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Sony gets ban on European PlayStation 3 imports lifted

Elmar Rekers | March 11, 2011
The underlying patent dispute between LG and Sony that led to the ban won't reach court until November, however

AMSTERDAM, 11 MARCH 2011 - Sony has convinced a court in The Hague, Netherlands, to lift a ban on imports of the PlayStation 3 game console that was imposed last week as a result of accusations by LG Electronics of patent infringement. Beginning Friday morning, the 300,000 game consoles already seized may be distributed across Europe.

Sony and LG have been fighting a legal battle over patents for some time now. LG argued that Sony's PS3 infringes a number of its patents relating to playback of Blu-ray discs. The judge agreed with LG last week, and ordered a ten-day temporary European import ban.

Sony's subsequent request to have the ban lifted has been granted -- although the underlying question of patent infringement has not yet been decided. On Nov. 18, the court will hear proceedings on the merits of the case, to determine which party will ultimately be vindicated. It is, however, expected that Sony and LG will reach a settlement before then.

Meanwhile, LG must swing by the tax office on Friday morning to suspend the seizure and pay legal costs of €130,000: If it doesn't, a fine of €200,000 per day will be imposed.

 

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