Pro V1*, or any variations thereof...."



    it'll be interesting to see how Titleist responds
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  • GoldenhawkGoldenhawk Advanced Members Posts: 3,241
    image/busted2.gif' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=';)' /> Looks like Titleist will be going back to the wound, liquid core balls. If not, the price of the Pro V1 just went up to $55.00 a box in order to pay Bridgestone and Callaway.
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  • NPVWhizNPVWhiz Advanced Members Posts: 1,976
    edited January 2008
    kemau wrote on Jan 20 2008, 09:49 PM:
    QueenCityGolfer wrote on Jan 20 2008, 09:08 PM:
    The real question is...Would Callaway be pushing this lawsuit if they were the undisputed leader in the industry? Doubt it.



    There isn't a company in the world that doesn't look at new products and try to improve on them. Callaway is acting like Titleist stole their recipe or something. How many inovations has Titleist made over the last 50+ years that Callaway benefits from today?



    Callaway Golf: A better game by design. If you can't beat em', sue em'.




    the real answer is......yes Callaway would be pushing a lawsuit and that would be regardless of their position in the industry. this is the 2nd time Titleist has infringed upon the disputed patents in question. therefore Callaway is indeed acting like Titleist stole their recipe because they did. you're not innovating something if you're stealing from two companies to do it




    I'd gently offer that the "stealing" characterization is way off the mark. Acushnet has been an innovatorl...an original inventor of new and ground breaking ball technology for decades.



    To be honest...and I've always admired Callaway's brand management...Callaway acquired their innovation portfolio for golf balls the old fashioned way. They bought it with the acquisition of Spalding/Top Flite's ball patent portfolio. Granted, they've gotten into the game very strongly, but Callaway would be out of the ball business if it weren't for their cross licenses with other patent holding entities.



    You have to understand that when it comes to patents for golf balls, in most cases these days we're talking very small, incremental changes or very unusual approaches to measuring long-existing ball traits. How about a patent on a ball with a certain softness profile? You might be able to get such a patent with a $450 an hour patent atty that really knows the ball patent art well.



    That doesn't at all mean you could actually manufacture the ball. Having a patent gives you the right to exclude others from using your innovation. It doesn't necessarily give you the right to practice your own if there are other dominating patents that you would need to do so. This captures the most of the last 50 years of golf ball innovation fairly well.



    One company patents a ball dimple layout. Another company patents the use of certain cover materials with any existing dimple design. Then neither company can actually manufacture a ball with both innovations without a license from the other.



    This is the competitive game that the ball companies try to use to ensure that they can continue to have some leverage against their competitiors. This is how Spalding and Acushnet battled for years...a t**-for-tat that kept the lawyer in Mercedes and BMWs for ages.



    But, keep in mind that it is entirely possible for two engineers at two different golf ball companies to come up with the same incremental innovation independently, and almost at the same time.



    This is a very narrow field. Is someone working on a patent for a five cover ball? Probably, analogous to the old 10 bladed razor skit on SNL....I think there is a four bladed razor on the market today, but only because that's about the only place razors can go.



    It is possible, though, for two companies to come up with an innovation at almost the same time independently. In the US, the first to invent (based on records) will get the patent, but in just about every other country, the first party to file gets the patent.
    Post edited by Unknown User on
    Taylormade r11s 9 Penley Stealth 70x 44.5" D-3
    > Taylormade 16 M1 8.5 GD AD TP6x 44.0" D3 PX Hzrdus Black 75 6.0 44.5" D-3
    Nickent 3DX Pro 14 MRC Diamana WB 83s
    Hybrid: Adams Idea Pro 18 Grafalloy CNote ProtoX
    Mizuno MP62 DG x-100 Sensicore D-4 3-pw
    > Ping i200 DG120 S3 D-3 +1/4" Red 4-U.
    Vokey SM6 56-14/60-04M DG x-100 Sensicore 1xss D-5
    > Vokey SM6 56/10 60/4M DG 120 S300 35" D-5
    Scotty Golo
  • scs1070scs1070 Advanced Members Posts: 1,460
    What is a Rule 35 ball.
  • NPVWhizNPVWhiz Advanced Members Posts: 1,976
    kemau wrote on Jan 21 2008, 08:27 AM:
    StaffBag wrote on Jan 21 2008, 02:00 AM:
    Blah... Blah... Blah... Blah... Blah!!



