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What might happen to the ProV???


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#1 madmaclive

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Posted 29 January 2008 - 02:43 PM

Everyone should know by now that Callaway AND Bridgestone have been to court with Titleist (Acushnet) regarding supposed patent infringements regarding the ProV1.  Callaway recently won their lawsuit and was said to have valid grounds against Acushnet in 8 of 9 points.  Acushnet has been ordered to pay millions of dollars to Bridgestone, and probably will also have to forfeit a similar sum to Callaway.  But the real problem for Acushnet and the future of the ProV1 is that Callaway has now brought that suit to have ProV1's stopped from being produced at the end of 2008 and that the Acushnet staff players not be allowed to play with that ball.  Does anyone else see a problem with this?

According to Titleist the ProV1 was used to win 169 tournaments on the major worldwide tours last year, with its nearest competitor being at a mere 28 wins.  And since its inception in 2000 the ProV family is purported to have won more than 1,000 professional tournaments worldwide.  That is an extremely large disparity between the ProV1 and every other ball on the market.  If Titleist balls win 6 times more tournaments a year than any other ball, is it any wonder why the other manufacturers are bringing suits against them?

If Callaway and Bridgestone produced such solid products and in fact created the technology used in the current ProV lineup, then why are they such a distant competitor?  Why is it that Titleist wins the ball count at every major tournament around the world regardless of the age or status of the player?  U.S. Junior, U.S. Amateur, NCAA Championships, British Amateur, and probably every other worldwide major amateur tournament you could think of Titleist dominates the ball count.  These are the tournaments that really count in my mind because they show what the best players in the country and world are playing.  The ones that aren't getting payed to play anything, but play the best balls and equipment that they can find.  At these tournaments you're unlikely to find someone playing something other than a ProV1.  I've been playing at a highly competitive level for the last 8 or 9 years, and for the vast majority of that time I can remember only a couple of other players, out of the thousands I've played with, that were playing a ball that didn't have Titleist stamped on it.  Every college player I've played with in the past 5 years uses a Titleist.  The better players at my country club play only Titleist balls.  My dad said he hasn't found a non ProV at a tournament in years, and can't remember the last time he did.  I personally have tried nearly every ball on the market, but I use a ProV1X and you would have to pay me a pretty decent amount of money to play something else.  

So, if Titleist is simply taking the technology that someone else (Callaway and/or Bridgestone) invented, than why can't anyone compete with them?  Callaway and Bridgestone should be able to release balls that are comparable to ProV's and that give them a run for their money, especially if they are the originators of the technology used to create what is viewed as the best golf ball made.  Why hasn't Callaway came out with a ball that wears better, plays better, spins better, flies farther, than a ProV?

At the 2005 United States Grand Prix (Formula 1), the teams that had Michelin tires withdrew from the race after the formation lap because Michelin told them their tires were inferior and there could be a safety risk if they ran the race.  Because of this only 6 of the 20 cars ran the race.  If players are told they would not be allowed to use a ProV for the 2009 season, and Titleist was no longer allowed to produce them, could this sort of thing happen in golf?  At this point it has to be a confidence issue.  Players use the ProV because they are confident in it and have won or played well with it.  I have absolutely no desire to play any other ball out there.  I believe that the ProV1X is the best ball out there for me and I don't want to change (if in fact I would have to).


*****This is all hypothetical of course, if in fact these rulings came down and Titleist had to shut down production of the ProV.  

The underlying question is: Why are there no other balls that compete with the ProV?  Why can't Callaway make a better, more competitive ball?  If they created it, why aren't they on top?

Just some questions that I think are interesting and I want to hear other peoples opinions.


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#2 bloodredsun

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Posted 29 January 2008 - 03:18 PM

First off, IANAL.

Quote

But the real problem for Acushnet and the future of the ProV1 is that Callaway has now brought that suit to have ProV1's stopped from being produced at the end of 2008 and that the Acushnet staff players not be allowed to play with that ball. Does anyone else see a problem with this?

