San Diego – A U.S. District Court in Delaware recently upheld a jury verdict that ruled four of Callaway Golf’s patents are invalid. The judgment, which stems from a 2006 patent infringement lawsuit Callaway filed against Acushnet Co., officially closes the case in that particular court but can be appealed at the Federal Circuit level.
Acushnet Co., a $1.4 billion manufacturer and marketer of golf balls, golf clubs, golf shoes, and golf gloves, is comprised of the Titleist and FootJoy golf brands. The dispute between Acushnet and Callaway goes back to January 2006 when Acushnet filed a request for reexamination of four Callaway patents with the Patent and Trademark Office. The patents at issue involved a breakthrough technology for producing multi-layer, solid-core golf balls.
One month after the request to reexamine, Callaway swung back by filing a patent infringement complaint against Acushnet. A jury verdict reached in December 2007 ruled in favor of Callaway, but the decision was successfully appealed by Acushnet which earned it a new trial. The judgment for that trial, held in March 2010, ruled in favor for Acushent, which Callaway appealed requesting a new trial or a judgment in its favor as a matter of law.
In the most recent judgment, both of Callaway’s motions were denied. “We are disappointed with the court’s decision, especially in light of our victory in the first trial and Acushnet’s admitted infringement of our patents,” commented Tim Buckman, senior director of global communications for the San Diego, California based Callaway. Buckman went on to say that Callaway has plans to appeal the decision to the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals.
Although the 2006 lawsuit has come to a conclusion for now, the two companies continue to swing it out over a set of patent infringement lawsuits they filed against each other in 2009.