Costco sues Acushnet over Kirkland Signature golf ball

Monday March 20th, 2017
1:03 | Equipment
Costco's drive into the golf industry
In 2016, Costco made a big splash in the golf world when it released its Kirkland Signature golf balls.

According to a report on golf-patents.com, Costco has filed a complaint against Acushnet Holdings Corp. (maker of Titleist golf balls) looking for a judgment that the company is "not infringing any valid patent rights owned by Acushnet by its sale of its Kirkland Signature golf balls," and that "it has not engaged in false advertising regarding the golf balls."

The reason for the suit, according to the complaint, appears to be a letter sent from Acushnet to Costco accusing the latter of infringing on 11 patents with the Kirkland Signature golf ball and false advertising based on the guarantee that all Kirkland Signature products "meet or exceed the quality standards of leading national brands."

The Kirkland Signature golf ball.
Courtesy of Costco

Regarding possible golf ball patent infringements, Costco's complaint spells out specific qualities of the KS ball's core and cover and how none of these infringe on Acushnet's patents. Here's a sampling: 


"… the Shore D hardness of the center core of the KS ball is not 'at least about 10 points' less than the Shore D hardness of the outer core."

"…the surface hardness of the outer core of the KS ball is not 75 Shore C or greater."

"… dimples on the KS golf ball do not cover more than 80% of the outer surface."

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As for the claim of false advertising, here's part of what the company's complaint had to say: "Costco has never publicly compared the KS ball with any Acushnet ball, including Acushnet's Pro V1 golf balls … a reasonable consumer would not interpret the Kirkland Signature guarantee as intended to convey a statement of fact about any specific comparisons of quality between the KS ball and any specific manufacturer or ball, including Acushnet and its Pro V1 ball."

To read the complaint in its entirety, click here.

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