Five of Nike’s golf patents have been bought by Ping’s parent company, Karsten Manufacturing Corp. – all of which relate to club technology.
“We see this as an opportunity to add utility patents to our already significant intellectual property portfolio,” says John K. Solheim, president of Ping. “Our team can use these patents, along with our existing intellectual property, to our competitive advantage, accelerating our ability to further technology that ultimately leads to higher performing, score-lowering golf equipment.”
Ping has also bought other patents from the brand, which do not yet reflect in patent records, a Ping spokesperson told Portland Business Journal.
“As a part of our exit from the golf equipment business we have sold certain patent assets that were developed in connection with the innovations created as a part of Nike’s golf club and ball business,” Nike said in a statement. “We are proud of the innovations created by the Nike Golf team and are happy that consumers will still be able to benefit from those patented innovations.”
Nike has 1 237 listed golf-related patents – some of these are footwear and apparel related, which the brand will continue to make and is likely to keep – and has sold assets that were developed in connection with its golf club and ball business. The brand recently extended its sponsorship agreement with Rory McIlroy and signed Jason Day – both are for apparel and footwear.
In 2016 the brand’s golf revenue dropped for the third year in a row. Its golf sales dropped 8% to $706-m.
Ping is locally distributed by Opal Sports.