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PS3 imports banned by LG in patent row!

Der Walker-Kaiser

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Customs officers have been told to seize all shipments of PS3's bound for the UK as part of a fierce patent battle between electronics giants Sony and LG.


They have already confiscated tens of thousands of the games consoles in Holland. The import ban is set to last around 10 days but, if extended, could see the product disappearing from from shop shelves. Sony and its retailers usually have up to 3 weeks' worth of PS3s in stock across the EU.


LG has accused Sony of using its Blu-ray technology to allow the PS3 to play Blu-ray discs and has won a preliminary Europe-wide injunction at a civil court in the Hague.


Sony is trying to to overturn the ruling and can appeal to the EPO (European Patent Office). However, LG can apply to the extend the ten-day import ban. Sony imports around 100,000 units into the EU weekly. If Sony ultimately loses the case, it may have to pay LG for EVERY PS3 it has sold globally potentially around $1000 (£780) per unit which could result in bankruptcy for Sony. Since the PS3's launch 4 years ago, 3,000,000 units have been sold in the UK alone.


The legal war is just one of seven separate patent disputes between the two companies - Sony is trying to block LG smartphones from being brought into the USA. LG claims the PS3's Blu-ray disc devices use four patented technologies and that Sony Bravia TV's infringe another four.


Last month, LG sought an exclusion order that would prevent units being brought into the US.


The consoles so far seized in Holland are being held in warehouses.

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