Not really. It's not good for golfers who use ProV1's (and I include myself in that group) but Titleist have admitted infringing (yes I have read the court proceedings) so deserve to be punished. The burden was on Titleist to prove that the patents were invalid and that is something they failed to do in court (even if the USPTO have recently annouced an initial finding that one of these patents is invalid). They settled with Bridgestone so you can only imagine what infringement Tity had there too.

Quote

then why are they such a distant competitor

This is the whole crux of Callaways request that they stop making the ProV1. When Cally's ball came out, Titleist were the dominant ball manufacturer. Cally's Rule 35 ball began to make inroads into the  Tour players balls. In Cally's view, Titleist stole their ideas to make a ball of equal quality to the Rule 35 and then used their dominant market position to make sure that no one else changed. People tend to stick with the brand they know and in this case, Titleist made sure that they retained their No 1 position.

Quote

Why hasn't Callaway came out with a ball that wears better, plays better, spins better, flies farther, than a ProV?

In Callys eyes, they did - it was the Rule 35. It's just that someone came along and copied the result of all their research and innovation to make a similar ball. Having spent millions (perhaps tens or hundreds of millions) on R and D and then to see your rival nicking the results

Quote

If players are told they would not be allowed to use a ProV for the 2009 season, and Titleist was no longer allowed to produce them, could this sort of thing happen in golf

Doubt it. The quality of other current balls - Srixon, TM, Nike, Bridgestone and Cally - means that now golfers have options whereas a few years ago they didn't.

Quote

The underlying question is: Why are there no other balls that compete with the ProV? Why can't Callaway make a better, more competitive ball? If they created it, why aren't they on top?

Again, Cally say that they did but then Titleist stole whatever advantage that they had (same as Maclaren and Ferrari to use an F1 analogy and that was a 50 million quid fine.). Because the Cally ball was only the same rather than noticeably better than the Tity one, players who were happy playing Tity balls were always going to stay Tity players. That the Tour players stayed meant that the up and comers stayed Tity and so would the top amateurs and so would joe golfer. This trickle down effect is what Cally are using in their justification for the injunctive relief. And to say that there are no equivalents in the market is very one-eyed. I would rate the ProV1x as one of the best balls around but I am equally happy with the NOP and Z-URS.

Do I think Titleist are guilty and should be punished? Yes I do. They have been found guilty of patent infringement (and they broke an earlier 1996 agreement with Cally regarding patents) so should be penalised.

Do I think that Cally are whiter than white? Nope. I believe that Cally's acquisition of the Sullivan patents stems from a later purchase (2003) rather than their own R&D so there are questions there.

Would I agree with Injunctive Relief, i.e. no more ProV1? Yes, unfortunately for everybody concerned, I would.

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#3 madmaclive

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Posted 29 January 2008 - 03:30 PM

That could be the best response I've ever read to a post.  Practically every real question I posed was answered.  I understand where the argument is and that the "ball" is now in the courts hands (pun intended).  Callaway also said they spent upwards of $150 Million to design, engineer, and produce the Rule 35 ball.  
I think you are very right in that Titleist should be punished on this, but I don't know about Injunctive Relief.  On the other hand, I don't think any sort of punitive damages that Acushnet would have to pay Callaway would be the cure to the problem.  Personally, even though my support lies with Titleist, is that there needs to be some sort of injunction.  
The problem with the suit is that Callaway is claiming rights to intellectual property, and that could be a major issue.  The Sullivan patents will be called into question without a doubt.  Considering that Michael Sullivan is now working for Acushnet could be a problem for Titleist as he is their director of intellectual property, but was vice president of golf ball R&D at Top-Flite and his patents were bought by Callaway when they acquired Top-Flite in 2003.  
The question now is whether there will be an injunction to Titleist and what Titleist will attempt to do to salvage what would be left of their golf ball business.

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#4 ej002

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Posted 29 January 2008 - 04:09 PM

First off Titleist is fighting the legimacy of all the patents.  So the fact that they infringed could become meaningless.  That would be the best case for Titleist.

