PlayStation 3 Shipments Banned In Europe

Recent news has appeared in the media which doesn’t bode well for Sony. All shipments of their PlayStation 3 game console have been seized in Europe. The decision came about after LG won a preliminary injunction in a patent dispute with Sony.

The 10 day ban on the import of the Sony PlayStation 3 into Europe came into effect yesterday when the civil court of justice in the Hague granted the injunction on shipments of the PlayStation 3 to Europe. Of course this news is not too good for Sony who will inevitably see there sales slip dramatically, especially if LG apply to have the embargo extended after the initial 10 days.

The decision came about after a patent dispute between LG and Sony. LG believe that they hold two patents that they claim Sony are using and violating with the PlayStation 3. The patents relate to the way the game console’s Blu-ray player uses data from a Blu-ray disc, apparently for the “reproduction of multiple data streams”  when a couple of different camera angles are used, but also includes how text is displayed in subtitles.

The consoles were first seized by custom officers in the Netherlands yesterday where the officers are said to have stopped “tens of thousands” of game consoles from entering Europe according to the Guardian. Sony generally imports around 100,000 of the consoles a week, and of course are frantically trying to get the ban lifted. They do have the right to appeal to the European patents office.

LG have also filed a similar patent lawsuit in the US, but at the moment there has been no further action on it. This all came about after Sony filed a complaint against LG last December claiming that it’s using some of it’s technology found in there mobile phones and they were looking for LG phones to be banned from sale in the US. But nothing more ever came of it.

This news is not good for consumers in Europe either. The majority of orders here are pre-orders which means consoles have been sold nearly before they’ve even shipped. This could mean current supplies could run out within 2 or 3 weeks. Let’s hope Sony can get this embargo lifted by then.

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