Category Archives: Golf

Golf Caddies Ask for Mulligan in Suit Over PGA Tour Bib-Ads

On October 12, 2017, golf caddies urged the Ninth Circuit to revive their proposed antitrust class action against PGA Tour Inc. for allegedly exploiting them as walking advertisements. The golf caddies claimed the lower court erred by using evidence outside of their complaint to interpret the contracts and that they had no chance to respond to the court’s arguments. In their original lawsuit filed by over 80 caddies in February 2015, the caddies alleged that PGA Tour earns $50 million a year from a policy…

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A Jury Will Decide Whether Pro Golfer Vijay Singh’s Case Against PGA Tour is a “Hole in One”

A New York state judge decided on Wednesday , August 30, 2017, that Vijay Singh’s four-year-old lawsuit against the PGA Tour, Inc. will be decided by a jury. Singh’s lawsuit centers on his temporary suspension by the PGA Tour for using “illicit” deer antler spray as a performance enhancing drug. The suspension was later dropped after the World Anti-Doping Agency said the spray was not banned. Singh admitted to using deer antler spray in a Sports Illustrated interview to help him treat knee and back…

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Out of Bounds: Court Rules Against Golf Tailor’s Counterclaims in IP Dispute

In February, GolfBestBuy filed suit in California’s Federal Courts against Golf Tailor, accusing Golf Tailor of purchasing their clubs through authorized reseller Golf Gifts and Gallery Inc., and then, after gauging customer interest, going to a Chinese manufacturer to produce counterfeits. Counterfeit goods from China continue to hinder U.S. markets, and cost U.S. businesses billions a year in lost profits. According to the suit, Golf Tailor bought more than 100,000 clubs from GGG at a unit price of $17 apiece and then sold the clubs…

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Muirfield Village Golf Club Files Trademark Claim

Muirfield Village Golf Club, which hosts the annual Memorial Tournament on the PGA Tour, has sued TCGC Properties LLC for trademark infringement. Muirfield, located in Dublin, Ohio, alleges that TCGC filed a trademark application in early May, attempting to register the Memorial Tournament marks in its name. Therefore, Muirfield claims, TCGC has infringed by attempting to profit off the goodwill generated by Muirfield from hosting the tournament since 1976. TCGC claims they own the Memorial Tournament mark and should have the exclusive right to use…

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Costco Teeing Up IP Suit with Golf Ball Maker Titleist

Costco Corporation has filed suit in Washington federal court, seeking a declaration that its discount golf ball, the Kirkland Signature (KS) ball, does not violate any patents held by golf brand Titleist’s parent, Acushnet Co. Costco initiated this declaratory action when Acushnet allegedly sent “a threatening letter” accusing it of patent infringement and false advertising. Acushnet, a Massachusetts company, manufactures one of the top golf performance equipment brands, Titleist. The patents at issue, in pertinent part, relate to the hardness of the golf ball’s…

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Desperate Attempt From Caddies to Reverse Antitrust Class Action Dismissal

The Professional Golf Association (PGA) Tour caddies are taking another swing at gaining revenue for advertisements on a caddy’s bib. The class action antirust case, of which over 150 caddies are involved, filed an appeal with the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. They are requesting the court to overturn the district court’s dismissal of their complaint concerning advertising logos and abuses made by the PGA Tour. This appeal stems from a lawsuit filed in January 2015. The caddies claim the PGA Tour violated and…

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PGA Moves to Dismiss Singh Lawsuit

On Friday, July 29, 2016,  PGA Tour Inc. once again moved to dismiss golfer Vijay Singh’s lawsuit alleging bad faith actions on the part of the PGA Tour. Singh brought suit against the PGA in 2013 after admitting in an interview to using deer antler spray, a banned substance, and accused the PGA of “absurd” and “unfair” treatment shown by the PGA’s 90-day suspension of Singh while other players used the same substance and received no sanctions. Singh never tested positive for IGF-1, the…

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Pepperdine Golf Coach Requests to Remain in Libel Suit Against Her and Her Husband

Pepperdine University’s women’s golf coach, Laurie Gibbs, has requested that a California federal court not dismiss her from a suit against Gibbs and her husband. The suit claims that the highly successful golf coach and her husband sent anonymous emails defaming College Golf Camps of America LLC (CGCA). On July 15, 2016, Gibbs filed a motion requesting that the court deny the motion for voluntary dismissal. Gibbs is appearing pro se in the case. The lawsuit was initiated in October 2014, when CGCA claimed…

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Expert Report Creates Further Contention in Court

The legal battle continues between the PGA Tour and pro golfer Vijay Singh. The lawsuit stems from a suspension that Singh received following a Sports Illustrated interview where Singh admitted to using deer antler spray, which contained a substance banned by the PGA Tour’s Anti-Doping Program. On April 30, 2013, the PGA Tour released a statement that the suspension had been lifted following further information provided by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) and an investigation into the matter. Following the release and reversal of the…

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PGA Tour Caddies Looking to Get Back in the Fairway of Human Billboard Case

On June 15, 2016 PGA Tour caddies filed a brief with the Ninth Circuit urging the appeals court to reverse dismissal of their lawsuit. Their argument is based on the caddies’ belief the California Judge presiding over the case was too quick in his dismissal, failing to give the caddies a chance to present all of their relevant evidence prior to dismissal. Previously, the caddies filed an anti-trust class action lawsuit for misappropriation of their likeness and images in commercial activities by using them as…

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