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All PS3′s blocked from entering Europe “for at least 10 days”

Monday, 28th February 2011 18:59 GMT By Patrick Garratt

The Guardian is reporting that European customs officers have been ordered to seize PS3 shipments after LG won a preliminary injunction against Sony in a patent battle between over Blu-ray.

The ruling has been made by the civil court of justice in the Hague, and apparently means that all new PS3s have to be confiscated as they are imported into the UK and the rest of Europe for at least 10 days.

If the injunction is extended, Sony faces the very real prospect of running out of hardware stock across Europe: that report claims that the company normally holds “two to three weeks’ worth of PS3s in stock across the continent.”

Actual disaster

The Guardian has learnt that “tens of thousands of PS3s were seized by customs officers last week in the Netherlands” over the discpute, which revolves around Sony allegedly infringing use of Blu-ray technology belonging to LG.

Sony, which imports around 100,000 of the consoles a week, and is apparently “frantically” trying to get the ban uplifted.

This could spell actual disaster for Sony in Europe. While Sony is applying to overturn the ruling, LG can also apply to the same patents office to get the 10-day import ban extended.

LG is claiming that PS3 infringes a number of its patents relating to Blu-ray playback, and has called for an investigation into the the same issue with the US international trade commission earlier this month.

The firm is now seeking a “permanent exclusion order … excluding entry into the United States” of the console.

If it’s found that Sony’s infringed LG patents, it could be forced to compensate manufacturer for each PS3 sold. Ever.

More than 47.9 million units have been sold worldwide so far.

Rotterdam and Schiphol are the main import points for PS3s for both the UK and continental Europe. The consoles are being stockpiled in Dutch warehouses until it becomes clear how the case will develop.

A SCEE spokesperson told the Guardian: “We are currently looking into this matter, and cannot make any comments at this point in time.”

Breaking news

43 Comments

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  1. Hunam

    Heh, Sony seem to spend half their time in court these days.

    #1 3 years ago
  2. omekomar

    wut the hell , f*** u lg

    #2 3 years ago
  3. Erthazus

    Playstation 3 is a disaster for Sony.

    I think they hate this machine so much… From hacks, to stupid patent shit or courts…

    It’s a disaster of MEGATON proportion.

    #3 3 years ago
  4. freedoms_stain

    So what’s the beef? I thought Sony were big movers and shakers in the development of blu-ray, what Patents are they supposedly violating, and don’t Sony have any of their own?

    #4 3 years ago
  5. Erthazus

    While Nintendo and Microsoft doing their job, Sony faces some serious shit.

    #5 3 years ago
  6. V_Ben

    Before everybody starts spurting out gloom and doom, remember that this is only a preliminary ruling, and that the case hasn’t even been heard yet. Sony will appeal the decision tomorrow morning, and the seized shipments will likely be released.

    #6 3 years ago
  7. OlderGamer

    I wouldn’t want to get ahead of myself, but yikes.

    EU is where PS3 is the strongest.

    This could hurt, esp if it gets any worse for Sony. Lest it isn’t holiday time. Springs sales are pretty slow anyways.

    #7 3 years ago
  8. earlyrock

    Yeah agreed, its pretty bad but nowhere near as bad as it would of been if this was the end of the year before Christmas.

    #8 3 years ago
  9. Bluscope

    What the hell! What kind of a git approved this move? LG obviously don’t care about consumers wanting to buy a PS3 in Europe then, surely there are easier ways of settling their ridiculous dispute?

    #9 3 years ago
  10. Erthazus

    Funny thing that my Ps3 is connected to LG HDTV and they love each other :D

    #10 3 years ago
  11. Crysis

    “LG obviously don’t care about consumers wanting to buy a PS3″
    Why would they? All corporations care about is money, when they decide they want more they go through a list of their patents & start suing anyone who has done something similar.
    In my opinion, the laws are too strict & misguided regarding patents, if it’s directly imitating it then sue away, but I don’t think most features should become copyrighted otherwise the consumers suffer more than anyone else. But what do I know, I’m not an expert in copyright law so my views & opinions mean nothing.

    #11 3 years ago
  12. OrbitMonkey

    Oh Sony & your patent infringement… didn’t you learn from that mess with the Dualshock? I’m surprised Geohot & his hacker friends ain’t using it as a excuse for their actions.

    #12 3 years ago
  13. Bluscope

    #11 I’m can’t profess to be an expert either xD.

    But, it’s odd that they’re only complaining now, I mean the PS3′s been on sale for over 4 years. Couple that with Sony’s claim back in December that LG is infringing on it’s own patents. And you come out with a very childish legal battle in my opinion.

    #13 3 years ago
  14. NeoSquall

    @10 lol, same here.

    btw, I sense a huge shitstorm for both Sony and LG in the coming week.

    #14 3 years ago
  15. Bluscope

    @13 “I’m can’t” Grammar fail! xD.

    #15 3 years ago
  16. ManuOtaku

    Well maybe next time sony wont launch a troyas horse i mean, a new format player in a gaming device, instead they focus on a gaming console with a new format player added. i hope so.

    #16 3 years ago
  17. scotjock81

    Hmmm. I wonder if my 42″ LG plasma is about to become an unauthorised peripheral according to the new eula

    #17 3 years ago
  18. naffgeek

    Shit! I finally bought a PS3 and now look….I wondered what that old gypsy women was muttering at me as I walked out the shop!!

    #18 3 years ago
  19. Bluscope

    @16 Umm… this might come back to me in the ass but I feel compelled to ask, what exactly is a “troyas horse”? :D.

