LG impedes PS3 shipments in Europe

When this situation first surfaced on the grid a few weeks ago, it was hard to take it seriously. But it has now become very real as it’s being reported that LG has won a preliminary injunction against Sony in a patent twist regarding Blu-ray technology, which is being used in the latter’s PlayStation 3 console.

According to LG, Sony has infringed on its patents relating to playback of Blu-ray discs. For this, it wants to settle the score, and by having custom officials seize PS3 consoles, preventing their entry in Europe between now and for the foreseeable future of ten days, the South Korean electronics giant is taking the first step in doing that. The ruling was made by the civil court of justice in the Hague.

With an estimated 100,000 consoles being imported to Europe on a weekly basis, Sony could potentially have a problem in keeping shelves fully stocked as the Guardian reports that retail stores across Europe only have around two to three weeks’ worth of supply to work with. Sony could apply to the European patents office to try to get the ban uplifted, hence solving said problem, but so could LG, hence making it worse by extending the ban.

What all this ultimately means is that Sony could either be facing the potential demise of the PlayStation 3, which is very unlikely, or an enormous financial setback as LG would probably have to be compensated for every single PS3 sold around the world. With that number about to reach 50 million, Sony’s pockets better be deep enough.