After Sony lost a preliminary injunction to LG in a bitter battle for patents between the two Asian electronics giants, the customs officers of Europe have received orders to cease all the shipments of Sony’s Playstation 3. According to the latest ruling by the civil court of justice in the Hague, all shipments of the new PS3 coming into the UK and Europe will be confiscated as soon as they are imported in the region for at least a ten day period. In case of the injunction being extended, these consoles might disappear altogether from the shelves in the whole of Europe. The video game retailers in Europe are currently believed to possess enough PS3s to last a couple of weeks.
Last week saw tens of thousands of the Sony gaming consoles being taken into custody by customs officers in the Netherlands in the dispute involving the infringement of the specified use of LG’s Blu-ray disc technology by Sony. Sony, on the other hand, is attempting frantically to get the officials to lift this ban which is substantially affecting its sales. Almost 100,000 of these consoles are imported into Europe every week by Sony who can now appeal to the European patents office regarding the settlement of this dispute.
However, LG could are also capable of applying to the same patents office to seek an extension of the ban. They could also approach the courts to get them to pass orders to destroy the confiscated consoles; however it is unlikely for the court to pass such orders seeking the destruction of warehouse goods. The arguments from LG against Sony allege that the PS3 infringes a number of patents that LG has over the playback of Blu-ray discs. They have also filed a similar complaint in the US international trade commission seeking a similar ban on the consoles in the US.