    #19 3 years ago
  20. Gekidami

    ^ Better question would be: ‘What does your post say? It makes no sense’.

    #20 3 years ago
  21. ManBearPig

    im a little confused but is LG and sony not working together and can someone please explain how this can affect us?

    (basicly i dont get one bit of this)

    #21 3 years ago
  22. Bluscope

    @20 My next question was gonna be “Is English your second language, or are you actually illiterate?” :)

    #22 3 years ago
  23. NeoSquall

    @21
    In a nutshell: LG is blocking PS3 commercialization in Europe (and beyond, it hopes) because it says Sony is infringing some copyright.

    #23 3 years ago
  24. spiderLAW

    Its just another childish battle. Really, Sony are the big dogs and they know so once in a while they’ll pick on the smaller people. When they do so, they stir up some shit and the smaller people fight back with full force.

    Im not a Sony fan. As a company, i really dont care for Sony and in fact the only thing Sony that i own is my PS3 (used to have a PSP and will have the NGP at launch). But to stop the sales of PS3 and alienate customers…not a smooth move LG, not smooth at all. If anything, this will affect LG’s image to consumers (mostly gamers)

    #24 3 years ago
  25. Bluscope

    @21 Back in December Sony accused LG of infringing on 7 of it’s patents relating to mobile phones. In retalition LG is now accusing Sony of infringing on it’s own patents relating to BluRay playback functionality on several of Sony’s products.

    LG has obtained an “as of yet” temporary injunction preventing ps3′s from being imported into Europe. This is what I’ve gathered so far anyway xD.

    As for what it means to consumers, at the moment probably not a lot :D

    #25 3 years ago
  26. pukem0n

    sony becomes a joke of a corporation, if even LG can harm them ^^

    #26 3 years ago
  27. Erthazus

    This is actually will be a disaster if Sony won’t solve this problem by 10 days.

    Because their stock ends about in 3 weeks and they can lose a GIANT portion of sales in Europe. I mean every one of these people are going to get Xbox 360 or Wii.

    I feel really bad for them because i own PS3.

    #27 3 years ago
  28. Shonak

    Well, fair enough. If they sue a single hacker, then a company can sue them for copright-issues. It seems like the legal system is more like a karma issue for Sony.

    #28 3 years ago
  29. ManBearPig

    wait they are going to stop selling ps3s all together in EU?
    if so how did it come to this?

    #29 3 years ago
  30. ManBearPig

    shit no its only or 10 days haha my bad

    #30 3 years ago
  31. Telepathic.Geometry

    Holy shit, this could be the biggest gaming news story of the year if LG makes any ground…

    #31 3 years ago
  32. Cozzy

    I thought Sony were one of the developers of blu-ray along with Phillips. How can they violate a patent on their own technology? Anyways, I think LG will lose to sony in a court battle and seeing as they’re both suing each other I wouldn’t be suprised if they both just decide to drop it aftr a while to save the aggro.

    #32 3 years ago
  33. Yoshi

    One thing I don’t understand. If Sony did copy LG, why has it taken LG all this time to do something about it?

    #33 3 years ago
  34. Dannybuoy

    Sony will just settle out of court and pay them a fat stack of cash. Nothing major will come of this I’d wager

    #34 3 years ago
  35. MushroomStamp

    @33, Simple. It makes business sense. Most companies that due this kind of litigation all wait till they feel they can maximize return or establish grounds for business negotiation. You let a product build a head of steam first because it makes the payout bigger. No company gives a shit about the consumer, they are in business to make money. All the consumer friendly PR is just a facade.

    #35 3 years ago
  36. Yoshi

    @35 That’s what I was thinking. There really should be something to counter that issue though as they’re just taking the piss really :/

    #36 3 years ago
  37. sony_sucks

    lol sony total joke

    #37 3 years ago
  38. Yoshi

    @37

    WARNING TROLL ALERT TROLL ALERT NO BODY FEED THE TROLL! YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED! NO FEEDING TROLL HE MAY BITE!!!!

    #38 3 years ago
  39. Crysis

    @Patrick Garratt, Please do us a favour & ban sony_sucks & his other troll accounts, it wouldn’t be a problem if everything they said wasn’t spamming the same thing over & over again, just look @ his name & that’s pretty much all his posts involve.

    #39 3 years ago
  40. xxJPRACERxx

    Suppose that the injuction last more than 10 days and Sony start losing sales. They go in court against LG and won. Can they ask for compasation for lost sales?

    If not that is really stupid. They are punishing them before they even hear what they have to say about it.

    #40 3 years ago
  41. TheWulf

    Whuf. As per usual, the only people hurting Sony are Sony. This all started because they went on a patent trolling spree with LG over mobile patents (and that very much was patent trolling, EDGE games pedigree patent trolling), now LG have no choice really other than to find a way to fight back.

    Because Sony is greedy, this has happened. Had Sony just left LG alone then this furore might’ve just blown over. I doubt LG would’ve sued them in that case. But this is Sony, they’re very litigation happy, and the only people Sony seem to be hurting these days is Sony.

    If Sony stopped being so aggressive, they’d stop hurting so much as a business, and they’d be much more likable.

    #41 3 years ago
  42. Crysis

    It’s business, do you really believe that LG wouldn’t be suing Sony if Sony weren’t suing LG?

    #42 3 years ago
  43. Blerk

    Oh dear, Sony. You reap what you sow, eh? :-D

    #43 3 years ago