The LG vs. Sony battle will be heard in a Dutch court on March 10, 2011. This case is important because it raises issues never seen before, such as using a patent to prevent a gaming console from being imported or sold into Europe.
The issue was first covered in depth by Jas Purewal on the blog Gamers/Law. Purewall’s article gives an brief background of the LG v. Sony battle. LG alleges that Sony has violated its Blue-Ray DVD patent. According to Purewal, one of the main issues entertainment law practioners should be concerned about is that an import ban isn’t just limited to patents. It can also be applied to other type of intellectual property infringement, such as copyright infringement.
In a follow up article Purewal provides a summary of the highlights from another post written by Florian Mueller. In addition to the ban on the importation of Playstation 3s, inventories in stores was also seized. LG’s main argument is that Sony is infringing their Blue-Ray patents and should not be allowed to sell any products until Sony obtains the proper licenses. LG asked for and received a prejudgment seizure order, which is something unique to Dutch law. LG convinced the judge to allow the seizure and ban of the Playstation 3 before Sony could make its own arguments. Sony will have its chance to make its arguments at the hearing scheduled for March 10.
It appears that Sony and LG were in talks about licensing the technology. However, the talks failed, resulting in Sony launching lawsuits in the United States and LG filing their own lawsuits in Europe and in the United States.