Sony PS3: Shipments of consoles seized in Europe

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If you live in Europe and are planning on buying a new Sony PlayStation 3, you may want to purchase it soon. This is because European customs officers have been told to seize shipments of the PS3, after LG won a preliminary injunction against Sony.

Josh Halliday over at guardian.co.uk is reporting in an article that the injunction comes as the two Asian company’s battle out a bitter patent dispute. A civil court of justice in The Hague made the ruling, which means all new PS3s will be seized as they are imported in to Europe for at least ten days.

If the ruling continues it could mean that supplies could start to run out, it is thought that retailers and Sony have around two to three weeks worth of stock across the continent. Last week tens of thousands of PS3 consoles were seized by customs in the Netherlands.

The legal dispute between Sony and LG concerns claims by LG, that Sony has infringed use of Blu-ray technology. About 100,000 PS3s are imported a week and Sony are desperately trying to get the ban lifted. Sony has the right of appeal to the European patents office, but LG can also appeal to the same office for an extension to the ban.

Sony may have to compensate LG if it loses the patent case for every PS3 it has sold around the world, which would run into millions of dollars. Sony is believed to have stock of around 10,000 PS3s in the UK, and 6,500 in Germany. The bulk of PS3 sales in Europe are pre-orders, which means they are sold already so won’t be sitting in warehouses.

Do you think Sony will run out of PS3s in Europe?

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