Threatens Small Family Run Businesses but NOT Established UK Retailers
17 June 2005
Sony Computer Entertainment today took its fight to stop UK and European gamers gaining access to its new Playstation Portable console (PSP) to the High Court. The games industry behemoth has chosen to take legal action against small, independent online retailers selling imported PSPs to UK gamers citing loss of revenue and trademark infringement.
This follows on from the recent Cease and Desist orders issued to UK businesses selling imported PSP consoles to UK and European gamers desperate to get their hands on the product in light of a six month product launch delay.
Despite its claim of trademark infringement, Sony Corporation has still not admitted to the fact that it has not yet successfully secured vital trademarks in Europe for the PSP. This includes trademarks for the name PSP (a trademark currently registered by Owtanet Limited in 2000), UMD (Universal Media Disks - Sony's proprietary optical storage solution - which is owned by Olympus Corporation and being opposed by AMD), and XMB (a PSP operating system component which is used with all PSP packaging).
Moreover, whilst Sony has chosen to take action against smaller businesses, high street retailers and official Sony distributors are continuing to sell PSP products and accessories without the threat of legal action. HMV, one of the UK's leading entertainment retailers is already selling a multitude of third party PSP accessories to customers who have imported units.
Consumers can also buy PSP consoles through a variety of high street and online retailers across Europe including Netherlands, France, Germany, Denmark, Austria, Spain, Italy and Greece whilst retail chains such as Game are using imported units in-store to demonstrate the PSPs capabilities.
Dan Morelle, Managing Director, ElectricBirdLand Limited commented. "Sony refuses to admit that the UK gaming industry already has its finger prints all over the PSP and importers are selling to Sony stores, Sony developers and Sony staff. The company's action against small independent retailers is just another indication of the bully tactics it chooses to deploy whenever it faces a challenge to its industry monopoly."
Morelle is one of a handful of independent retailers willing to fight his case against Sony and has already received legal guidance on how to proceed. "As a small family run business, I cannot afford the expensive lawyers that Sony has access to at a click of its fingers so I will have to represent. It seems Sony has forgotten the admirable words of its founder Masaru Ibuka who once said "We shall eliminate any unfair profit seeking practices and constantly emphasise activities of real substance.""
For further information on the legal proceedings please visit: http://www.danmorelle.com/electricbirdblog