Acushnet has won a jury verdict in U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware in its ongoing dispute with Callaway over patents used in previous generation Titleist Pro V1 golf balls.
Callaway argues that four patents originally owned by Spalding, which was acquired by Callaway, were infringed, with Titleist claiming that position was invalid.
“We are extremely pleased with the court’s decision, and we hope that this finally brings this long standing dispute to a close,” said Joe Nauman, executive vice president, corporate and legal, for Acushnet.
“We have explained throughout this process that Acushnet independently developed the technology in question,” he said.
“The Titleist Pro V1 family utilizes technology from 74 Acushnet patents and was first introduced to our PGA Tourplayers in October, 2000, well before any of the Spalding patents were issued in 2001 and 2003,” said Nauman.
“We appreciate the jury’s careful consideration of the facts and the time they devoted to these proceedings. This verdict affirms our view that all claims in these patents are invalid – just as the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) has repeatedly found,” said Nauman.
However, the dispute may not be over, according to Steve McCracken, chief administrative officer for Callaway Golf.
“We are disappointed with the jury’s verdict, particularly in light of the fact that it is contrary to the prior victory we obtained on these same patents back in December 2007 and is inconsistent with the great weight of the evidence,” said McCracken.
“We plan to file a motion with the court to set aside the verdict,” he said.