Callaway Seeks Permanent Injunction Against Titleist

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  • jklosterjkloster Members Posts: 69
    edited Jan 21, 2008 #32
    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 Members Posts: 1,735
    edited Jan 21, 2008 #33
    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 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!



    image/black eye.gif' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=';)' />
  • dacdac 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 Members Posts: 2,818 ✭✭
    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 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 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 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 Members Posts: 1,976 ✭✭
    edited Jan 22, 2008 #40
    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
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  • scs1070scs1070 Members Posts: 1,460 ✭✭
    What is a Rule 35 ball.
  • NPVWhizNPVWhiz 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.
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  • NPVWhizNPVWhiz 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)
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    Nickent 3DX Pro 14 MRC Diamana WB 83s
    Hybrid: Adams Idea Pro 18 Grafalloy CNote ProtoX
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  • mattbbakermattbbaker 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 NYMarshals Posts: 8,970 mod
    edited Jan 21, 2008 #45
    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.
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  • squarresquarre Members Posts: 947 ✭✭
    edited Jan 21, 2008 #46
    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.
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  • jickjick Members Posts: 1,139 ✭✭
    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! Members Posts: 7,294 ✭✭
    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
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  • mat562mat562 My ex had an irrational phobia of salad cream. Honestly. 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 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.
  • tyrone3434tyrone3434 Members Posts: 137
    The question is can Titleist produce a newer better ball without using the technology that Callaway or Bridgestone own. Yes, the ball is 8 years old, but the technology hasn't changed it has been improved upon. They have to start from scratch.



    I don't play the premium level of ball so to me this is just more interesting to observe than anything in my eyes.
  • Night trainNight train Members Posts: 2,818 ✭✭
    QueenCityGolfer wrote on Jan 21 2008, 11:33 AM:
    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.




    Callaway was the leader in the metalwood market a long time before they introduced the illegal ERC driver..........I don't think it did anything to help their sales or image, they have far less market share now than they did in the years prior to that when the GBB Ti dominated. I knew exactly one guy that bought an ERC..........I think the club was a flop and hurt their image far more than it helped them.
  • drewsterman2drewsterman2 Members Posts: 373
    What is a 'Rule 35' golf ball?
  • Night trainNight train Members Posts: 2,818 ✭✭
    Rule 35 was the first ball Callaway ever introduced........came in Red or Blue
  • scubusscubus Members Posts: 194 ✭✭
    QueenCityGolfer wrote on Jan 21 2008, 12:33 PM:
    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.


    You can't compare them because they are not even remotely the same.



    The main reason the two are different is that one involves the theft of another company's investment for profit, and one does not.



    Anyone may produce a non-conforming club and sell it and nobody has a patent on the technology that went into Callaway's non-conforming driver. At least the "non-conforming" portion of the club. Conformance is not patented.



    There was nothing dishonest or shady about the driver. It was plainly marked as non-conforming and sold as non-conforming. Palmer came right out in the ads saying it didn't conform.



    Besides, the non-conforming driver was a flop and didn't leverage Callaway's position in the market.



    Titleist's claim that the patents should never have been issued is not valid because a judge and jury said it isn't valid.



    It matters not if it is a minor or a major part of the ProV, any part that falls under the patent(s) should not be in the ball. If the patent(s) are incorporated in the ball then the ball is infringing. The performance of the ball is irrelevant. Performance isn't the issue.



    The patents themselves are available online I'm certain.



    My limited understanding of patents is that it is first to invent, not first to market. Titleist was the first to market, but Callaway was the first to invent the technology in question. While there are often companies working on the same ideas and often arrive at similar solutions, Titleist did not convince the court that this was the case here or the court could have provided relief to Titleist.



    If any of Callaway's invention(s) reside in the ProV then Titleist is guilty of patent infringement.



    Monopoly is not an issue in this case. Besides, monopolies are not illegal. Microsoft's issue was that they were using a legitimate monopoly to stifle competition in other markets, namely the web browser market.



    Courts only "level the playing field" in monopoly cases if there is illegal activity related to the monopoly, not unlike this case in that respect, actually. The courts would not be the least bit interested in leveling the playing field if the ProV was Titleist's invention alone. It is the illegal incorporation of another's patent that has the courts involved.



    Of course Callaway's products are not 100% their own invention.



    The key is that Callaway does not incorporate other's ideas into their products without properly paying patent holders. Like many companies, Titleist included, many of their "innovations" are invented in house so no patent holder needs to be paid. In other cases they buy the company that holds the patents, like Top Flite, securing the patents for themselves in the process.



    Also keep in mind that patents do not last forever, nor is every idea patentable for any number of reasons. In those cases, any company is free to incorporate the ideas into their products.



    Bottom line, Titleist incorporated someone else's patent into their products. That is illegal. Callaway deserves compensation for every ball that includes their patents; had the proper thing been done at the outset, that is the minimum a license would have done. The time to argue that the patents were not a big deal or critical in the performance of the ProV would have been when negotiating for the license.



