The Fifth Circuit yesterday reversed a summary judgment dismissing Triple Tee Golf’s claims that Nike misappropriated trade secrets relating to designs of golf clubs. The court held that the district court took a too narrow view of the claims by limiting them to post-factory "adjustability" of clubs. Nike’s clubs didn’t allow adjustment by consumers, but the court concluded that Triple Tee Golf’s claims also covered design elements that Nike may have used to improve the weighting of its sticks — woods and irons — for better play. The court also overturned the district court’s order excluding Nike patent applications that Nike failed to produce in disocvery. Triple Tee Golf, Inc. v. Nike, Inc., Nos. 05-10934 & 05-11442 (5th Cir. Apr. 7, 2007).
The decision will interest golf aficianados for its discussion of designing what some called, in the days of yor, niblicks, spoons, mashies, cleeks, brassies, and the like. Those terms may have gone the way of the Dodo, but Blawgletter doubts that their desuetude will still golfers’ ardor for wielding them on sunny spring days when anything seems possible.