European customs officers have been ordered to seize shipments of PlayStation 3s after LG won a preliminary injunction against Sony in an acrimonious patent battle between the two Asian electronics giants. The ruling by the civil court of justice in the Hague means that all new PS3s have to be confiscated as they are imported into the UK and the rest of Europe for at least 10 days. If the injunction was extended it could mean consoles disappearing from high street shelves. It is understood that Sony and computer games retailers typically have about two to three weeks' worth of PS3s in stock across the continent. Tens of thousands of PS3s were seized by customs officers last week in the Netherlands, the Guardian has learnt, in a dispute that centers on Sony's allegedly infringing use of Blu-ray technology belonging to LG.
Not to long ago Sony was sued by LG for patent violation relating to the PS3's Blu-ray system. As LG pushed to get the popular gaming system removed from store shelves in the US, they did not have to push in Europe. Europe has issued a 10 day ban on the game system's imports and sales, this ban is subject to a pending extension. This is devastating news for the Japan based company Sony, prior to the ban around 100,000 PS3 consoles were imported into Europe every week. This massive loss of profit for the company could spell trouble, and if the product is not removed from US stores, and this patent case is not completed within a short amount of time we can expect to see a price increase in all of Sony's products to compensate for the reduction of the available market. However being this company has such a large supply of other products from Tv's, portable game systems, and mobile devices it will not cause the company to go out, it will just cause it to have to cope with reduced profits for the next few days, weeks, or even months.