Five golf-ball companies combine defenses against Titleist patent suit

Five golf-ball companies combine defenses against Titleist patent suit

Five golf-ball companies among 10 named in an April patent infringement lawsuit filed by Titleist parent company Acushnet have banded together, denying all the ball giant's claims that their products violate Acushnet's intellectual property.

On May 29, Germany-based Vice Golf, Kick X Golf, the company behind I Need the Ball, Dixon Golf and Monsta Golf all filed similar responses in U.S. District Court in Massachusetts to to Acushnet's April 6 suit. Acushnet claims each company sells golf balls, all made by the same Taiwanese manufacturer, use the same Acushnet-patented cast-urethane covers with 318 dimples having a triangluar dipyramid shape. Each of the five companies, represented by Fish and Richardson attorney Adam Kessel, use similar language to dismiss Acushnet's claims and request for relief, through an injunction to stop sales and/or a financial penalty.

The Taiwanese manufacturer, identified by Golf Digest as a company called Foremost, is not a named defendant in the suit.

While this handful of companies has come together in what appears to be a coordinated, if unofficially so, defense, two companies named in the suit have ceased their golf ball sales. Lightning Golf and 3 Up Golf both settled with Acushnet and have been removed from the suit. The settlements were similar in nature, allowing both companies to sell their remaining inventories which, combined with a settlement payment, came out to a near break-even transaction. Both companies are considering their future directions in the industry, including possibly developing new, wholly owned products, including potentially developing a golf ball on its own.

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