Trademark Dispute in Golf: Roger Cleveland Golf, Inc. sued by Callaway

The first brand that comes to our mind when most of us think about golf equipment might be Nike (thanks to Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy). However, another very popular brand with golfers is Callaway Golf Co. (Callaway). In a recent development Callaway finds itself in plight for potentially infringing a trademark of a rival company. Roger Cleveland Golf Company, Inc. (Cleveland Golf) and Dunlop Sports Co. Ltd. (Dunlop) registered a trademark infringement suit, unfair competition, and trademark dilution lawsuit against Callaway.

Cleveland Golf was started by Roger Cleveland; however, he sold all his shares in the company in 1990 and remained on as an employee of the company until 1996. Mr. Cleveland joined Callaway in 1996. After that, Callaway created a line of clubs labelled the ‘Mack Daddy 2’ and marketed these clubs by adding the phrase “Designed by Roger Cleveland” to the clubs. The problem started because “Roger Cleveland” is trademarked by Cleveland Golf and Callaway cannot use the term as long as Cleveland Golf maintain the trademark and should have their permission to use it.

The trademark of Cleveland Golf is strong as it is the name of the company and the marks that has the issue are the same. There is also a high likelihood of confusion by customer in both products because both the companies are selling golf equipments.

It is likely that the suit may end up being settled between the companies rather than going to the court. Whatever may be the result, this issue typically demonstrates the negative aspects of trademarking one’s own name.

Trademark Registration in Japan

 Patent Attorney:Hiroshi Oogai

 Address:304 BUREX Hirakawacho 1-5-15 Hirakawa-cho,

      Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo


 Mail:contact @


Copyright(c) 2013 Trademark Registration in Japan All Rights Reserved.