Friday, May 28, 2010

World Cup heads to Africa for first time - USATODAY.com

Barry Wilner, AP Sports Writer, points out in USAToday.com that the World Cup heads to Africa for first time. It will be a historic occasion as the World Cup launches on June 11, 2010.

The 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa and Trademark Law Issues related to this upcoming Association Football (Soccer) Gala : Fans and Press Excepted

The Times Online suggests that one Steer clear of ambushing the World Cup [trademarks] as the FIFA (= International Federation of Association Football viz. Fédération Internationale de Football Association) guards its trademarks actively.

Take a look at the World Cup Blog for a list of FIFA World Cup phrases for which the FIFA has applied for a trademark.

Out-Law.com in FIFA wins World Cup trade mark dispute writes, quoting Jérôme Valcke, Director of FIFA Marketing and TV:
"We will continue to aggressively protect FIFA's and the FIFA Partners' rights against the unfair commercial exploitation of FIFA's marks and any similar ambush marketing activities in the future. This case provides a strong legal precedent for FIFA's future enforcement efforts," he added.

FIFA said the ruling will not prevent genuine football fans from continuing to use the marks for their non-commercial 'fan sites' or the press from using FIFA's marks for their editorial news coverage." [emphasis added by LawPundit]

Crossposted from LawPundit.

The FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking of Association Football (Soccer) Teams

For all those out there following the upcoming FIFA World Cup 2010, check out the world team rankings at The FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking. This ranking gives a good idea of the relative strength of the teams using professional ranking variables, although there are bound to be upsets and surprises -- there always are -- and the winner will be in doubt until the World Cup 2010 is raised high by the winning team after the end of the last game.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

First NFL Pro Drills: Ndamukong Suh, Jahvid Best show why Lions drafted them | detnews.com | The Detroit News

John Niyo at The Detroit News tells us that Ndamukong Suh, Jahvid Best show why Lions drafted them in a report on the two rookies in their first pro drills.

Stanford's Secret Recruiting Weapon Paying Off

Stanford's Secret Recruiting Weapon Paying Off

Jury finds Callaway Golf Ball Patents Invalid for Obviousness in Patent Infringement Lawsuit against Acushnet, the maker of Titleist Golf Balls

We are a bit late in our comment, but we are dealing here with a patent decision that truly matters - the jury invalidation for obviousness of four Callaway patents on golf ball technology. All the world's golfers, especially the users of Titleist Pro VI golf balls, can breathe a sigh of relief.

Ever since the LawPundit began playing golf, which is more than 50 years ago, Titleist golf balls, as made by Acushnet (now a part of Fortune Brands), have led the golf ball market. As written at the Wikipedia under Titleist:
"The Titleist Pro V1 and Pro V1x are the most used golf balls on the PGA Tour, European Tour, Japanese Tour, LPGA Tour, Asian Tour, and Nationwide Tour.
First played in the U.S. Open in 1949, Titleist golf balls are the top-selling golf balls in the United States.[1]"
So what was the Callaway patent claim? The Wikipedia tells the story:
"The [Titleist] Pro V1 made its debut on the PGA Tour at Las Vegas on October 11, 2000, the first week it was available to the pros. A longtime Titleist user, Billy Andrade, won that first tournament with the new ball. The Pro V1 was available to the public by December. The Pro V1 was a dramatic departure for Titleist, which had traditionally used a wound-ball construction (with a liquid-filled core center) for its top-of-the-line golf balls
In December 2007, Titleist lost a patent infringement suit brought by Callaway.[1] The following November, Callaway won an injunction in a Delaware court, ruling that sales of the Pro V1 golf balls should be stopped from January 1, 2009, with professionals being able to continue with their use until the end of the year. Acushnet immediately announced that they would be appealing against the decision.[2] Titleist has redesigned the Pro-V1 with a more durable shell and other minor changes that saved the acclaimed performance but differentiated the ball enough to continue distributing the ball without a concern of patent infringement. However, on August 14, 2009, the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit vacated the judgment against Titleist and ordered a new trial.[3]"
See the Jolt Digest and the Slip Opinion in Callaway Golf Co. v. Acushnet Co., 2009-1076 (Fed. Cir. Aug. 14, 2009).

The jury in the subsequent trial in the case Callaway Golf Co. v. Acushnet Co., 06cv91 (SLR), U.S. District Court, Delaware (Wilmington) determined that the four patents in question -- 6,210,293, 6,503,156, 6,506,130 and 6,595,873 -- were obvious.

As written at the Los Angeles Times by Nathan Olivarez-Giles:
"Callaway had patented the use of multiple layers of different materials inside its golf balls, which Titleist contended was an obvious approach to construction."
The court order that Callaway had initially obtained against Acushnet to stop it from selling Titleist VI golf balls can now be ignored.

One thing is sure after this legal case - we will NEVER buy a Callaway product again. The place for golf ball manufacturers to win or lose customers is on the golf course, on the pro golf tours, in the golf pro shops and golf stores -- but not in patent court. This is especially true since the unnecessarily strict regulations of golf's ruling bodies on golf clubs and golf ball specifications make any real innovation in golf ball design unlikely. The balls must meet certain standards and limitations, so, beyond changing the number, size, shape and depth of dimples and playing around with the surface and interior layers, what's to invent? The "window of invention" allowed in golf has been rendered very small by the United States Golf Association and the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews.  Any really significant innovational change would make golf balls non-conforming.

Hat tip to IP-Contingency-Lawyer.com at Court rules Callaway Golf patents invalid in patent infringement lawsuit against Acushnet.

Crossposted from LawPundit.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Overweight? Losing Weight and Dieting: The Key is the Word "No"

See Please Don't Weigh Me at the Zoo for a blog on the upside and downside of weight reduction and diets.

I am posting about this because overweight is a common problem among the desk-ridden professions and because I myself am in the throes of a diet to get my weight down for the golf season, having already reduced from 100 kilograms (220 pounds) to 97 kilograms (213 pounds). Since I am 6 feet tall and muscular I am not overweight per se, but there comes a point where you begin to look like it is time for a diet. My goal is 90 kilos (198 pounds), a loss of a mere 12 kilograms (which sounds like more when converted to 22 pounds). Losing extra fat is a tough business, made all the more difficult by seated computer work and "reward-oriented" snacking habits.

I have found that the secret to dieting is saying "no" to food you do not need. That's about everything.

Sunday, May 09, 2010

Will Tiger Woods Have to Change his Swing?

The Associated Press (AP) headlines that Tiger Woods has withdrawn from the Players Championship due to what might be a bulging disk in his back.

Could it be that Johnny Miller has it right that Woods should go back to his old swing of a decade ago? Or should he revamp his swing altogether?


Perhaps the current swing puts too much strain on his back.

Speaking for myself as a long hitter whose length of drives still rivals those of the pros, as I have gotten older (I am 63 now and was men's champion at my golf club at 61 3/4 years of age) I have had to change my swing in the course of time to reduce the pressure exerted on the back by the superfast rotation required to get the high club speed needed for superlong distance.


There are some tricks to do this but I am not divulging them here.

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