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SPALDING! JUDGE RULES AGAINST CALLAWAY IN BALL DISPUTE
Published March 3, 1998
U.S. District Judge Alicemarie Stotler ruled yesterday against Callaway Golf Co., saying that "there was no consumer confusion created" by Spalding's ad campaign for its new Top-Flite balls, according to Ron Sirak of the AP. Callaway filed suit asking for a court order "stopping Spalding from using Callaway's trademarks and images on its packaging." Spalding's promo material claims that its Top- Flite Ball/Club System C ball is designed for "maximum performance when used with" Callaway's Great Big Bertha drivers. John Hoagland, Managing Dir of Spalding's Golf Ball Division, said Judge Stotler "complimented Spalding on innovative marketing." Spalding plans to ship the balls next week. Sirak writes that Callaway "is not out of legal options" and is likely to "continue with its effort to stop" the Top-Flite ball. Callaway VP/Advertising & PR Larry Dorman: "The court has left the door open for us to come back with evidence of consumer confusion or evidence that the product does not do what it says" (AP/DET. NEWS, 3/3). For news on Callaway Golf's earnings report, see (#20).