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Wilson Sporting Goods Co. v. David Geoffrey & Associates

Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit
904 F.2d 677 (1990)


Facts

Wilson (plaintiff) sued David Geoffrey & Associates (DGA) (defendant) and another party, Dunlop, each for infringing the ‘168 patent, which claims a golf ball with a particular dimple configuration on the ball surface. Among the prior art cited during prosecution was a very similar golf ball, the Uniroyal Ball, that varied in dimple arrangement by a small fraction of an inch, as well as a British patent that disclosed a manner of dividing the surface of a ball into shapes that determine the placement of the dimples in a manner similar to Wilson. The DAG/Dunlop balls did not have a dimple configuration exactly the same as the ‘168 patent, but varied slightly. At trial, the jury found that four of the defendants’ balls infringed the ‘168 patent under the doctrine of equivalents, and the defendants appealed.

Rule of Law

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (Rich, C.J.)

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  • A “yes” or “no” answer to the question framed in the issue section;
  • A summary of the majority or plurality opinion, using the CREAC method; and
  • The procedural disposition (e.g. reversed and remanded, affirmed, etc.).

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