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April 22, 2011

Acushnet says Pro V1 patent dispute with Callaway 'closed'

Posted at 11:27 AM by Golf.com | Categories: Acushnet, Callaway, Titleist

The Pro V1 patent dispute between Acushnet and Callaway appears to be over after Callaway's request for a new trial was denied. Here's the press release from Acushnet, which says the case is now "officially closed." 

U.S. DISTRICT COURT PROVIDES FINAL JUDGMENT IN FAVOR OF ACUSHNET COMPANY IN PATENT DISPUTE WITH CALLAWAY GOLF

Four Callaway Golf Ball Patents Determined Invalid

Fairhaven, MA (April 21, 2011) – Acushnet Company, the golf business of Fortune Brands, Inc., announced that the U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware provided its final judgment in Acushnet Company's favor today in a long-running patent dispute with Callaway Golf.  The judge denied Callaway's request for a new trial, and the case is officially closed in the U.S. District Court more than five years after Callaway filed a lawsuit asserting that Acushnet's Titleist Pro V1 golf balls infringed on four Callaway patents.

"Today's positive ruling substantiates what our contention has been throughout this process, that the patents in question were invalid and should never have been issued," said Joe Nauman, Executive Vice President Corporate and Legal, Acushnet Company.  "We had confidence that once we had the opportunity to present all the evidence, and as we continued to receive favorable rulings from the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office (PTO), we would prevail.  The confirmation by the U.S. District Court is another significant step in finalizing this case."

The dispute began in January 2006 when Acushnet requested that the PTO reexamine the four patents in question.  Callaway filed a lawsuit in February 2006 asserting that Acushnet's Titleist Pro V1 golf balls infringed certain claims of those patents.  In March 2010, a jury determined that all four patents were invalid as obvious and anticipated.  Last month, the PTO affirmed the patent examiner's decision that the claims of four Callaway Golf patents were invalid.  Today, the judge upheld the jury verdict on obviousness and rejected Callaway's request for a new trial.  Callaway has the option to appeal the case to the Federal Circuit.

Acushnet Company is the industry leader in developing golf ball technology and has over 700 active golf ball patents – more than any other manufacturer.  Titleist Pro V1 golf balls are the product of technology developed and accumulated by the Acushnet Company over the past 20 years, and over 65 Acushnet Company patents are related to the Pro V1 family.

 

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