Judge sinks shipbuilder's use of Tiger's name

Updated: September 26, 2005, 5:54 PM ET
Associated Press

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. -- A judge upheld his order for a shipbuilder to stop using Tiger Woods' name and a photograph of the golfer's luxury yacht "Privacy" for financial gain.

U.S. District Judge William Zloch ruled Friday that his preliminary injunction from November against Christensen Shipyards Ltd. should stand. He also denied the shipbuilder's request that Woods' lawsuit against the company be moved from Florida to its home state of Washington.

Attorneys for Woods sued in federal court last October, claiming his contract with the shipyard barred the boat manufacturer from using the golfer or his wife's name to promote the company, but it did so anyway.

Woods' lawyer, J. Douglas Baldridge, said he was pleased by the ruling.

"We firmly believe that the evidence will show Christensen violated and exploited the Woods' valuable rights for the company's own commercial gain," Baldridge said Monday.

Company lawyer Leslie Lott did not immediately return a call seeking comment Monday.

Woods accuses the Christensen Shipyards of starting a "widespread national campaign" using his name and photos of the yacht. It also says the company used the golfer's name and the pictures in a display at the Fort Lauderdale Boat Show last year.

The lawsuit claims more than $75,000 in damages for Woods because his privacy was violated. Because of Woods' celebrity and how much clout he carries in the advertising world, compensatory damages could reach $50 million, the lawsuit claims.

Woods and Swedish model Elin Nordegren were married in October at a luxury resort in Barbados and later set out on the Privacy, along with a crew.


Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press