"Checkmate, lawyers": PS5 faceplate maker responds to Sony's legal threat with new design

midian182

Posts: 7,293   +65
Staff member
Recap: If you were a company being threatened with legal action by a multi-national corporation such as Sony, what course of action would you choose? For PS5 faceplate maker Dbrand, the answer is to mock the Japanese giant and its lawyers while releasing a new version of the product that landed it in trouble.

The story began back in February when Dbrand's Darkplates—matt black faceplates for the PS5 that gave the console a more classic PlayStation look—went on pre-sale. Confident that Sony wouldn't target the company in the same way it had others selling similar products, Dbrand told it to "go ahead, sue us."

It looked as if Dbrand was about to get its wish last week when Sony sent it a cease-and-desist letter. The Darkplates were pulled from sale, and Dbrand declared them "dead." The Canadian firm used Reddit to explain what happened and the reason behind its initial hubris.

"You can't successfully sue someone over an alleged 'design infringement' without a registered design patent. Sony did not have a registered design patent for the PS5's side panels when we launched Darkplates (or for many, many months following the release)."

"We didn't think they'd ever get one. They did. Here we are."

But Dbrand isn't backing down: check out Darkplates 2.0. It says the new product has a revamped design with several features that differentiate it from the PS5, including a vent that it says improves the console's stock performance. "Checkmate, lawyers," it confidently states.

The new versions are available in more than just black. Darkplates 2.0 also come in the PS5's standard white as well as grey, the latter of which is described as "color-matched to a retro console which shall remain nameless, it's perfect for those among you who miss the old Sony."

You have to admire Dbrand's cojones. It still believes Sony will "probably" sue the company, but adds that "the difference this time is that we've created an original design for which they have no basis to allege infringement. If they want to try, they'd better be ready to pay our legal fees."

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m4a4

Posts: 2,615   +3,224
TechSpot Elite
All of this stupidity could have been avoided if Sony just made a damn black version of the PS5. That's what everyone wants anyway.
No, all of this stupidity could be avoided if the patent system couldn't be abused by big companies like Sony.
Aftermarket parts (ones that aren't a 1:1 copy) like this shouldn't have a looming threat of being buried in legal costs.
 

dangh

Posts: 328   +465
No, all of this stupidity could be avoided if the patent system couldn't be abused by big companies like Sony.
Aftermarket parts (ones that aren't a 1:1 copy) like this shouldn't have a looming threat of being buried in legal costs.
Nothing against aftermarket parts, but simply copying 1:1 patented product with 0 own input is just a scam. This new version at least shows minimum work, even if a hole on side is dumb. Still, being cocky is not good way to make a business. For example, the way the plates are mounted are patented as well, so if Sony wanted to do so, they still could do that and pissing them off is just stupid.
 

Dimitriid

Posts: 1,337   +2,625
Kind of disappointed they didn't go with the "F*ck Sony" lettering as I predicted but pretty much everything else I called.
 

m4a4

Posts: 2,615   +3,224
TechSpot Elite
Nothing against aftermarket parts, but simply copying 1:1 patented product with 0 own input is just a scam. This new version at least shows minimum work, even if a hole on side is dumb. Still, being cocky is not good way to make a business. For example, the way the plates are mounted are patented as well, so if Sony wanted to do so, they still could do that and pissing them off is just stupid.
It wasn't 1:1. More than enough that, as aftermarket, shouldn't have even had a threat.

And also suing because of a supposedly patentable mounting system is also abuse (or just illegal, but costly to prove that).
If car companies could get away with that, they would've ages ago.

Also that's just Dbrands public persona. I would like to see them stick this out just to (hopefully) set a good precedence against this if Sony threatens again...
 
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umbala

Posts: 458   +754
No, all of this stupidity could be avoided if the patent system couldn't be abused by big companies like Sony.
Aftermarket parts (ones that aren't a 1:1 copy) like this shouldn't have a looming threat of being buried in legal costs.
Even if it *IS* an exact copy, so what? It's a freaking face plate! This is the same nonsense Apple tried to pull when they sued Samsung over rounded corners of their tablets/phones. Look around, the US is the only country where they get to waste court time with this kind of idiocy.
 

ypsylon

Posts: 420   +357
Kind of disappointed they didn't go with the "F*ck Sony" lettering as I predicted but pretty much everything else I called.
Sadly then Sony would really sue them with 100% solid case (not talking about PS5 ;) ) of targeted smear campaign from which Dbrand would profit. Dbrand would be left bankrupt, naked and without socks after trial like this.

But I agree that would be a catchy slogan. :)

Go Dbrand. Stick it to them. I don't have PS5 nor I ever plan to buy a console, but every time stupid corporation loses prestige and profit is a good thing and I cheer for everybody who does exactly that.

 

Rdmetz

Posts: 340   +163
Damn, already ordered the previous ones. These look better for overall performance.


Yea yesterday I was proud I had already gotten my "collectors edition" dark plates a while back now that they were never to be available again and then they go and make these and now I know no one will want the old design when the new one likley to perform better.

I mean someone will but not like it would have been when there was zero other option from dbrand.