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Sony sues Lik-Sang

Over Euro PSP shipments.

Popular online retailer Lik-Sang has announced that Sony Computer Entertainment has initiated legal action against it in the high court of Hong Kong for selling PSP consoles to UK and European customers.

The action, taken jointly by Sony Computer Entertainment Europe and its parent company, Sony Computer Entertainment Inc, alleges that Lik-Sang has breached its trademark rights regarding the PSP by offering it for sale to the UK.

Curiously, it also claims infringement and seeks damages for the reproduction of the PSP manual on Lik-Sang's site back in early June - a matter which was assumed settled when Lik-Sang removed the manual at Sony's request on June 14th.

Sony is seeking a court order against Lik-Sang which would prevent the retailer from selling the PSP, its games and its accessories to customers in the UK and the European Economic Area.

This is just the latest in a series of legal actions against importers of PSP hardware taken by Sony in the run up to the system's September 1st launch in this territory - but while the firm has had considerable success in cracking down on importers in the UK, Lik-Sang believes that it'll be a different story in Hong Kong.

"This lawsuit comes as a complete surprise to, given that the laws of Hong Kong are clear when it comes to parallel trade," an official statement from the retailer reads.

"Hong Kong's legislation is based on the fact that allowing parallel and free trade will restore natural competition and benefit consumers with lower prices," it continues. "Hong Kong, one of the pioneering countries respecting worldwide exhaustion of trademark rights, allows free trade once an item entered the market for sale."

The retailer plans to fight the case in the courts, and says that it is currently looking into options to combat the action. It also plans to continue selling PSPs to customers overseas for the moment - having last month announced an offer which provides worldwide free shipping on PSP hardware until September 1st.

"This is the most aggressive move against its own customers that a console manufacturer has taken in the 30 year history of videogames," commented Lik-Sang marketing manager Pascal Clarysse. "Sony wants to completely cut hardcore gamers away from items released in Japan or anywhere else outside their own country. A very active part of the gaming community has been enjoying Japanese gaming culture for over two decades, and that's what the Empire is now willing to destroy."