SBD/Issue 41/Sponsorships, Advertising & Marketing

Court Denies Acushnet's Desire To Overturn Patent Infringement

U.S. District Court Decision To Halt Sales Of
Titleist's Pro V1 balls By January 1
The U.S. District Court in Wilmington, Delaware, yesterday rejected Acushnet’s request to overturn a jury ruling that found Acushnet had infringed upon Callaway’s golf ball patents. The district court also granted Callaway’s request for a permanent injunction to halt sales of Titleist’s Pro V1 balls by January 1. The Pro V1 line of balls holds a market share of around 20%, according to market research by Golf Datatech. Acushnet plans to appeal the decision. It is unclear how much of an effect the ruling will have on the sale of Pro V1 balls, which are no longer produced under the disputed patents, according to an Acushnet statement. "In September 2008, we converted production of the existing Pro V1 models so that they are outside of the patents in question; and we have also developed and will be introducing new and improved Titleist Pro V1 products in the first quarter of 2009 that are also outside the scope of the patents in question,” said Acushnet Exec VP/Corporate & Legal Joe Nauman in a statement. Callaway first sued Acushnet over the patent infringement in ’07, nearly seven years after Pro V1 was first launched.

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