Notice the banner ad at the top of the ESPN homepage.

Notice the banner ad at the top of the ESPN homepage.

If you visit ESPN.com at the time of this posting, you will notice a huge not-so-tongue-in-cheek advertisement for Callaway golf balls.

What does it say? “The #1 Ball in Golf Was Built on Callaway Technology.” In the ad’s photo, a Callaway balls sits in the foreground with a Titleist ball off-center in the background.

Last week, a federal judge ordered Titleist to stop making its current line of Pro V1 balls because they infringe on a Callaway patent. After January 1, the balls will be completely out of production.

Callaway also took out a full-page ad in the Wall Street Journal:

“It’s no secret that the Titleist ProV1 is the most popular golf ball ever. What is not widely known is that after Titleist admitted its ProV1 golf balls infringed various Callaway patents, a jury found those patents valid, and a federal court has now ordered Titleist to stop making and selling infringing ProV1 and ProV1x golf balls after January 1, 2009.”

So how will this affect Titleist? The Pro V1s will continue, just under a different patent. Joe Nauman–a corporate executive with Acushnet, who makes Titleist balls–said, “It’s important to recognize that this ruling will not have any impact on our ability to supply our customers with Pro V1 golf balls.”

Another chapter in the ongoing battle between Callaway and Titleist. Looks like Titleist got caught red-handed on this one.

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