    Let's take a little step back and take a reality check with this. If Callaway wins this case, (and they might), I would bet that it won't matter much anyway.



    The ProV1 first came out around 2000. That makes this ball (and all of it's variations on the same theme) an EIGHT year old piece of technology. Yes, I know that it has been tweaked about every year or two since it first came out, but I'm sure that Titleist has been working feverishly on a replacement to this line of balls. They have already done major overhauls on the NXT line and it's offshoots of Tour and Extreme as of 2008. I would bet that there will soon be a "new" super high-end ball coming out. One that is extremely resistant to shearing, is even more stable in the wind, and will be soft as butter for feel.



    I don't know, but IF Titleist did "steal" the technology from Callaway, then the cycle has probably now run it's course and a new ball will soon be coming out for 2009!



    I have no inside information. This is just a hunch.









    But I would bet that it will come to pass and be true!



    Of course, we all know that Callaway sues Titleist... then Titleist sues Callaway.... and the cycle continues. The only money that is changing hands is with the lawyers. And all of the golfing public will be paying a rediculous amount for thier premium "rocks" in the future by 2010!



    image/black eye.gif' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=';)' />




    Callaway has already won their case......this is now the penalty phase as to how Titleist should be held accountable. if Titleist has been working on a "replacement to this line of balls" then where is it??? does it take 8 years to come out with it or do we see they've been stealing from Callaway & Bridgestone so long they forgot to continue innovating to come out with their OWN breakthrough golf ball technology???



    this isn't a matter of "IF Titleist did steal the technology" as two lawsuits have proven it to be fact. and i doubt the cycle of patent use has run its course as there has been ample opportunity to say "the patents are no longer in our production runs and we have since developed something unique." hence i see it to mean they're still using it as the proposed motions applies to "the infringement of the Relevant Patent Claims.....with regard to, any of the Pro V1 line of golf balls including the Pro V1, Pro V1x, Pro V1*, or any variations thereof...."



    it'll be interesting to see how Titleist responds




    Titleist will respond, most likely, as most companies that lose an infringement suit via a jury trial...with an appeal, because a jury of folks off the street rarely can make heads or tails of any sort of technology infringement lawsuit, especially when there are multiple areas of overlap.



    Can you imagine the jury's mindset when some plaintiff's expert for Callaways starts talking about "icosahedral dimple design", or "relative compression profiles on the Shore scale".



    These lawsuits are 100% a function of the fact that the ProVI/X dominate the market in a way that even Titleist couldn't have predicted back in the days when the DT was the best seller.



    Nobody in the ball industry...nobody...would have ever predicted that a ball in the premium category would ever lead the industry in sales. It just wasn't thought to be possible for years and years, but it took Titleist's brand management folks to produce a marketing campaign and tour use program to create that reality.



    The big question to ask is what would happen if Titleist was completely out of the premium ball market? How would that segment reshape itself? Would Bridgestone take over with the B330/S? Would Nike rise to the top, or would all three simply fragment the premium category into small chunks?



    The ball category managers at Nike, Callaway and Bridgestone all covet and aspire to Titleist's position, but the truth may be that Titleist is the only company that create that kind of market dominance in the premium ball category, simply because they already have.



    If necessary, Titleist will innovate away from the patents held by others, then the other companies lose the slice of royalty they could have gotten from a cross license. Nothing like having a huge portfolio of very expensive patents and a tiny percentage of the ball market. That type of outcome gets marketing people axed, or entire divisions or companys sold off in bankruptcy.
    Taylormade r11s 9 Penley Stealth 70x 44.5" D-3
    > Taylormade 16 M1 8.5 GD AD TP6x 44.0" D3 PX Hzrdus Black 75 6.0 44.5" D-3
    Nickent 3DX Pro 14 MRC Diamana WB 83s
    Hybrid: Adams Idea Pro 18 Grafalloy CNote ProtoX
    Mizuno MP62 DG x-100 Sensicore D-4 3-pw
    > Ping i200 DG120 S3 D-3 +1/4" Red 4-U.
    Vokey SM6 56-14/60-04M DG x-100 Sensicore 1xss D-5
    > Vokey SM6 56/10 60/4M DG 120 S300 35" D-5
    Scotty Golo
  • NPVWhizNPVWhiz Advanced Members Posts: 1,976
    Another thing on patents.....honestly, there are a lot of patents in many different technology areas that issue when they shouldn't. The USPTO has a huge turnover problem for patent examiners, which means that many are new/green to their jobs. And, after the whole patent prosecution process, it is still a statistical fact that about 50% of patent applications that are denied in the regular process actually issue from the appeal process. It is expensive but in many cases, you finally get your patent.



