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Lik-Sang 'forced to close down' by Sony lawsuits

Retailer alleges Sony execs used it to import PSPs.

Online retailer Lik-Sang has announced that it has gone out of business following a series of lawsuits filed by Sony - and has named a number of SCEE employees who Lik-Sang allege purchased PSP hardware and software from the company.

A statement posted on the retailer's websites and circulated among media organisations alleges: "Sony have failed to disclose to the London High Court that not only the world wide gaming community in more than 100 countries relied on Lik-Sang for their gaming needs, but also Sony Europe's very own top directors repeatedly got their Sony PSP hard or software imports [...] starting just two days after Japan's official release, as early as 14th of December 2004 (more than nine months earlier than the legal action)".

The statement goes on to list the names of senior Sony figures who allegedly bought PSP-related products.

Lik-Sang claims it has been forced to shut down after Sony won a series of legal victories against the company. Sony argued that Lik-Sang had infringed copyright and trademark laws by selling Japanese PSPs to European consumers.

Last week, a Sony spokesperson told our sister-site GamesIndustry.biz that the company was determined "to protect consumers from being sold hardware that does not conform to strict EU or UK consumer safety standards, due to voltage supply differences et cetera".

But Lik-Sang "strongly disagrees with Sony's opinion that their customers need this kind of protection", pointing out that "PSP consoles shipped from Lik-Sang contained genuine Sony 100V-240V AC Adapters that carry CE and other safety marks and are compatible world wide. All PSP consoles were in conformity with all EU and UK consumer safety regulations".

According to the statement, "As of today, Lik-Sang.com will not be in the position to accept any new orders and will cancel and refund all existing orders that have already been placed.

"Furthermore, Lik-Sang is working closely with banks and PayPal to refund any store credits held by the company, and the customer support department is taking care of any open transactions such as pending RMAs or repairs and shipping related matters."

The statement goes on to pledge that, "The staff of Lik-Sang will make sure that nobody will get hurt in the crossfire of this ordeal."

Lik-Sang marketing manager Pascal Clarysse went on to blast Sony's position.

"Today is Sony Europe victory about PSP, tomorrow is Sony Europe's ongoing pressure about PlayStation 3," he railed. "With this precedent set, next week could already be the stage for complaints from Sony America about the same thing, or from other console manufacturers about other consoles to other regions, or even from any publisher about any specific software title to any country they don't see fit.

"Blame it on Sony. That's the latest dark spot in their shameful track record as gaming industry leader," he continued.

"The Empire finally 'won', few dominating retailers from the UK probably will rejoice the news, but everybody else in the gaming world lost something today... It's the beginning of the end of the world as we know it."

Update: Sony has declared that Lik-Sang's accusations are "sour grapes" in a statement released since this story was published. Read more elsewhere on the site.

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

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