LG Injunction Leads to PlayStation Seizure


According to a recent Guardian article, tens of thousands of PS3s were seized by European customs officers last week in the Netherlands after LG won a preliminary injunction against Sony in a patent dispute.

Although the injunction stems from LG's claim that the PS3s infringe a number of its patents relating to playback of Blu-ray Discs, there is on-going patent litigation between both parties, including an attempt by Sony to block LG smartphone sales in the U.S. According to a Reuters report, the disputes all stem from the expiry of a technology sharing agreement between the two parties three years ago.

Under the injunction, all new PS3s are to be confiscated as they are imported into the UK and the rest of Europe for at least 10 days. Sony, which imports around 100,000 of the consoles a week, has said it will appeal the injunction.

The U.K. Chartered Institute of Patent Attorneys issued a press release last Friday, in which it characterized the injunction as "a ploy by LG to get Sony's top management to take its patent dispute more seriously." While the CIPA press release noted that LG's "creative approach" was good for getting publicity for its claim, the injunction also carried the risk of damages being awarded in favour of Sony for its goods being wrongfully detained, should LG's underlying claim fail.

The Guardian article and Reuters articles are available here and here, respectively. The CIPA press release can be found here.

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