Score one for Titleist


In the ongoing patent battle between golf ball makers Titleist and Callaway, Titleist has done the legal equivalent of sinking a huge putt to get into a playoff.

A federal appeals court on Friday granted Titleist a new trial, throwing out a 2007 verdict that said Titleist’s Pro V1 model infringed on patents held by Callaway. That verdict led to an order prohibiting Titleist from selling a version of the Pro V1 known as the “2007 Pro V1” because that ball supposedly contravened a Callaway-owned patent. Titleist has already moved on to selling a 2009 Pro V1 model, which it says does not interfere with any patents. But Callaway says that even the new ball still infringes on its patents, and that there are still legal issues to be solved. The companies filed new patent actions against each other in March.

The appeals court found the jury’s 2007 verdict “irreconcilably inconsistent,” as the legal language goes, because jurors held some patents to be invalid but found other, similar patents to be valid.