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300k PS3s seized in Holland – report

UPDATE: Sony wins round one, PS3s returned.

UPDATE 2: According to Dutch website InsideGamer.nl the court has lifted the prejudgement seizure order on the PlayStation 3 console.

All seized PS3s are to be released and no more seizures will occur. LG has been ordered to pay Sony's legal fees, amounting to €130,000. For each day it fails to comply, it will be fined €200,000.

"If this is true," reports FOSS Patents blog founder Florian Mueller "it is only related to the prejudgment seizure order: it means Sony can resume the distribution of PlayStations across Europe for now, but there will be a full-fledged legal proceeding to determine whether there is an infringement (and if so, how much Sony owes LG for it)".

UPDATE 1: According to FOSS Patents blog founder Florian Mueller LG has "achieved seizure of 300,000 PlayStations" and "wants $150-180 million for Sony's past infringement of Blu-ray patents".

Breaking it down, LG wants a patent royalty of between $2.50 and $2.55 for each Blu-ray device sold by Sony. Sony has already sold more than 47 million PS3s. LG also wants cash for future sales. In total, it's after a bank guarantee of, wait for it, $350 million.

Nine more shipments of 15,000-20,000 units each - for a total of up to 180,000 more units – are headed to Holland and, under the current legal basis, will be seized.

ORIGINAL STORY: 300,000 PlayStation 3 consoles have been seized in Holland as part of Sony's legal battle with LG, according to fresh reports.

A story by Dutch website gamer.nl, corroborated in part by FOSS Patents blog founder Florian Mueller on Twitter, claims 300,000 PS3s were seized in Holland - 225,000 in Sony's warehouse and 75,000 at customs – a total valued at an eye-watering £36.85 million (€43 million).

The report also claims the patent case currently threatening Sony's European PS3 stock levels will go into full-fledged proceeding with a hearing on 18th November.

A hearing is being held today in The Hague to determine the next step in LG's attempt to block the sale of the PlayStation 3 in Europe.

The legal tussle revolves around alleged copyright infringements.

Sony is appealing against a court order granted to LG allowing it to seize any PlayStation 3 units stored in the Dutch city of Tilburg. Reports last week claimed this could add up to tens of thousands of consoles.

LG claims Sony has infringed its use of Blu-ray technology. Should LG's suit be successful, Sony could be forced to pay compensation for every single PS3 it has sold worldwide.

According to court documents, the two parties held talks last year about awarding each other licences for a wide-ranging array of technology. However, LG only wanted to offer a licence to cover Blu-ray technology, whereas Sony wanted a more inclusive deal.

The discussions failed, prompting Sony to launch legal action in the US. LG then counter-attacked in Europe.

The hearing continues.

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Wesley Yin-Poole


Wesley worked at Eurogamer from 2010 to 2023. He liked news, interviews, and more news. He also liked Street Fighter more than anyone could get him to shut up about it.