Well, that was anticlimactic.
After nearly a year and a half of accusations, investigations, depositions, and miscellaneous other legal maneuverings, the patent dispute between PXG and TaylorMade that began with the release of the P790 irons is over.
Details of the settlement are confidential, so short of a leak or two here or there; we may never know how things went down. All that’s being said is that “each company will have specified rights to make club products under patent cross-licenses.”
Make of that what you will.
It’s the kind of language that allows everyone to save face, admit no culpability, and get back to business without pissing any more money away. In the parlance of the game that led to the dispute; good-good.
The language of the release hints at a longstanding practice in the intellectual property world known as horse trading. Once upon a time, it was standard practice in the golf industry. Company A borrows some intellectual property from Company B, and rather than wade golf balls deep in litigation, Company A agrees to let Company B borrow some of its IP. Everybody wins, or more importantly, nobody loses.
If it went down differently and one of the companies walked away with a lighter wallet and its tail between its legs, neither side is letting on.
While likely not explicitly written into the terms of the agreement, it appears each company was allotted one quote.
David Abeles, TaylorMade Golf’s CEO, said, “I’m pleased that we were able to reach an acceptable and amicable resolution to put this case behind us so we can continue focusing on bringing industry leading equipment innovations to the golfer.”
Bob Parsons, PXG’s CEO, said, “As a golf equipment innovator, PXG will continue to pursue research and development and obtain patents for our novel club designs in the iron technology space. We will not hesitate to assert those patents in the future.”
Again, make of that what you will.
In other patent litigation non-news, the lawsuit between Titleist and Costco over the original Kirkland 4-piece golf ball is, as far as we know, ongoing.