Titleist is already found to have infringed.  But honestly, courts will not give an injunction unless there is not legal remedy (meaning $$$) available.  I am sure some sort of financial settlement or judgment will be made, if the Patents are upheld.   My reasoning behind this is that Callaway could probably prove the % of technology utilized by Titleist in the ProV1.  

What Callaway (or anyone for that matter) cannot prove, is what would have happened if Titleist did not take the technology.  Who knows, maybe Bridgestone or Nike would have became the new Titleist. Callaway has nothing but a bunch of "what if" arguments that will not go anywhere. But lets say a judge buys Callaway's "we lost market dominance because of the infringement" argument; I highly doubt that Callaway will be given an injunction for exaclty the reason that an earlier poster stated.  They are not "whiter than white."  To get an injuction the plaintiff (Callaway) has to come "with clean hands."  That means they cannot be in the wrong when asking for one, and it appears that there is significant evidence that Callaway infringed on the Top Flight Patents in the first place, but lucked out by buying them 5 years later.  So  Callaway does not APPEAR to deserve an injunction, because they themselves infringed.

But hey, new technology will need to accommodate the new groove rule when it is implemented anyway.  So the dominant balls of today, including the Pro V1 will probably be obsolete by then.  At least on tour.  

JMO

Edited by ej002, 29 January 2008 - 04:12 PM.


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#5 NPVWhiz

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Posted 29 January 2008 - 05:25 PM

Even if the court were to grant the injunction, everyone should keep in mind that the Callaway patents are in the process of being re-examined by the US Patent and Trademark Office.  

One of the five patents has already been found to be invalid.

The other four apparently have significant issues, with non-final office actions issued that reject the claims.  

You can imagine that the negotiations between Callaway and Acushnet were very tense prior to Acushnet requesting re-examination.  

When Acushnet did this, they basically threw down the gauntlet.  

Part of the problem is that during the trial, the PTO found one of Callaway's patents invalid, but the jury ruled that at trial Acushnet hadn't persuaded the jury that the patents were invalid.  So the jury let stand, for the purposes of the trial, a patent that had been ruled invalid by the Patent Office.

Strange happenings, which makes for a very dicey situation.  

Two points:  1.  Sometimes patents are awarded by the US PTO that shouldn't be awarded.  It happens, and there is a mechanism to correct such problems; 2.  A jury usually doesn't do a very good job at patent validity determinations, simply because they can be highly technical in nature.  

Acushnet changed the NXT Tour this year...the second layer of the ball is much thicker than the old ball.  

If you run into an infringment scenario, you invent around it.  Simple as that.  Titleist will come up with a ball that doesn't infringe if it needs to, and it's tough to believe that it won't be a good ball.  Titleist has been the premier ball in golf since I was a small child....decades, because they've built a brand franchise, not because a better ball can't be made.

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#6 DRGJR72

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Posted 29 January 2008 - 07:02 PM

Hypothetically if they are ordered to stop production of the ProV1, they will just come up with something better or with more buzz than the pro V1 that they will be forced to stop selling....It might actually help them, business wise.  Maybe they will come out with the Prov3 or something, and then they will hype it like no tomorrow. I.E. After being forced to stop production of the ProV1 we then went to the R&D team here at Titleist, what they came up with is the best ball we have ever made, period.. (or something like that), then they get some tour use, press, etc. and it is a done deal.  

I don't see them losing much market share over this...just a blip on their business radar screen.

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#7 bloodredsun

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Posted 29 January 2008 - 07:14 PM

That supposes that they have something ready to come out as a replacement.

If their pipeline of future versions of the ProV1 or other premium balls are all infringing, what are they going to do? If they are made to stop production and don't have an equally good non-infringing replacement they will lose millions of dollars. Unless they didn't think for one minute that the patents would be upheld, I can't imagine they wouldn't have a non-infringing ball available but their belief that the patents are invalid may be the reason that they were happy to go to court with Callaway, unlike their deal with Bridgestone.

