Sony scores victory against LG, PlayStation 3 seizure reversed

In February, South Korean electronics company LG filed suit against Sony over patent disputes concerning the latter’s PlayStation 3 console – specifically, the Blu-ray technology inside it. LG initially made some headway in its claim when a court ordered the seizure of hundreds of thousands of PlayStation 3 units in The Netherlands. However, a ruling today has essentially freed the ensnared consoles and slapped LG with a massive legal fee.

Sony scores victory against LG, PlayStation 3 seizure reversed

Giving the day to Sony, The Hague ruled that plaintiff LG must pay 130,000 Euros to cover Sony’s legal expenses. All stockpiled PlayStation 3 consoles, currently held within a Dutch warehouse via the original court order, must also be freed so they can make their way onto retailers’ shelves. For every day LG fails to comply with the court’s ruling, it will be forced to pay a 200,000 Euro fine.

While some may quip ‘Game over, LG! Sony always wins, baby,’ this decision relates only to the fate of the captive consoles as copyright legal blog FOSSPatents points out. Author Florian Mueller writes, “I have learned that the key reason for the court to lift the seizure order was that this kind of measure didn’t seem fair given the history of negotiations between the parties.”

In other words, don’t be surprised if Sony and LG work out something out-of-court. In fact, Mueller points out that according to Dutch site gamer.nl, Sony’s lawyer mentioned a compromise may be possible, but “not with a knife at the throat.”

For now Sony is free to distribute its popular home gaming system across Europe. The patent infringement case brought by LG will proceed.