Federal Circuit Affirms Judgment Dismissing Triple Tee Golf's Patent Infringement Suit against TaylorMade’s Movable Weight Golf Clubs
CARLSBAD, Calif. (May 11, 2016) — On May 5, 2016, the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit affirmed a district court's grant of summary judgment in favor of Taylor Made Golf (“TaylorMade”) dismissing Triple Tee’s patent infringement complaint. The affirmance is the culmination of litigation filed in 2011 by plaintiff Triple Tee Golf alleging that Taylor Made’s accused movable weight clubs infringe Triple Tee’s U.S. Patent 7,128,660 and another Triple Tee patent, U.S. Patent 7,854,667.
The Federal Circuit summarily affirmed the district court without opinion, resulting in a complete victory for TaylorMade.
The litigation was initially stayed pending reexamination of both patents in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. In reexamination, all claims of the ‘667 patent were invalidated, and only four claims survived in the ‘660 patent only as the result of claim amendments. The district court held that the surviving claims of the ‘660 patent are not substantially identical to any of the original claims of the ‘660 patent and, therefore, Triple Tee is precluded from recovery for infringement from any time prior to the issuance of the ‘660 patent reexamination certificate on June 12, 2014. Since all of TaylorMade’s accused movable weight clubs were last manufactured and/or imported into the U.S. before that date, TaylorMade and its distributors, resellers, and end user customers have an absolute right to continue selling and using such products.
Lee Spencer, TaylorMade’s Vice President of Intellectual Property, said “We are pleased that our position has been vindicated by the Federal Circuit's decision. We respect the intellectual property rights of others and we expect that others will respect ours. However, if and when infringement is alleged without basis, we will defend ourselves vigorously, as in the present case."