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#8 BEND OF THE RIVER GC

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Posted 29 January 2008 - 07:28 PM

Titleist could spin this in their favor in a variety of ways. They could introduce a newer, and better ball. The V1/V1x lines at at the end of their shelf lives anyway.

If they could prove that they have a newer and better ball, they could advertise that their competitor's (Callaway and B-Stone) are still clinging to "old technology"

I would look for a new ball from Achushnet, sooner rahter than later.
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#9 scubus

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Posted 29 January 2008 - 09:54 PM

View PostBEND OF THE RIVER GC, on Jan 29 2008, 07:28 PM, said:

Titleist could spin this in their favor in a variety of ways. They could introduce a newer, and better ball. The V1/V1x lines at at the end of their shelf lives anyway.

If they could prove that they have a newer and better ball, they could advertise that their competitor's (Callaway and B-Stone) are still clinging to "old technology"

I would look for a new ball from Achushnet, sooner rahter than later.
As long as the new, better ball didn't include any of the infringing technology.  If Acushnet felt the patents were invalid, why would they abandon the technology?

I think it is a big assumption that there is a suitable replacement for the ProV series.  There may be, but I kind of doubt it.  Would Titleist be prepared to continue pouring what is probably millions into legal fees and continue to have their nose bloodied if they could just introduce the "New, Improved ProV2?"

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#10 TLUBulldogGolf

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Posted 30 January 2008 - 01:41 AM

As far as the reason why Titleist is so popular with the college players and amateurs is 1) Titleist is a sponsor of AJGA and when juniors play in these tournaments they all get Titleist golf balls, so they just grow up using them; and 2) Titleist has a very good relationship with college teams in that they offer clubs, balls etc. at greatly reduced prices from retail, which gives college players/coaches an incentive to order their stuff.

As far as the injunction, I have a hard time seeing that happening, but I would expect some kind of replacement for the V1/V1x in the future assuming Titleist has some kind of replacement in the works with orginal technology.

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#11 TNGolfer8

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Posted 30 January 2008 - 08:26 AM

I think you bring up some good points, and it will be interesting to see what happens in the coming months.  I have no allegiance to either ball, playing both with good results in the past.  Here is something interesting, though-Only 4 of the top 10 players in the World play Titleist currently, with more play by Titleist in the 11-20 rankings.

1.  Tiger Woods- Nike
2.  Phil Mickelson- Callaway
3.  K.J. Choi- Nike
4.  Ernie Els- Callaway
5.  Adam Scott- Titleist
6.  Steve Stricker- Titleist
7.  Rory Sabbatini- Callaway (as of Jan. 2008) Previously with Nike
8.  Vijay Singh- Titleist
9.  Jim Furyk- Srixon
10.  Padraig Harington- Titleist
11.  Justin Rose- Taylor Made
12.  Trevor Immelman- Nike
13.  Luke Donald- Titleist
14.  Zach Johnson- Titleist
15.  Sergio Garcia- Taylor Made
16.  Angel Cabrera- Titleist
17.  Aaron Baddely- Titleist
18.  Geoff Ogivy- Titleist
19.  David Toms- Titleist
20.  Daniel Chopra- Titleist
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#12 bunana3

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Posted 30 January 2008 - 08:48 AM

I do not think Titleist is going to loose much if any market share out of this ordeal because the average golfer will never even hear about the court battle.  Out of the people that have heard of the court battle, half of the Titleist players wont switch anyway (like myself).
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#13 jcjr34

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Posted 30 January 2008 - 08:54 AM

View PostTNGolfer8, on Jan 30 2008, 08:26 AM, said:

