Europe seizes PS3 shipments as LG fights Sony in court

By on March 1, 2011, 6:00 AM
European customs officers are seizing shipments of Sony's PlayStation 3 after LG won a preliminary injunction against Sony, which imports around 100,000 of the consoles a week into the continent.

The ruling by the civil court of justice in the Hague means that all new PS3s have to be confiscated for at least 10 days as they are imported into Europe. If the injunction ends up being extended, the consoles could disappear from shelves; retailers typically have about two to three weeks' worth of PS3s in stock, according to The Guardian.

The same could happen in the US; last month, LG filed a complaint against Sony across the pond, claiming the PlayStation 3 and Bravia line of television models infringe as many as four Blu-ray Disc patents. The two Asian electronics giant are fighting viciously in court.

Sony is unsurprisingly hoping to get the ban lifted; the Japanese company has the right to appeal to the European patents office. LG wants to have it extended by applying to the same patents office, or the South Korean company could apply for an order to get the consoles destroyed, but it is highly unlikely the court would grant such a request.

There are two much more likely outcomes: the duo will settle in court or it will settle in private. Either way, Sony may end up paying LG hundreds of millions of dollars to compensate for every PS3 sold around the world, assuming of course, that it is found to be infringing the patents in question.


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