European PS3 ban lifted

Sony has been given permission to restart importing PS3 consoles into Europe and even won legal costs. But an ongoing lawsuit from LG still threatens the console manufacturer.

As we wrote recently, LG is suing Sony, claiming an element of the Blu-Ray feature in the PS3 breaches a patent — making it the latest in a series of tit-for-tat intellectual property claims between the two companies.

As part of the case, LG won a temporary injunction against Sony importing the console into the Netherlands, its main supply route into Europe. Around 300,000 PS3s were impounded by Dutch customs officials after the ruling.

That injunction has now been lifted, reportedly on the grounds that it was an unfair sanction given that this is part of a wider legal feud rather than a one-off case. LG will also have to pay around 130,000 euros (US$180,000) to cover Sony’s legal fees over the injunction.

The original ruling and its being overturned only cover the issue of whether Sony should be allowed to continue importing the console until the patent argument is decided. That case remains active, with a hearing not expected until November.

LG is said to be looking for around $2.50 in royalties for every Sony product incorporating Blu-Ray (ie PS3s and standalone players), which would mean at least $150 million for sales already made. In response, Sony is attempting to get all the legal issues between the sides, including patents allegedly infringed by LG phones, to be dealt with in a single settlement.


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