1.  Tiger Woods- Nike
2.  Phil Mickelson- Callaway
3.  K.J. Choi- Nike
4.  Ernie Els- Callaway
5.  Adam Scott- Titleist
6.  Steve Stricker- Titleist
7.  Rory Sabbatini- Callaway (as of Jan. 2008) Previously with Nike
8.  Vijay Singh- Titleist
9.  Jim Furyk- Srixon
10.  Padraig Harington- Titleist
11.  Justin Rose- Taylor Made
12.  Trevor Immelman- Nike
13.  Luke Donald- Titleist
14.  Zach Johnson- Titleist
15.  Sergio Garcia- Taylor Made
16.  Angel Cabrera- Titleist
17.  Aaron Baddely- Titleist
18.  Geoff Ogivy- Titleist
19.  David Toms- Titleist
20.  Daniel Chopra- Titleist

Don't most of the players not playing Titleists (specifically at least 3 of the top 4 players) on the list have big $$$ contracts w/ those manufacturers though? Wonder what they'd be playing if they weren't getting paid to play those balls..

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#14 lizardoh

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Posted 30 January 2008 - 11:44 AM

I prefer the injunction relief.  If there was a financial settlement, that will mean that the PV1 would sell for $60+ a dozen.  Someone has to pay for all that and it ain't Acushnet...

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#15 TheCapedAvenger

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Posted 30 January 2008 - 12:25 PM

yes. The only one on that list who isn't playing the ball of his club sponsor is rory, and thats because adams doesn't make a golf ball.

looking at the top 10 as an indcator of quality is preposterous.


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#16 SpeedyPro

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Posted 30 January 2008 - 12:53 PM

View Postmadmaclive, on Jan 29 2008, 02:43 PM, said:

So, if Titleist is simply taking the technology that someone else (Callaway and/or Bridgestone) invented, than why can't anyone compete with them? Callaway and Bridgestone should be able to release balls that are comparable to ProV's and that give them a run for their money, especially if they are the originators of the technology used to create what is viewed as the best golf ball made. Why hasn't Callaway came out with a ball that wears better, plays better, spins better, flies farther, than a ProV?
You asked.

Quote

If players are told they would not be allowed to use a ProV for the 2009 season, and Titleist was no longer allowed to produce them, could this sort of thing happen in golf? At this point it has to be a confidence issue.
You answered.

I hit no farther nor straighter with Pro V1, but I play best with them because I'm confident on my putting with Pro V1's hardness and weight.

And no matter what's the reason behind the lawsuit, if Acushnet did something illegal, they should be punished.

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#17 1day2day

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Posted 30 January 2008 - 01:17 PM

Stuff what the amateurs are using...... you want a real idea of what really works, go and watch the guys on the mini tours play, see what they are buying themselves and trying to win enough $$ to pay the bills.
Again its PRO V

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#18 press007

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Posted 30 January 2008 - 01:32 PM

<<<<<<<<<<<<<<So, if Titleist is simply taking the technology that someone else (Callaway and/or Bridgestone) invented, than why can't anyone compete with them? Callaway and Bridgestone should be able to release balls that are comparable to ProV's and that give them a run for their money,
<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<

Short answer: This is not China, we have patents that protect inventors.

As far as I`m concerned if its determind Titleist has done what is charged, they can put them out of business, I dont care, there will be 5 that replace them. And yes I played Pro V`s and have a set of Titleist 755`s. I dont owe my game to either so again I dont care.

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#19 Veritas

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Posted 30 January 2008 - 01:45 PM

Marketing is a powerful tool.  I am not saying the ProV1 is not a good golf ball, but if you take a good golf ball and put good marketing behind it you end up with the ProV1's following.  There are so many psychological effects at play here it's not funny.  I find this especially true when any golf ball test I have seen has not shown the ProV1 to be a huge standout over any of the other premium balls.  Even Titleist has said during the court proceedings that the success of the ProV1 is due to the marketing and not the performance of the ball.

