Bridgestone Sports Co., Ltd., makers of the Precept golf ball, has filed a golf ball patent infringement lawsuit against Acushnet Japan Inc. in the Japan Tokyo District Court. The suit seeks ¥6 billion (US$52 million) in damages and demands that Acushnet stops the export of the infringing golf balls to Japan.

In the complaint, Bridgestone Sports charges Acushnet with willful infringement of the Japanese Patent No. 2669051 (Name of Invention: Solid Golf Ball). Bridgestone Sports is seeking to enjoin Acushnet from further sales in and importation of the accused golf balls into Japan, and also for compensation for damages. Among the Acushnet balls charged with infringement are: Titleist brand Pro V1, Pro V1x, DT SoLo, NXT and NXT Tour golf balls.

Cmpany President Hisashi Kawano explained, “Bridgestone Sports spends substantial time and cost for research and development of golf ball technology and its manufacturing technology. As a golf product innovator, Bridgestone Sports highly values its intellectual property rights and will enforce its rights when necessary to protect the technology. In this case, Bridgestone Sports attempted to settle this dispute through negotiation, however, when negotiations failed, Acushnet left us with no other course of action, but to file suit. We are prepared to see this action and the one now pending in the U.S. through to the end to enforce our patent rights.” In the United States, Bridgestone Sports filed on March 7, 2005, a complaint against Acushnet Company for golf ball patent infringement. That case is currently pending.