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the Blu-ray row: 1-0 to Sony, full time score to follow

16 March 2011

On 28 February electronics manufacturer LG successfully applied for an ex parte order that up to 300,000 Playstation 3 consoles be seized from Sony’s EU distribution centre, and that Dutch customs seize any further imports, effectively cutting off the entire EU supply chain.

The order was granted as part of a dispute over Sony’s use of blu-ray technology in its Playstation 3 consoles, technology LG says is protected by various patents.

The customs detention and seizure orders have now been lifted with LG being ordered to pay significant legal costs and damages, however the main action continues with trial scheduled for 18 November 2011.

Given that in the main proceedings LG’s damages claim would almost certainly be based on royalties, it appears that in flexing its legal muscles to cut off supply the company has temporarily limited the value of any damages claim by interrupting the supply chain and reducing the number of consoles sold. The old adage ‘look before you leap’ springs to mind…

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