The golf ball patent drama continues.
Word came out this morning that Callaway Golf has filed a new patent infringement lawsuit against Acushnet. Filed in Delaware in US District Court, the lawsuit alleges that the new 2009 Titleist Pro V1 and ProV1x golf balls that are set to debut to the public shortly, infringe on patents owned by Callaway Golf.
This would be less of a story if there had not been a February 2006 patent infringement action by Callaway against Acushnet. That successful case for Callaway resulted in a permanent injunction that stopped sales of the earlier versions of the ProV1 golf ball, effective January 1, 2009.
I am sure there are more details of this case that will become public shortly but the timing does not seem to be coincidental for the filing. It does take time for legal teams to sort through competitors patents but in filing this suit just as the crucial Spring selling season is about to start seems like convenient timing. Any sort of temporary selling injunction could have a real impact on Acushnet and their #1 selling golf ball brand.
Golf is big business, and with a slowing economy and shrinking golf market I am sure battles like this will continue to surface.
I am anxious to see the response by Acushnet, which I expect to be a vocal one with a strong position.
Although I understand that the protection of intellectual property is important I just wish the battles in golf that drew the most attention continued to take place on the course and not in a court room.