Wilson Sporting Goods sues Rawlings for game ball designs

Wilson Sporting Goods has assumed the position as plaintiff and has chosen to target the defendant, Rawlings Sporting Goods, in yet another legal battle over trademark infringement.

This is the second go-around in court for these two manufacturers in the last year, who earlier disputed shoulder pads. Rawlings lost that decision and, therefore, had to put an end to shoulder pad production.

Under ‘general allegations’ of the court-submitted document (via Darren Heitner), Douglas Guenther, a former employee at Wilson Sporting Goods, was responsible for patenting ‘improved white stripes’ on the GST football model, which was designated patent ‘135’ in the court’s proceeding.

Reading further down the allegations, Guenther transferred to Rawlings two years later and filled the role of Senior Director of Innovation and Product Development. While there, Guenther fulfilled another patent, but this time to be used on Rawlings football model, the R2, which intersected in design with the ‘135 patent’ by Wilson.

Another claim was filed by Wilson against Rawlings, which was designated the ‘876 patent’:

A) A preliminary and permanent injunction against Rawlings’ continued infringement of United States Patent No. 8,460,135

B) A preliminary and permanent injunction against Rawlings’ continued infringement of United States Patent No. 8,905,876

Exhibit 1 – U.S. Patent 8,460,135 (Wilson GST model)

Exhibit 2 – U.S. Patent 8,905,876

Following the initial patent registrations, each document then continued providing stitch-by-stitch details of each game ball with their respective specifications and dimensions.