Two Callaway golf ball patents deemed invalid


A federal jury has declared four Callaway golf ball patents invalid in the latest milestone in a longstanding case pitting the Carlsbad-based company against rival Titleist.

The decision, made Monday in Delaware, favors Acushnet Co., the maker of Titleist golf balls, and nullifies an earlier partial victory for Callaway. The two companies have been in a legal battle over the patents since 2006.

The main consequence of Monday’s ruling is that Acushnet won’t have to pay damages to Callaway, which was seeking as much as $246 million from past sales of the popular Titleist Pro V1 balls.

Callaway Chief Administrative Officer Steve McCracken said his company was disappointed in Monday’s verdict and plans to appeal.

The jury sided with Titleist’s arguments that even though the Pro V1 infringed the Callaway patents, the patents are not enforceable because the design did not constitute a new concept when they were issued in 2001 and 2003.

“We are extremely pleased with the court’s decision...,” said Joe Nauman, an executive vice president at Acushnet Co., Titleist’s parent company.