Golf Company Survives First Test in Intellectual Property Dispute

Sep 25, 2009

A group of golf-related entities all but whiffed in their attempt to get a federal judge to dismiss a patent infringement suit brought against them by the Swingless Golf Company, the plaintiff.
The only victory for the defendants, many of them former executives of Swingless, centered on the claim of intentional interference with a prospective business advantage.
Swingless and its former CEO, Roy Taylor, were responsible for the creation of four patented inventions involved in the Swingless golf club.
In August 2003, Taylor was removed from his position. A month later, he transferred two of the patents he created at the company to himself.
Swingless sued, leading to a settlement in which Taylor agreed to reassign the patents back to the company.
When Swingless morphed into another entity in 2006, however, Taylor was at it again, transferring patents to himself from the original entity.
Swingless sued again, asserting the following: asserts the following: (1) patent infringement; (2) misappropriation of trade secrets; (3) intentional interference with contractual relations; (4) intentional interference with prospective business advantage; (5) unfair competition; (6) Lanham Act violation; and (7) breach of contract.
The defendant countered with a motion to dismiss the patent infringement, tort, and unfair competition claims. The court denied the Rule 12(b)(6) motion as it related to claims one, three, and five.. In so ruling, the court found that the complaint was sufficiently detailed so that “the defendants (could) understand these claims against them and to prepare a response.”
Swingless Golf Club Corporation v. Roy H. Taylor et al.; N. D. Ca.; No. C 08-05574 WHA, 2009 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 57654; 7/7/09
Attorneys or Record: (for plaintiff) Andrew K. Jacobson, LEAD ATTORNEY, Bay Oak Law Firm, APLC, Oakland, CA. (for defendant) James Michael Barrett, LEAD ATTORNEY, Law offices of James M. Barrett, Mt. View, CA.


Articles in Current Issue