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Callaway, Spalding settle ball lawsuit

Callaway Golf, which sued Spalding Sports for promoting a golf ball as getting the best performance with Big Bertha clubs, announced Wednesday that the case has been settled out of court.

A Callaway spokesman said terms had to remain confidential under the agreement.

"We believe that the settlement corrects the problem that we perceived and appropriately protects our company, our customers and our shareholders," founder and chairman Ely Callaway said in a statement.

The lawsuit, filed in early 1998 and scheduled for trial in October, claimed that Spalding had misused Callaway trademarks and brand reputations with its Top Flite System C ball. Callaway accused Spalding of misleading the public into believing the ball would perform better with the Callaway clubs.

Spalding also marketed a System T ball that it said would work best with Taylor Made metal woods.

Without admitting wrongdoing, Spalding agreed to phase out the ball, along with the advertising and promotional material.

"Spalding is now focused upon its worldwide golf ball brands -- Top Flite and Strata -- and sees no need to pursue some of the past decisions that may have diluted attention given to those brands," Spalding chairman Edwin L. Artzt said. "We are happy to put this and other distractoins behind us."