Titleist's parent company Acushnet filed suit on Monday against 10 independent ball makers in Massachusetts federal court, claiming the companies are illegally violating patents related to their shared dimple pattern.
The ball makers sued are 3 Up Golf, Ariva Golf, German newcomer Vice Golf, Dixon Golf, Lightning Golf, Monsta Golf, Rife Golf, the makers of I Need The Ball, a South Korean company called Nexen Corp. and Kick X Golf.
Three patents in question relate to the ProV1 golf ball. In 2003, the company released an improved ProV1 with 60 fewer dimples than the original. The company found that fewer dimples with variable sizes led to better performance. Two subsequent patents that came out of that additional refinement are in question, as well. The patents are used in a number of balls Acushnet currently sells under the Titleist brand.
Acushnet claims each of the 10 companies is using the same dimple pattern: a triangular dipyramid pattern with 318 dimples and three different dimple sizes. All of the balls are manufactured in Taiwan by the same company (not named in the suit) with a cast, aromatic urethane cover at the approximately same thickness and hardness.
The Massachusetts-based company is looking for a jury trial, seeking a verdict that will prohibit these ball makers from using this dimple pattern, as well compensatory damages.