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What might happen to the ProV???


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#31 PINGRebel

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Posted 05 March 2008 - 05:10 PM

I know it is long, but read!


February 20, 2008 Dear Valued Customer: As you may know, we are currently involved in a patent dispute with Callaway Golf involving our Pro V1 golf ball family. We know that there is a lot of speculation and misinformation in the marketplace about this law suit, and I wanted to reach out to you directly to be sure that you had the facts and to share some new information.  First and foremost, I want to assure you that it is business as usual, and you can continue to order, sell and play Pro V1 and Pro V1x golf balls with confidence.  This dispute relates to patents that were issued by the U. S. Patent and Trademark Office after the Pro V1 came into the market and became the best-selling ball in golf. At Acushnet’s request, in early 2007 the Patent Office re-examined these patents and issued initial decisions finding that all claims of all four patents were invalid. Over the last 90 days, the Patent Office issued second decisions on each of the four patents and again determined all claims of all four patents invalid. The last three second Patent Office decisions were issued after the jury trial ended on December 14, 2007. In this process, four separate patent examiners have reached the same conclusion – that it was a mistake to issue these patents in the first place. Unfortunately, this pivotal information was not allowed as evidence at the trial in which the jury rendered an inconsistent and unsupportable verdict. As a result, Acushnet has asked the Court to come to the same conclusion as did the Patent Office and determine that all claims of all four patents are invalid, thereby reversing the jury verdict. Second, I want to assure you that we will vigorously oppose Callaway’s request for an injunction against the sale of the Pro V1. Acushnet’s opposition will include the inconsistency of the jury verdict, the recent decisions from the Patent Office and Callaway’s long delay in filing the law suit. These matters will take the court some time to decide. We are confident in our positions and believe that they are correct. However, regardless of what the Court decides, these matters will likely be appealed to a higher court, resulting in final decisions not being made until well into the future. I can also tell you that we are well along in the development of the next generation of the Pro V1 family, which is slated for introduction in early 2009. This is consistent with the two-year cycle for introducing new and improved product that we have maintained for the Pro V1 since its inception in 2001. These golf balls will continue to be based on Acushnet technology, including 70 of our own patents, and will be outside the claims of the Callaway patents involved in the law suit. I hope that this gives you a better understanding of the situation and reaffirms the confidence and steadfast support that you have maintained for our brand through the years. At Titleist, we dedicate ourselves to earning your trust and that of your customers every day. It is a commitment to excellence that began with the first Titleist golf ball over 70 years ago, and remains as purposeful today. We look forward to supplying you with the highest performance and best quality golf balls for years to come. Thank you for your continued support,titleist <http://www.titleist.com/images/enews/wrusigsmall.jpg> Wally UihleinChairman and Chief Executive OfficerAcushnet Company

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#32 sidewinder

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Posted 05 March 2008 - 05:16 PM

wesmangolfer,

That's a nice letter but it means nothing. What else would you expect them to say? Callaway is equally optimistic.....

Scott

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#33 gjones77

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Posted 05 March 2008 - 05:24 PM

Actually on Feb 29th the Patent Office came back after a review of the patents and basically said all of the patents that Callaway was using in this case were outdated and non-enforceable after they said 1 of the two was still valid, they are now saying both are invalid.

This will just get drawn out in court for a few more years, but from what it looks like Callaway is going to lose this one.

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#34 PMantle

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Posted 05 March 2008 - 05:28 PM

View Postsidewinder, on Mar 5 2008, 03:40 PM, said:

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

Was this called for?

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#35 laseranimal

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Posted 05 March 2008 - 05:32 PM

I don't think the fact that player x is getting paid by company y to use their ball makes any difference at all in the minds of Joe Sixpack, he only cares what player x is playing, not who's paying them.  If it did then there'd be no sense at all in paying players to use anything because the product would stand on its own merits.  Granted nobody would play something that sucks, but to say tour use doesn't drive the weekend market then all the money spent on paying pro golfers is a REALLY dumb investment by these companies.

