Acushnet Co., the parent of Titleist, and Callaway Golf Co. have apparently ended a five-year long lawsuit over golf ball technology patents. The two jointly announced that they have reached a settlement of all pending litigation and disputes, including disputes beyond the golf ball suits between the parties.
No money changed hands, but under the terms of the agreement, each company will have specified rights to make golf ball and club products under patents owned by the other. Details of the settlement are confidential.
The dispute between the two companies dates to January 2006, when Acushnet filed with the United States Patent and Trademark Office for a reexamination of the four patents, which are owned by Callaway. A month later, Callaway hit back by filing a patent infringement lawsuit in federal district court.
The patents in question involve technological breakthroughs in producing multilayer, solid-core golf balls.
In court, an initial jury verdict in December 2007 came back in Callaway's favor, but Acushnet Co. successfully appealed it up to the Federal Circuit and earned a new trial. The jury in that trial, which was held in March 2010, decided for Acushnet.
In August 2011, a judge upheld a jury verdict deeming the patents in question invalid after Callaway appealed. The August judgment came six weeks after the U.S. Board of Patent Appeals and Interferences affirmed Acushnet Co.'s long-held contention that the four contested patents were invalid.