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PlayStation 3s seized by EU customs

LG wins 10 day PS3 ban.

Dark blue icons of video game controllers on a light blue background
Image credit: Eurogamer

Sales of the PlayStation 3 are under threat after South Korean company LG won an injunction to have it banned from entering European countries for 10 days.

European customs officers have been ordered to seize shipments of PS3s, reports The Guardian.

A ruling by the civil court of justice in the Hague means all new PS3s have to be confiscated as they are imported into the UK and the rest of Europe.

The injunction could be extended – if LG wins its case against Sony.

Tens of thousands of PS3s were seized by customs officials in Holland last week. Sony imports around 100,000 consoles a week. Around two to three weeks' worth of PS3s are in stock in Europe, according to the report.

The dispute centres around LG's claim that Sony is infringing its use of Blu-ray technology. If Sony is found to have infringed LG patents, it could be forced to compensate LG for each PS3 it has sold around the world, which could cost hundreds of millions of pounds.

Sony has the right to appeal to the European patents office, but LG could apply to the same patents office to get the 10-day import ban extended.

A spokesman for Sony told The Guardian: "We are currently looking into this matter, and cannot make any comments at this point in time." LG declined to comment.

LG's complaint emerged earlier this month after it demanded PS3s and Bravia tellys be banned from sale in the US.

LG claims Sony is infringing four of its patents in a complaint that broadly relates to "certain electronic devices having a Blu-Ray Disc player and components thereof", but the PlayStation 3 (Model No. CECH-2501A) is the only Sony product to be specifically named in the main document of the complaint.

Reports have suggested LG's action is revenge for Sony's December claim it was infringing seven of its patents relating to LG phones.

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