Cleveland Golf Company, Inc. and Dunlop Sports Co. Ltd. filed a trademark infringement, unfair competition and trademark dilution against Callaway Golf Company for imprinting the name “Roger Cleveland” on its Mack Daddy 2 wedges.
In 1990, Roger Cleveland sold all shares and ownership interest in the Roger Cleveland Golf Company he founded, later leaving the company to join the Callaway Golf in 1996. Cleveland Golf was understandably not thrilled when Callaway’s Mack Daddy 2 wedges were released in July with “DESIGNED BY ROGER CLEVELAND” printed on the back of the wedges.
Cleveland Golf is allegedly the owners of multiple federally registered trademarks, which the company believes are being infringed upon. They are also stating that using the name Roger Cleveland on Callaway wedges confuses the marketplace, and misleads consumers to thinking that the wedges are affiliated with or originated from Cleveland Golf.
The plaintiff, that being Cleveland Golf, is calling for Callaway to cease and desist the unauthorized use of the Cleveland name, but Callaway has not met their demands.
To summarize: Callaway Golf is being sued because it put Roger Cleveland’s name on a wedge that he designed.
Cleveland Golf certainly has a case, especially as owners of the registered trademarks in question. But this probably wouldn’t be a problem for Callaway if Mr. Cleveland wasn’t so good at designing wedges. So yes, there’s a bright side.