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Judge mulls over PSP case

Nuplayer wins more time.

Sony failed to win an interim injunction against online retailer Nuplayer in the high court on Monday after the judge presiding over the case decided he needed more time to review evidence.

The application for the injunction claims that Nuplayer has infringed trade marks and is therefore importing and selling PSPs illegally. A similar injunction was granted against retailer ElectricBirdLand last week.

But after hearing Nuplayer's defence, the judge said he would delay his decision until at least Friday and possibly Monday in order to fully examine the case.

"Sony thought they were bringing an open and shut case to court, but the judge found that it wasn't black and white," Nuplayer's Kamal Sharma told our sister site, GamesIndustry.biz.

"They were trying to throw mud but it didn't stick at all."

He said that Nuplayer had offered to remove the trade marks in question from its website as well as PSP boxes and packaging, therefore no longer infringing on Sony's rights. In response, Sharma said, Sony accused the retailer of defacing its products.

As part of its claim, Sony cited the case brought against Tesco for importing and selling Levi's jeans - a case which Levi's won over trade mark issues.

But Nuplayer argued that this has no bearing on the Sony-Nuplayer case as trade marks are not seen at the point of sale.

"Trade marks are there to show the place of origin - that is their true meaning," said Sharma. He explained that since Nuplayer is selling PSPs over the Internet, "You don't actually see the trade marks until after you've made the purchase. You only find out it's a Sony product when you open the box. This is a fundamental issue in trademark law."

Nuplayer is represented by Guy Burkhill QC, described by Sharma as "The top IT law specialist in the country." Sharma said Nuplayer did not intend "to take it lying down," revealing that he has spent £100,000 on legal fees so far.

When asked if this would suggest that Nuplayer had sold a large amount of PSPs, he replied: "You might think that, but I couldn't possibly comment.

"Sony might be listening."

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GamesIndustry International is the world's leading games industry website, incorporating GamesIndustry.biz and IndustryGamers.com.

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