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The Callaway versus Acushnet legal tussle over alleged patent infringement with respect to the ProV1 franchise has found its way onto the PGA Tour. By court order, Tour players are prohibited to use the product that has been found to infringe on the patents in question. Titleist has taken steps around this by building a modified version of the ProV1 and ProV1X that it says doesn’t incorporate the patents in dispute. However, golf balls to a large extent all appear the same and while the ProV1 models have undergone alterations since it was first introduced, the name has remained the same. Therefore, using the term ProV1 doesn’t upon itself differentiate between the models that do or do not allegedly infringe. Case in point, Geoff Ogilvy attempts to articulate the differences between the models prior to his start of the season at the Mercedes Championship. “The new-new one, I'm not going to use this week. And the new one, of the old one, if that makes sense, that one is fine. I don't notice a difference,” he said. If you need further clarification, Ogilvy added, ”There's a new-old one, and there's a new-new one, which is the new one -- (laughter) -- which is the model in front of the old one. The other one is a 2007 ball and this is a 2009 ball. There's a version of the 2007 ball, but doesn't breach the patent, so I'm using the non-patent-breaching version of the 2007 ball, these two weeks.” Clear as mud!
“They never make a bad ball. They are always pretty good,” Ogilvy added perhaps in an attempt to save face in describing the recent trials and tribulations of the ProV1. The 2006 U.S. Open Champ also has a new driver to go with a new-old ball in his arsenal of weapons for 2009. “ We have got a new driver. First time ever it's going straight in the bag. I've used it three or four times,” he said. “ It's the new Cobra -- I'll have to ask the rep what it's called, Speed 9.1 or something, I don't know. It goes really good. It's like the composite carbon on top, and it's less spin for me, so it's basically going a bit further. It only got approved in September. So if it makes it in the bag this week, which I think it will, it will be the first week it's been out.” And its been said the tools of ignorance are those employed by a baseball catcher...