    Then the game becomes to have your competitor's patent ruled invalid by a court because it was improperly issued. This, of course, gets back to my earlier comment about Porsches and BMWs and the lawyers (and lawyers, don't take offense! I authorize the bills on some of those patent applications, and I'm a big supporter of the patent system in the US)
    Taylormade r11s 9 Penley Stealth 70x 44.5" D-3
    > Taylormade 16 M1 8.5 GD AD TP6x 44.0" D3 PX Hzrdus Black 75 6.0 44.5" D-3
    Nickent 3DX Pro 14 MRC Diamana WB 83s
    Hybrid: Adams Idea Pro 18 Grafalloy CNote ProtoX
    Mizuno MP62 DG x-100 Sensicore D-4 3-pw
    > Ping i200 DG120 S3 D-3 +1/4" Red 4-U.
    Vokey SM6 56-14/60-04M DG x-100 Sensicore 1xss D-5
    > Vokey SM6 56/10 60/4M DG 120 S300 35" D-5
    Scotty Golo
  • mattbbakermattbbaker Advanced Members Posts: 122
    Let me try to clear something up about this situation...being someone in the scientific community (at the moment anyway), I have had lectures and courses on patents, what makes one patent different from another, what is considered an "improvement" and what actually needs to happen for there to be patent infringement. I am sure that Titleist/Acushnet did not have some spy steal Callaway technology nor did they cut apart a Callaway ball and dissect the technology in some sneaky back alley. This probably comes down to a technicality. I say this because each company has top scientists working for them and as someone in the field, you almost never have a completely new, never thought of idea. Thus, the experts with both companies try to improve on what is already out there and there are only so many directions that can it can go within the rules of golf etc so it is not unlikely that both companies "developed" similar technology (similar is key here, as it it was exact then there would be a problem). The rub comes to who made it public in any sense first or filed the preliminary patent application first. So lets say Callaway filed a prelim app on Day x. That is now public and in someways protected. Now if Titleist files app on Day Y, it can be said now (if the tech is too similar) that Titleist stole from Callaway. The patent review process is very lengthy and tricky and complicated. More times than not the reviewer would not grant a patent if the technology was too similar to something else. Now, I am no expert but in many of the cases I have read about involving reputable companies, usually the violation is not some blatant theft, it comes down to some technicality which unfortunately can hold its own in the courts. I could be way off on this but that is just my 2 cents.
  • drpinodrpino Marshals Posts: 8,970 mod
    edited January 2008
    thanks for your insight NPVWhiz...nice to read something factual about the lawsuit, pending appeal, patent law and ball technology.



    a perusal of http://www.golf-patents.com/ and its archives should demonstrate that the large OEMs are constantly involved in lawsuits over balls, clubs and just about everything else. acushnet just subpoenaed the USGA for chrissakes: http://golf-patents.com/2008/01/21/acushne...s-the-usga.aspx

    TM & Callaway just agreed to a licensing deal and are essentially "teaming up" against the other OEMs.



    we assume the current drivers/clubs are $400+ because of R&D costs but there are a lot of billable hours that also have to be paid for.
    It is almost impossible to remember how tragic a place the world is when one is playing golf. -Robert Wilson Lynd

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  • squarresquarre Advanced Members Posts: 947
    edited January 2008
    Will Callaway getting something? Absolutely, but they are not going to get the kitchen sink they are requesting.



    In writing a brief, the attorneys will spin the facts in their favor. As the blog points out, the attorneys for Titleist are definitely preparing their reply brief, that will make it sound like they are right. I am an attorney and even without any background in IP/patent law I have several arguments that I think Titleist could make.



    Also for what it is worth, Callaway is not going to request a settlement in their brief or proposed order. That is something that will be handled by the parties and not by the court.
    Taylor Made M2 9.5* Atmos Tour Spec Blue 6
    Taylor Made M2 Tour 15* Atmos Tour Spec Blue 7
    Titleist 913H 19* Diamana White Board
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  • jickjick Advanced Members Posts: 1,136 ✭✭
    This is nothing new.



    Titleist has always been the target of lawsuits and it is no secret that they just copy other companies' recipes.



    The only thing they pioneered was the wound ball, and everything else are just derivatives from others' technologies.



