March 7, 2005
Bridgestone Sports Initiates Patent Infringement Action Against The Acushnet Company
Titleist's Leading Golf Balls Allegedly Infringe Upon Several Bridgestone-owned U.S. Patents
Covington, Ga. — On March 7, 2005, Bridgestone Sports Co., Ltd., and its wholly owned subsidiary, Bridgestone Golf,
Inc., filed a patent infringement lawsuit against the Acushnet Company in the United States District Court for the District
of Delaware. Bridgestone Sports is currently the leading golf ball manufacturer in Japan with a 40% share of that market,
and Acushnet remains the leader in the U.S. golf ball market.
In the complaint, Bridgestone Sports charges Acushnet with willful infringement of ten United States patents from Bridgestone
Sports' extensive patent portfolio covering multi-piece solid core golf ball technology. Among the Acushnet balls charged
with infringement are: Titleist® Pro V1™, the Titleist® Pro V1x™, the Titleist® NXT™, Titleist®
NXT Tour, the Titleist® DT SoLo, and the Pinnacle® Exception™ golf balls.
Bridgestone Sports is seeking an injunction against Acushnet from infringing upon the company's patents and for unspecified
compensation for damages that have occurred as a result of past infringement. In addition, Bridgestone Sports seeks a declaratory
judgment of non-infringement with respect to four United States patents owned by Acushnet.
"During the course of several months of negotiations with Acushnet, we attempted to settle this dispute; however, when negotiations
failed, Acushnet left us with no other course of action, but to file suit," said Mr. Kawano, President, Bridgestone Sports
Co., Ltd. "We remain hopeful that this matter can be settled, but in the meantime, we must protect our intellectual property
rights. We will do so passionately and we are committed to see this matter to the end, in order to properly remedy the infringement."
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Bridgestone Sports, together with its U.S. subsidiary, Bridgestone Golf, Inc., located in Covington, Georgia, develops,
manufactures and sells premium golf products, including Bridgestone Golf™, Precept® and TourStage® golf balls.
Bridgestone is represented on a world stage by a number of internationally famed golfers including, Stuart Appleby, Shigeki
Maruyama and Nick Price. Bridgestone Golf, Inc. is a wholly owned subsidiary of Bridgestone Sports Co. Ltd., whose headquarters
are in Tokyo.
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Bridgestone Golf, Inc., based in Covington, GA, manufactures and markets premium
golf balls, clubs and accessories under the Bridgestone and Precept brand names.
Bridgestone is represented on a world stage by a number of internationally famed
Fred Couples, Matt Kuchar,
Davis Love III, Brandt Snedeker,
Paula Creamer, Nick Price,
and Lee Trevino.
Bridgestone Golf, Inc. is a wholly owned subsidiary of Bridgestone Sports Co. Ltd.,
whose headquarters are in Tokyo.
Bridgestone Golf, Inc. is proud to be the #1 Ball Fitter in Golf as the industry
leader in live launch monitor fittings. Bridgestone provides three ways for golfers
to find the ball that best fits their game: live fittings through the
Bridgestone Ball Fitting Challenge, live online
chats with ball fitting
experts through its B-FIT service, and an easily accessible
Online Ball Selection Guide. For more
information on ball fitting, including a complete schedule of Ball Fitting Challenge
events, visit www.bridgestonegolf.com.