Face it, if the Pro V1 wasn't being marketed to golfers people would cease to play them

How many people are playing MacGregor, Wilson, or Hogan today?

If Nike/Callaway/Srixon/Taylormade make a better ball then Titleist and get it into the hands of more players, they will have the perception that they have a "better" ball

Thats all this really is, people will stick to what they feel comfortable with

for years now thats been Titleist, we'll see if that changes or not

Edited by laseranimal, 05 March 2008 - 05:35 PM.


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#36 sidewinder

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Posted 05 March 2008 - 05:33 PM

PMantle,

It certainly was superfluous....

We're all hacks to some extent......unless we are on some Tour making a living playing golf.

Scott

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#37 imsocrabby

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Posted 05 March 2008 - 05:50 PM

sorry but sheeple do pay attention to advertising and who's using what.

if that weren't the case, why would any company pay for endorsements?  they spend money to make money.  they pay tiger woods to use his name and likeness on 'stuff'....and people buy it.

would the number of NIKE irons sold be the same if David Duval was their main draw?

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#38 sigmamason

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Posted 05 March 2008 - 05:56 PM

View Postjcjr34, on Jan 30 2008, 08:54 AM, said:

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..

Same could be said of those that are playing the Titleist ball and under contract to play other equipment.
People forget that Titleist gives out ball contracts to a LOT of pros. Similar to tm and their driver deals...

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#39 scubus

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Posted 05 March 2008 - 07:08 PM

View PostMicah, on Mar 5 2008, 03:18 PM, said:

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.
I think you are reading and applying the opinion incorrectly, and I'm not certain your history is correct.

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#40 gjones77

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Posted 05 March 2008 - 09:21 PM

Here we go, the update I was looking for.

http://www.golfdiges...08/03/bombgouge
( Go to bottom of page, but I pasted it below)

Quote

PRO V1 DISPUTE NOT OVER

Equipment companies wrangle over patent issues all the time, but rarely do they become big news. The exception is when the most popular ball in golf -- the Titleist Pro V1 -- is found to violate another company's patents.

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."

The story above also appeared in the March issue of Golf Digest. The following update was added on Feb. 29, 2008.

Update (2/29/08): The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office initially found four disputed patents invalid and, in a second review, found one of the patents invalid. The USPTO has now concluded its second review and has found -- as it did in its initial review -- all four patents to be invalid.

The significance of the USPTO's second review is that although the four patents were initially found to be invalid, this information was not permitted to be introduced to the jury at trial. According to Joe Nauman, Acushnet's executive VP, corporate and legal, the upholding of the invalidity of the four patents may now be taken into consideration by the court going forward.

Both Callaway and Acushnet have the opportunity to respond to the USPTO's second office actions, a process that should be completed sometime this Spring. Those responses are another in a lengthy line of legal proceedings that may drag this case out for some time.


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#41 Xiphos

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Posted 06 March 2008 - 02:12 AM

View PostDRGJR72, on Jan 29 2008, 07:02 PM, said:

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.

Dan

I agree.  Titleist has the market share they have in golf balls because of the green grass operation they have in place.  It is second to none.  Go to any golf course, no matter how dumpy and small and you will find Titleist products there.  It may hurt them in the short term, but their long term business plan is better.
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#42 Micah

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Posted 11 March 2008 - 02:31 PM

View Postscubus, on Mar 5 2008, 08:08 PM, said:

View PostMicah, on Mar 5 2008, 03:18 PM, said:

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.
I think you are reading and applying the opinion incorrectly, and I'm not certain your history is correct.



This was from an article explaining where the suit was stemming from.  It stems from the purchase of Spalding and the patents that Spalding applied for which is now in Callaway's hands.

It is going to end up going all the way to the high courts which from what I have seen will side with Titleist but before it gets there it looks like they will have a new ProV1 that will not be in question.

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#43 gjones77

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Posted 11 March 2008 - 07:25 PM

Ahhh... didn't you guys read my post, the Patent Office said the patents were invalid...

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