Business LawLitigation InsightsTaylorMade Sues Costco for Patent Infringement over Golf Clubs

February 2, 2024

Costco a favorite of many consumers for its low prices and ubiquitous Kirkland brand, has entered the golf game. According to a new study released by the American Golf Industry Coalition, roughly one in seven Americans played golf in 2022, resulting in $101.7 billion in direct economic impact, an increase of 20% from the $84.1 billion in economic impact in 2016. More Americans are playing golf than ever before. Costco’s launch of the Kirkland Signature Players Irons at $499, quickly sold out, marking its bold entry into the competitive golf equipment market. This move has sparked a legal challenge from TaylorMade, which alleges that Costco’s product infringes on patents related to its P790 irons, known for their hollow-cavity design filled with “SpeedFoam.” TaylorMade’s lawsuit, filed in the Southern District Court of California, claims that Costco’s irons unlawfully replicate their P790 technology and mislead consumers through false advertising. The case highlights the clash between innovation and market entry in the golf industry, underscoring the importance of intellectual property rights. TaylorMade’s aggressive defense of its P790 technology reflects its commitment to protecting its inventions and the golfers who trust in their performance. This lawsuit is not the first of its kind in the golf world, with previous disputes also centering around patent infringement, indicating the high stakes involved in the golf equipment market.

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