Nearly two years ago, Callaway Golf sued Acushnet (parent of Titleist) in U.S. District Court in Delaware, claiming the company's Pro V1 infringed on its patented golf-ball technology (patents that Callaway acquired when it purchased Top-Flite in 2003). In December, a jury found in favor of Callaway. Now the company wants monetary damages and an injunction against sales of the Pro V1. The case is intriguing not just because it went to trial and ball category leader Titleist lost. The court's ruling contradicts U.S. Patent and Trademark Office actions, which initially found the disputed patents invalid and during an ongoing review again has found one patent invalid. That process could nullify Callaway's victory.
"I'm sure there's a constitutional law professor scratching his head wondering how this will play out," says David Dawsey, a patent attorney in Columbus, Ohio, and founder of the website golf-patents.com. "Both sides know the risks. It wouldn't surprise me if Callaway discounted what it perceives to be its value in this case by 50 percent [settles the case], knowing the patents could be declared invalid. Acushnet knows it faces the potential for a huge damage award. But there's really no predicting it."
American architecture allows practically no option as to where the drive shall go…now, let me ask what manner of golfer will be developed by courses of this nature? The answer is—a mechanical shot producer with little initiative and less judgement, and ability only to play the shot as prescribed. BOBBY JONES