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#20 lotbean21

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Posted 30 January 2008 - 02:24 PM

The main reason for Titleist's balls domination is due to marketing, like TaylorMade with their drivers.
Don't get me wrong Titleist do make good golf balls, however they pay out much more in ball contracts to Tour players and they are very generous with young pros and good amateur players.
For example:At regional tournament qualifying events you will find a Titleist rep offering a dozen balls on the first tee. Once accepted you are then added to the Titleist ball count. Obviously no struggling pro or good amateur is going to turn down free balls. You won't find other ball companies at these events.
Titleist have a virtual monopoly on the golf ball market making it very difficult for competitors to erode Titleists market share.
Other companies make similar performing balls to Titleist, some may argue even better performing balls.
It will take a huge amount of money for any other ball company to seriously compete with Titleist, but ultimately it is all down to having a good product and limitless marketing.


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#21 ej002

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Posted 30 January 2008 - 02:45 PM

View PostTheCapedAvenger, on Jan 30 2008, 01:25 PM, said:

yes. The only one on that list who isn't playing the ball of his club sponsor is rory, and thats because adams doesn't make a golf ball.

looking at the top 10 as an indcator of quality is preposterous.

1. Tiger Woods- Nike
2. Phil Mickelson- Callaway
3. K.J. Choi- Nike
4. Ernie Els- Callaway
5. Adam Scott- Titleist
6. Steve Stricker- Titleist
7. Rory Sabbatini- Callaway (as of Jan. 2008) Previously with Nike
8. Vijay Singh- Titleist
9. Jim Furyk- Srixon
10. Padraig Harington- Titleist
11. Justin Rose- Taylor Made
12. Trevor Immelman- Nike
13. Luke Donald- Titleist
14. Zach Johnson- Titleist
15. Sergio Garcia- Taylor Made
16. Angel Cabrera- Titleist
17. Aaron Baddely- Titleist
18. Geoff Ogivy- Titleist
19. David Toms- Titleist
20. Daniel Chopra- Titleist

Okay, wait a minute.  VJ plays Cleveland, Luke plays Mizuno, Cabrera PING, Baddely Adams now.  They dont have balls and could pick any other ball they want to.  BUT they all choose to play Titleist.  So that is 4-1.  Everyone else is with their contract.

So of the top 20, who dont get paid to play the ball of their club contracts, 4 out of 5 prefer Titleist.  That is about % Titleist dominates over Callaway.  And I think that is an excellent indication of quality.  These guys are playing for Millions of dollars, they are going to play the best thing they can.   JMO

Edited by ej002, 30 January 2008 - 02:54 PM.


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#22 lotbean21

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Posted 30 January 2008 - 04:06 PM

View Postej002, on Jan 30 2008, 07:45 PM, said:

View PostTheCapedAvenger, on Jan 30 2008, 01:25 PM, said:

yes. The only one on that list who isn't playing the ball of his club sponsor is rory, and thats because adams doesn't make a golf ball.

looking at the top 10 as an indcator of quality is preposterous.

1. Tiger Woods- Nike
2. Phil Mickelson- Callaway
3. K.J. Choi- Nike
4. Ernie Els- Callaway
5. Adam Scott- Titleist
6. Steve Stricker- Titleist
7. Rory Sabbatini- Callaway (as of Jan. 2008) Previously with Nike
8. Vijay Singh- Titleist
9. Jim Furyk- Srixon
10. Padraig Harington- Titleist
11. Justin Rose- Taylor Made
12. Trevor Immelman- Nike
13. Luke Donald- Titleist
14. Zach Johnson- Titleist
15. Sergio Garcia- Taylor Made
16. Angel Cabrera- Titleist
17. Aaron Baddely- Titleist
18. Geoff Ogivy- Titleist
19. David Toms- Titleist
20. Daniel Chopra- Titleist

Okay, wait a minute. VJ plays Cleveland, Luke plays Mizuno, Cabrera PING, Baddely Adams now. They dont have balls and could pick any other ball they want to. BUT they all choose to play Titleist. So that is 4-1. Everyone else is with their contract.