    It is about time they get what they deserve.
  • markheardjrmarkheardjr Member 141..Oh yeah...Snap to youngin! Advanced Members Posts: 7,282
    Titleist should parade up every golfer out there that uses a PRO V1 and let us tell them how much different their ball is from any Callaway offered. It is a completely different ball, feel wise I mean. I think the patent office gave too much to Callaway. There isn't another ball close to the ProV1 except from the Bridgestone/Tourstage camps.



    Just my .02
    NIPPON SHAFT TRIALS!! Get in on a pay-it-forward type shaft testing!
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  • mat562mat562 My ex had an irrational phobia of salad cream. Honestly. Advanced Members Posts: 10,947 ✭✭
    Wow.



    Some serious anti-Titleist sentiments in this thread...



    Anyone would think they'd stolen money from a charity box rather than a dimple design/ball construction method that, if we're honest, has been hijacked to some degree by every ball manufacturer out there.
  • TRB151TRB151 Advanced Members Posts: 334
    One thing I am seeing right now is that everyone is thinking the intitial trial is the end all to be all and the punishment phase has begun. This still needs to go to an appeals court to see if the original ruling will be upheld. One of two things will probably happen before Callaway would outright win and the ProV would be gone.



    1st: Titleist and Callaway settle and the whole thing just goes away or

    2nd: Acushnet keeps this in the system for so long that the Pro V1 will be retooled and introduced under a different premium name.



    I doubt the second would happen, and I think in the end the potential court costs for Callaway and Titleist will prevent a true court outcome from ever happening.



    I honestly think that what Callaway is trying to achieve through non-traditional channels is a perception that Titleist stole there ideas, and this will be hard to change even if callaway does not win the case. By the end of this lawsuit Titleist will still be the #1 ball in golf, but their reputation may be severely tarnished, and it could just be the foot in the door that Callaway needed to really take a chunk out of Titleist's market share.



    Only time will tell, but I highly doubt Callaway will ever get their permanent injunction, and even if they do the potential ramifications of such a thing would keep this lawsuit tied up in court for 10 or more years.
  • QueenCityGolferQueenCityGolfer Pin Seeker Extraordinaire Members Posts: 69
    Why can't you compare "patent stealing" to producing "illegal" golf clubs in this instance? Callaway's entire argument is that Titleist has greatly benefited as a brand across the board, because of a golf ball that they claim was produced illegally. My point is that Callaway has greatly benefited as a brand across the board, because they produced non-conforming/illegal equipment which bolstered their position in the industry, and subsequently made them the leader in metal wood market. If it's a matter of dishonestly, or a matter of shady practices to achieve financial gain, then Callaway is equally as guilty. Does that mean Titleist should pay no pentalty if they did infact steal a non-vague patent technology? Absolutely not. Is there a difference between breaking the laws of a country, and breaking the rules of sports association? Of course. But the bulk of what Callaway seeks from Titleist in the name of "fairness", is completely ridiculous, because they are a company that built their empire on not playing by the rules.



    Secondly, I'd like to see the specifics of the claim. What exactly did Titleist "steal"? Or was is simply a technicality as another poster mentioned? Why is Titleist's statement that the patent should never have been issued, not valid? Maybe it shouldn't have been. What part of the Pro V golf ball is patent Callaway technology, and so fundamentally unique, that it warrants a lawsuit? And if it's Callaway's ball, then why is the Titleist version so much different from a performance standpoint? Titleist obviously had some hand in the ball's development, otherwise they would be identical in every possible way. So do they get credit for any part of the ball's development, and the subsequent success, or does Callaway deserve credit for every success Titleist has had since the ball was introduced? These are all very important questions.



    Assuming this "patent-stealing" had never taken place, and Callaway became the leader in the golf ball market, I wonder what Callaway would say to Titleist on the the patent issue, if Titleist had brought a monopoly suit against Callaway, claiming that this technology should be available for use by all parties, in order to "level the playing field." Microsof...I mean Callaway would probably laugh.



    If you believe that every product Callaway produces and sells, is 100% original in it's conception and construction, then you might see it their way, but if you know better, than you should understand why this whole thing is so absurd. Nobody in golf produces a ball or a club, or a shoe, or a glove, that is not an improvement on a previously existing model, orignally introduced by somebody else. This is why we have such great products to choose from, and why we don't pay $1000 for a driver, or $10 for a golf ball. It's a good thing.
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