PS3 seizures order lifted, LG fined €130,000

But legal proceedings continue with LG seeking $2.55 for every Blu-ray device sold

Sony has won the first round of a legal battle with LG over a Blu-ray patent infringement, with a court in the Hague lifting a prejudgment seizure order on PlayStation 3 stock.

All PlayStation 3 units will now be freed and LG has been ordered to pay a fine of €130,000. For every day LG does not pay, the fine will be increased by €200,000.

According to the fosspatents blog, verifying reports by and, Sony is free to distribute consoles across Europe - initially 300,000 units were seized at a value of €43 million. Sony is now expected to move another nine shipments of between 15,000-20,000 units each into Europe.

The latest order only concerns the prejudgement seizure and not the wider ongoing case, in which LG is seeking a royalty payment of between $2.50-$2.55 for each Blu-ray device sold by Sony.

There are already 47 million PlayStation 3 units sold globally, with other Sony hardware containing Blu-ray technology and allegedly infringing on patents. LG estimates that Sony already owes it up to $180 million for for devices sold.

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Latest comments (15)

Oopsie =P

Fine is probably MUCH less than what Sony lost during this time though

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Jehferson Wohllerz Curupana da Rocha e Mello on 10th March 2011 7:12pm

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Private Industry 7 years ago
Given that retailers apparently had enough stock to last for several weeks they shouldn`t have lost anything so far.

If somebody would now please stop both lawsuits so the mobile phone one and the Blu Ray one as both seem to rely on rather generic patents that way more companies would violate that would be much appreciated.
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Terence Gage Freelance writer 7 years ago
I agree with Barrie - if this action was declared legitimate by the initial court ruling, why are LG now being fined?!

I still don't really understand the point in pre-judgement rulings -- surely the legal system should adhere to the 'innocent until proven guilty' mentality?
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Show all comments (15)
Antony Carter Senior Programmer, Epic Games7 years ago
I dont think LG won the first court ruling they just applied for it, if the courts then judge that it was wrong for them to do that they have to pay damages.
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John Donnelly Quality Assurance 7 years ago
Werner, while retailers may have had 2-3 weeks of stocks the timelines to get from landing in Holland to the store shelves can take a few days to a week or more depending on the supply networks and what not.

This is why it was a big deal to get the seizure order lifted as the knock on impact of a 10 day hold on stock means the supply network is 10 days behind where it expects to be at this time of the year.
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James Prendergast Research Chemist 7 years ago
@Barrie and Terence:

As Antony said, if you waste a court's time or the initial ruling is considered unlawful based on false information/pretenses (something that a judge cannot always tell because in this case there wasn't a hearing) then, yes, the applicant can be fined - and rightly so!

Things/assets are seized all the time if something fishy is suspected and then allowed to be analysed. The company/individuals are still free and innocent but cannot smuggle away or hide any inconsistencies or bad behaviour... which is why they occur. It's sort of like a druggie flushing his stash down the toilet during a raid. ;)
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Jim Webb Executive Editor/Community Director, E-mpire Ltd. Co.7 years ago
We read about sales injunctions being applied for several times a year but this is one of the first in the video game industry I've heard of in a long time that was granted. Now once it's been granted, I cannot see how LG can be fined. If the courts didn't have sufficient information to warrant the sales seizure, they should never have granted it in the first place. But turning around and slapping them with a fine after the fact sounds like a quick way for the courts to make a buck themselves.

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Terence Gage Freelance writer 7 years ago
I agree with Jimmy's post; if the courts didn't have enough information to make a proper decision then no decision should have been made at all. If LG lied and/or provided false information then that's a different matter, but ultimately it just seems to re-enforce the notion that this pre-judgement ruling was nonsense and should not have been made at all.
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Andrew Goodchild Studying development, Train2Game7 years ago
Holland's pre-trial import bans and seizures seem to be in place so that if the legality of importing is in dispute, no more can be imported until the court has time to check facts. However, it is pre-trial, and therefore is in place before a legal decision has been made as to whether the company with seized assets has done anything wrong. Therefore, if the court decides LG were wrong to file the request, and have damaged Sony's revenues and wasted the resources of Dutch customs, of course they should be fined. The question is whether they should be banning import/seizing goods in a patent case before a ruling has been made, but it is allowed under Dutch law. LG also knew this, and were prepared for the fine, if they win the eventual ruling €2.50 on eveey PS3 and Bravia TV sold in Europe is worth a lot more than €130,000, and had they been allowed to maintain the ban, Sony would have been pushed into a settlement.
LG actually made the statement that if the ban was found to be wrong, Sony would recieve compensation, it's not something they entered blindly.
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Jas Purewal Partner, Purewal & Partners7 years ago
Sometimes commercial disputes move so fast that the parties can't wait until trial for a judge to determine who is right and who is wrong. Sometimes they need help from the court during the course of the dispute. Let's say, for example, company A believes company B has infringed its intellectual property by making a rival game - which threatens Company A's survival. So Company A applies to court to freeze the sale by company B of the rival games.

In these kinds of situations, the judge has to balance the uncertainty of not knowing who is right with the potential injustice of doing nothing and let the consequences of the dispute ruin someone's business. So, in these situations, sometimes a judge will grant an order to help one of the parties even before the full facts have been determined. This is what happened for LG.

However, the court also wants to be even-handed. Therefore, if later on, with the benefit of a full investigation of the facts and law, it is established that the applicant was wrong to seek the interim order, it will be liable for damages to the other side - which has happened just now.
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Jeffrey Kesselman CTO, Nphos7 years ago
Europe has sane laws that punish people for frivolous law-suits.

We need more of that in the US.
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Bruno Brψsted Incident Manager 7 years ago
I'm pretty sure the rulings have only been about Holland and not Europe. A judge in Holland can't make rulings about anything outside of Holland and even if that would then be the EU and not Europe.
Europe includes much than the EU like for example Switzerland and part of Russia to name just two countries certain not to follow rulings made in Holland :-)
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Private Industry 7 years ago
Even for the countries that are part of the EU they have all different patent laws and a single ruling wouldn`t work.

On an off topic note: Obviously that lawsuit is now the smallest problem for Sony. And while it`s a site about the games industry I`m kind of surprised that there was nothing about the situation in Japan given that so many companies are from Japan and the possibility of the impact. Square already had to shut down the game servers to preserve electricity same for Konami and Motorstorm has been of course delayed and I wouldn`t be surprised if the next Yakuza game is going to be delayed given the destructive theme of it or if any other games are going to get delayed because of the crisis and electricity problems.

Edited 2 times. Last edit by Private on 13th March 2011 11:54pm

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Terence Gage Freelance writer 7 years ago
@ Werner

I was watching some extensive news reports last night, and I was wondering what the impact would be for Japanese publishers. I guess it will be weeks before the extent of the damage and its industrial impacts will become clear.

It's a terrible tragedy of course, and I wish everyone affected the best. I don't wish to sound cold by focusing on the Japanese videogame industry.
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Private Industry 7 years ago
It is certainly a huge tragedy and still ongoing with the issues there and I know several people in the country who are "lucky" and are on Tokyo or south of it to not have to experience the full extend of it. Looking at the videos on TV certainly isn`t easy given the huge destruction and I got already my heart pumping when experiencing a earthquake only around 5.6 that lasted only a few seconds so that must be horrible with that big one and so many aftershocks above 6. But the games industry is still a big part of the country and again what happened is horrible and there are certainly more important things for the country now it`s still a valid topic for a site that focuses on that business. Don`t deny it could be seen as cold or inappropriate, but there isn`t much that can be done about it by the people here except to donate to the red cross and so on to help the people there.
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