BOSTON (CCN) – The makers of Titleist golf balls, a brand name in place for 85 years, brought a federal complaint Friday against the makers of a parody brand that holds itself out as the “sluttiest ball in golf.”
Represented by the firm Pierce Atwood in Portland, Maine, Titleist makers Acushnet filed suit in its home state of Massachusetts just five months after reaching a settlement there with an unrelated company that was marketing its own parody line.
In the earlier suit, a company called I Made Bogey sold products branded “Titties” and “Titlost,” stylized in the same cursive font that Fairhaven-based Acushnet has used continuously for 85 years.
On Friday, Acushnet set its sights on an Australian company called Golf Gods that is apparently making the same joke.
The company’s website boasts a diverse inventory of accessories and apparel — including polo shirts patterned with flamingos or decorated with a cartoon figure breaking his club over his knee — but Acushnet wants punitive damages and an injunction over the line similar to its Titleist products.
In addition to its cursive logo, Acushnet says Golf Gods has been infringing its protected marks “#1 Ball in Golf,” “Pro V1” and “Footjoy.”
Golf Gods representatives have not responded to an email seeking comment.
Acushnet says it has been manufacturing golf balls since 1935, after the company’s founder developed a new standard for golf balls.
According to the company’s website, founder Phil Young missed a putt in 1930 and insisted that the missed shot was the fault of a defective ball. His golfing partner, who worked at the local hospital, allowed Young to use one of the hospital’s x-ray machines to inspect the golf ball, and he saw that the core was off center.
Young went on to develop a new method, which included x-ray inspections, to ensure that his golf ball cores were properly centered.