Europe to Playstation 3 Shipments: YOU SHALL NOT PASS
Europe hasn’t quite formed a late-18th Century naval blockade against Playstation 3′s, but apparently European customs officers have been ordered to seize incoming shipments of Sony’s console after fellow electronics maker LG won a preliminary injunction against the company in a bitter patent lawsuit.
The Guardian is reporting that “tens of thousands” of PS3s have already been seized as they were shipped into the Netherlands. The ruling came down from the civil court of justice in the Hague and is a result of a patent dispute between LG and Sony over the PS3′s Blu-Ray player technology.
The confiscation is going to go on for at least 10 days in the U.K. and Europe, according to The Guardian, and if the injunction is extended further, PS3s could be pulled from retailers’ shelves, too. Sony imports about 100,000 PS3s to Europe every week, and needs to appeal to the European patent office to lift the ban.
Sony wouldn’t comment on the injunction.
LG is trying to get the U.S. International Trade Commission to make the same thing happen here in the States. The whole dispute is actually a quagmire of seven patent disputes between the two companies. Seems what started as a sissy fight in which the two companies traded patent disputes in retaliation to each other has become rather aggressive, with the potential to cost Sony some serious money.
Meanwhile, Sony is fighting on two fronts as it continues to do battle with Geohot and PS3 hackers.