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Console Gamer Crisis Brewing in Europe

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According to a Report by BBC News, thousands of Sony Playstation3 consoles are being impounded in Europe following a lawsuit filled by LG over patent infringement regarding the consoles’ ability to manage extras built into Blu-ray discs. The 10-day import ban handed down by the civil court of justice in the Hague, if expanded, could affect the number of consoles on store shelves in as little as three weeks.

The legal battle centers around the PS3’s ability to manage extras like multiple camera angles; updating the palette of subtitles, i.e. changing font color and opacity of the text subtitle stream; and copying or linking media from Blu-ray disks. LG claims that they own the patents to this hardware and by building it into the PS3 Sony has infringed on their ownership rights.

LG has filed a corresponding lawsuit with the United States International Trade Commission hoping to halt import and sales of the PS3 in the United States until courts can rule on the patent infringement case. There is no word yet from the ITC on its investigation into the status of the case.

LG and Sony have been embroiled in patent battles since the fall of 2010 when both companies claimed patent infringement involving mobile phones and televisions.

Sony has been at the center of several patent infringement cases in the last year including one under investigation by the ITC filled by Taiwanese LCD Panel Manufacturer Chimei Innolux.

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About C. David Apgar