    Second, Callaway has the right to seek compensation for the loss in income that the illegal use of their patents cost them. Titleist has admitted in court that there was income generated in other market segments due to the ProV. That income was ill-gained and is income Callaway may have seen had the patents not been infringed.
  • patrickw25patrickw25 Members Posts: 674
    Ok, I'll bite.


    Why can't you compare "patent stealing" to producing "illegal" golf clubs in this instance?




    Well, the analogy you're trying to make is completely non-sensical, so there's one reason.


    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?




    Your use of the word "technicality" and your wrapping the word "steal" in quotes suggests that you don't think that patent infringement is stealing. It is. I'd like to hear you explain how it isn't.


    Why is Titleist's statement that the patent should never have been issued, not valid?




    It's not valid because a jury says it wasn't. That was Titleist's legal argument in defense of the lawsuit brought by Callaway. That legal argument was rejected by our wonderful legal system. End of story.


    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.




    This one's so far out of left field its hard to respond to. I suppose you're trying to make an analogy to the United States' antitrust action against Microsoft - United States v. Microsoft, 87 F. Supp. 2d 30 (D.D.C. 2000). Well, that case certainly wasn't a patent case. The problem was Microsoft wasn't playing fair by bundling Internet Explorer into ever copy of Windows it sold. This essentially forced the buyer to use IE as their internet browser (there was also the issue of how Microsoft made it virtually impossible to remove IE from Windows in favor of a different browser).



    So, as you can see, I don't really understand the analogy. If Callaway has superior technology under patent, and it---playing fairly---is able to obtain a majority market share because of that superior technology, then good for it. No one in their right mind would suggest that Callaway's patents be ripped out of its hands and shared with its inferior competition. Antitrust problems arise when companies in monopoly positions use their monopoly unfairly (e.g. Microsoft).



    The case at hand is completely different. Apparently Callaway had superior technology under patent, Titleist, recognizing the technology was superior, just took that technology and incorporated it into its Pro V1 line of golf balls. To put it simply, Titleist stole something of great value from Callaway. To suggest Titleist can do so without monetary penalty (recognizing that the injunctive relief sought by Callaway will work as a definite monetary penalty) is absurd.


    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.




    It's perfectly possible to improve on previously existing models without infringing on valid patents. Indeed, that's what has been going on in golf for a century or more. But that is not what happened here. Titleist crossed the line and stole specific, patented technology. They got caught, and now they must pay an appropriate price.
  • High Plains DriverHigh Plains Driver Chip Yipper Extraordinaire Members Posts: 2,377 ✭✭
    drewster wrote on Jan 21 2008, 02:18 PM:
    What is a 'Rule 35' golf ball?






    The ball that Bridgestone sued Callaway for infringement over. image/biggrin.png' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':cheesy:' />



    http://www.golftoday.co.uk/news/yeartodate.../callaway3.html





    Yeah, "Callaway Golf: We'll sue you if you steal the intellectual property we stole." image/haha.gif' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=';)' />
    I am not brand loyal. I am just seriously OCD.

    [font=georgia,serif]Driver: Taylormade M4
    Fairway: Taylormade M4 3HL
    Hybrid: Taylormade M4 19°
    Irons: Taylormade M1 4-P
    Wedges: Taylormade ATV 50°, 56° (bent to 55°), and 60°
    Putter: Taylormade DA-12/Taylormade Spider/Taylormade Est 79 TM-110
    Ball: Taylormade Tour Preferred X/TP5X
    [/font]
  • callawayforelifecallawayforelife Members Posts: 120
    QueenCityGolfer wrote on Jan 21 2008, 12:26 AM:
    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.


    so your saying that callaway broke the code of ethics by building clubs that didnt meet the usga limits. so that is same as stealing patents from two differant companies to creat a product that is better than most. im sorry but your argument is not valid stealing is stealing. titleist should start from scratch a build their next golf ball with their own patents and engineers. you know the right way. they took the easy way and ill agree created a superior product that was second to none. but barry bonds won the homerun title by taking steriods does that make him a hero
  • uncle ricouncle rico Members Posts: 326
    The company I work for is in the middle of a patent dispute as we speak. Although it is not in a the golf industry, another company is manufacturing a product that infringes on our patent.



    Usually lower courts always rule in favor of the infringer, because they don't have a lot of experience in this area. However higher courts are more equipped to deal with these issues, and usually favor the company who has the patent.



    I am in no way trying to talk bad about attorneys, but they are the going to be the big winners in the Titleist and Callawy suit.



    I have played both balls before and the Rule 35 was not as good as the Prov 1 IMO. I hope I can still play and get the Prov1 in the future, because it is the ball that preforms the best for me. However I would like to see Titleist come back with the Tour Prestige In a new and better version than before. Just my opinion.
  • mat562mat562 My ex had an irrational phobia of salad cream. Honestly. Members Posts: 10,947 ✭✭
    Can anyone post a link to the definitive story of exactly what patents have been infringed?



    Or a quick precis would be fine.



    I've read a few articles on this subject and have never seen a clearly-explained account of what Titleist are supposed to have 'stolen.'



    Thanks in advance. image/good.gif' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=';)' />
This discussion has been closed.