So of the top 20, who dont get paid to play the ball of their club contracts, 4 out of 5 prefer Titleist. That is about % Titleist dominates over Callaway. And I think that is an excellent indication of quality. These guys are playing for Millions of dollars, they are going to play the best thing they can. JMO


I agree to an extent but VJ, Donald, Cabrera and Baddely have extremely generous Ball contracts with Titleist in addition to their respective club contracts.
Call me cynical but I'm sure if Bridgestone, Nike or Callaway offered them a better contract just for playing their respective ball those pros would jump ship in a heartbeat. I imagine trying to buyout VJ's Titleist ball contract would be prohibitively expensive. However with Srixon taking over Cleveland, I wouldn't be surprised if VJ starts using a Srixon ball in the near future.

Edited by lotbean21, 30 January 2008 - 04:15 PM.


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#23 WWG

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Posted 30 January 2008 - 04:37 PM

It is simple, Titleist has always had the biggest staff budget, not to mention they basicaly give balls away to any good young player, 3 of my employees are on high school teams and they get all the free titleist balls they want. When you see titleist by a players name that means they are paid to play it.  I hope they go down and go down hard.  Anyone who was in the business back when the pro v first came out knew they had to have copied other balls.  For months tity was saying no we don't need a solid core multi layer ball like nike, precept, strata, callaway, then there tour staff gets ticked and low and behold we had titleist prototype version one on the market.  They think they are so great.  Now they think they are ping and can tell me what to sell there ball for.  45.99 a dozen when we have been 38.99 for years. I hope they go down.

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#24 vaca22

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Posted 30 January 2008 - 04:55 PM

rdbivyleagun and lotbean21 make excellent points.

Titliest already had a solid following prior to the release of the Pro V1. If you read the redacted brief filed by Callaway, you can see that after the Rule 35 ball was released (this is from a chart that was provided in the brief) Callaway was selling a lot more balls than Titleist in 2000. Players were disappointed with the performance of the wound ball which was the best offering that Titleist had at the time and threatened to leave the company, or at least voiced their displeasure. With the introduction of the so-called "infringing Pro V1", Titleist was able to retain many of those players who would have otherwise left to use a different ball.

Furthermore, Titleist capitalized on this by creating the "Titleist Exclusive Pro Shop." Under this particular program, Titleist (or Acushnet more specifically) offered golf pro shops additional incentives if they agreed to sell only Titleist and Pinnacle branded golf balls. Callaway is arguing that prior to this, they were able to sell their golf balls to these pro shops that had not been contacted (if that's the right word) by Acushnet. This netted Acushnet many exclusive relationships, and subsequently enabled Acushment to effectively snuff out the competition (ALL competition).

I personally started playing the Pro V1 simply because everyone else was and everyone claimed it was the greatest thing since sliced bread. I'm sure I wasn't the only one, and that's where the power of effective marketing comes into play. Am I saying the Pro V1 is a bad ball?  Not at all.  All I'm saying is that the power of effective marketing and branding is incredibly influential.

Edited by vaca22, 30 January 2008 - 05:02 PM.


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#25 ej002

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Posted 30 January 2008 - 05:17 PM

Good points.  But I personally dont buy into the theory that the V1's success is based solely on titleist brainwashing or cornered the market.  I played a bunch of the balls named, but not the Srixon.  I think all are good balls, but the V1 gives me noticeably more distance off the tee. (I am talking like 10-15yds).  I dont know why, I just it is true for ME.  I think the Nike One ( not sure if it is black or platinum) is a distant second. Maybe I need to experiment more.

But I agree to an extent that Titleist does do a better job of marketing and may ride its name recognition.  I am really not being biased here.  In highschool I was an outcast for playing Callaway Rule 35, while my teamates were "cool" because they played a professional.  I was not dumb, I played the longest ball with the most spin I could find.  

Who Knows?  

Does anyone agree with me though that there will be a new "ball revolution" due to the new groove rule?  I think at the minimum players will have to use something that spins at least as much as a V1 or a 330s.

Edited by ej002, 30 January 2008 - 05:24 PM.


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#26 Micah

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Posted 05 March 2008 - 03:18 PM

Didn't mean to bring this thread back from the dead, but this is what was said by a Supreme Court Justice.

