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SONY USING BULLY TACTICS TO COVER UP PLAYSTATION PORTABLE LAUNCH MISTAKES

Legal Action Taken Against Importers Despite Failure To Secure Vital Trademarks

PSP®, UMD® and XMB® Trademarks Are Not Actually Owned By Sony Computer Entertainment and Could Result in Further Launch Delays

3 June 2005

ElectricBirdLand Limited today hit back at videogames giant Sony Computer Entertainment's warnings over legal action regarding imports of the company's new console - the Playstation Portable (PSP).

Internet-based retailers selling the new PSP console - which can play games, music and films and is set to rival the Apple iPod - have all received Cease and Desist orders from solicitors representing Sony Computer Entertainment. The company is claiming infringement of Trade Mark despite its failure to secure vital Trade Marks in Europe.

The Cease and Desist orders refer only to the 'PlayStation' trademark, hiding the fact that key technologies, trademarks and software utilised in Sony's new portable gaming platform have not even been registered by Sony. Furthermore, research shows that these trademarks and

technologies are owned by or being contested by Sony's rivals.

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 which has not yet been registered as a trademark).

Sony's failure to secure these trademarks could potentially lead to further delays to the European launch of the PSP, or could result in the costly re-branding of a product which has already proved to be a hit in the US and Japan. It could also mean the start of another embarrassing legal case for Sony Computer Entertainment.

A US federal jury recently ruled that Sony must pay over $90 million in damages to Immersion Corporation for violating "haptic feedback" patents

- patents which refer to the technology used in Playstation 2 'Dual-Shock' controllers.

"Sony Computer Entertainment is well known for fudged product launches and this is another perfect example," explained Dan Morelle, Managing Director, ElectricBirdLand. "The threat of legal action is not because Sony is concerned about the impact that small importers like us will have on its brand or sales - it's simply because of their inability to implement something so vital to the success of its new product."

The PSP console was initially launched in Japan in December 2004 and in the US in March 2005. Although the European launch was also expected to take place in March, this has been pushed back to September 2005 with manufacturing and supply shortages cited as the key reason.

The launch is now 6 months behind schedule and gamers are desperate to get their hands on the new product. This has allowed importers such as ElectricBirdLand to establish a profitable business on the back of Sony's failure to bring their new platform to market within acceptable timeframes.

"The PSP is set to become the Walkman of the 21st Century and the overwhelming consumer interest we are experiencing is testament to this," Morelle continued. "We are not trying to belittle the Sony brand or damage any future sales as demand for the product is so great. All we offer is the one thing Sony has failed to do, and that is to give the customer exactly what they want, when they want it."

-ends-

About ElectricBirdLand Limited:

Established in 2002 by gaming entrepreneur Dan Morelle, ELECTRICBIRDLAND has fast become the UK's leading importer of games consoles, games and accessories from the USA and Japan. Current clients include top games developers, game designers and divisions within Sony Computer Entertainment. This includes Sony Computer Entertainment Europe and Sony DADC.

Editorial contacts:

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London W1F 7TA

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M: +44 (0) 7980 82 09 94

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