Sony vs LG legal battle heats up

Key showdown due tomorrow.

A legal tussle between Sony and electronics manufacturer LG over alleged copyright infringements has gathered pace, with a key courtroom showdown scheduled to take place in Holland tomorrow.

According to court documents dug up by the FOSS Patents blog, 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 claim this could add up to tens of thousands of consoles.

It's a crucial battle for Sony to win. Not only will the seizures have a huge impact on European sales, but if LG's requests are ratified it could open the floodgates for injunctions elsewhere in Europe and further afield.

As reported last month, the dispute centres around LG's claim that 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. Which would be expensive.

The new court documents published by FOSS shed a little more light on LG's complaints. Apparently 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.

According to LG, the discussions failed, prompting Sony to launch legal action in the US. LG then counter-attacked in Europe, bringing us to the ugly showdown due to play out in The Hague tomorrow.

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Fred Dutton

Fred Dutton

US News Editor

Fred Dutton is Eurogamer's US news editor, based in Washington DC.


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