In that case, KSR International Co. v. Teleflex Inc., the Supreme Court said that if an individual or a company takes two known elements in a given field and combines them to create a new element, that new element is not necessarily patentable: "The results of ordinary innovation are not the subject of exclusive rights under the patent laws," wrote Justice Anthony Kennedy in the opinion of the court.



If this is the case then Callaway doesn't have a leg to stand on.  Besides they are just bringing up old patents that Spalding brought to Titliest asking about the patent but ended up dropping it because a patent is not a safe harbor.  Titleist received their patent before Spalding even though Spalding applied first.  Titleist also released the ProV1 before Spalding.  Another thing is a patent is not a defense.  So basically Callaway is bringing up old patents that they purchased from Spalding.  Spalding obviously saw that they had no case.  Callaway is going to end up getting overruled because of the Supreme Court Justices comments under patent laws.

Obviously they broke patent laws against Bridgestone because they had to pay.  Basically Callaway was trying to extort money from Titleist.

Edited by Micah, 05 March 2008 - 03:20 PM.


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#27 sidewinder

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Posted 05 March 2008 - 04:11 PM

You have no idea whether or not Callaway has a leg to stand on! The phrases "not necessarily patentable" and "not patentable" are not the same. Nor do you know if what Callaway has patented is "ordinary innovation". The Courts will decide if the Callaway case has merit, not some hack with a bag full of Titleist gear....

Scott

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#28 Micah

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Posted 05 March 2008 - 04:17 PM

View Postsidewinder, on Mar 5 2008, 04:11 PM, said:

You have no idea whether or not Callaway has a leg to stand on! The phrases "not necessarily patentable" and "not patentable" are not the same. Nor do you know if what Callaway has patented is "ordinary innovation". The Courts will decide if the Callaway case has merit, not some hack with a bag full of Titleist gear....

Scott

You are wrong when a Supreme Court Justice makes a statement like that it usually sticks.  In this case the judge will probably overturn the jury verdict.  Again I didn't see any posts in this thread that stated the whole issue.  This goes back to when Spalding was a company.  It has nothing to do with recent patents.  It has to do with patents from 95 to 99.  Spalding applied for the patent in 95 but did not recieve their patent until later in 2001.  Titleist placed theirs in 99 and received their patent before Spalding, they also introduced the ProV1 in 2000 on the tour.  Spalding went to Titleist and questioned this but after talks with Titleist they dropped the issue because obviously they had no case.  If so they would still be in business with help from a settlement from Titleist.  Again Callaway is bringing up old news that was settled 8 years ago.  I know what I'm talking about I actually did some research on the topic.

Like I said, I'm sure they stole some info from Bridgestone or broke patent laws against them but from my research Callaway is just looking for a hand out.

Thanks
Micah

Edited by Micah, 05 March 2008 - 04:22 PM.


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#29 imsocrabby

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Posted 05 March 2008 - 04:34 PM

with regards to Titleist dominating ball use amongst pro's based on the pay for play scenario....the same can be said for Taylor Made's driver use.


if you pay...i will play seems to be THE common denominator.




i will never play a callaway ball.  not even a free one.

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#30 sidewinder

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Posted 05 March 2008 - 04:40 PM

Micah,

Nothing I said was incorrect.

1. You have no idea whether or not Callaway has a leg to stand on.

2. The phrases "not necessarily patentable" and "not patentable" are not the same.

3. You don't know if what Callaway has patented is "ordinary innovation".

4. The Courts will decide if the Callaway case has merit, not some hack with a bag full of Titleist gear.

Not one of those statements is wrong. The result of the proceedings may favor Titleist. But what you suppose and imagine is irrelevant.

Unless you have intimate knowledge of all aspects of the case, you are just guessing. The fact that the case is still alive shows that there is no easy answer here.

By the way, reading an article in a newspaper does not make you an expert or constitute "research":

http://www.southcoas...60309/-1/NEWS01

Scott


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