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Sony Sues Lik-Sang for Selling PSPs

Filed under: PS2
Posted by Allison on August 9, 2005 10:03 AM
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Lik-Sang International (Lik-Sang.com) has announced they are being sued by Sony for selling Playstation Portables (PSPs) to UK importers before the new handheld has been released to the region. Sony also claims copyright infringement on the part of Lik-Sang, for publishing the Sony PSP manual on its site. Sony did warn Lik-Sang about the manual publication, and Lik-Sang immediately took the manual offline. Despite the compliance, Sony is still seeking damages for the copyright infringement and the distribution of the PSPs.

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Lik-Sang is no stranger to lawsuits from console makers. Sony, Nintendo and Microsoft each went after the Hong Kong based company in 2002 for distributing mod chips and otherwise tinkered with consoles to consumers around the globe. This suit forced Lik-Sang to shut down operations for three weeks. They re-emerged sans mod chips and other such devices on its site, then settled with Sony and lost to Nintendo in court.

Even with such a losing history, Lik-Sang remains very positive concerning this lawsuit. According to Lik-Sang's press release (below), "This lawsuit comes as a total surprise to Lik-Sang.com, given that the laws of Hong Kong are clear when it comes to parallel trade. Hong Kong's legislation is based on the fact that allowing parallel and free trade will restore natural competition and benefit consumers with lower prices. Hong Kong, one of the pioneering countries respecting worldwide exhaustion of trademark rights, allows free trade once an item entered the market for sale."

Lik-Sang Press Release

Hong Kong, August 8, 2005 - Lik-Sang.com, leading online retailer for videogame systems, games and cutting-edge gaming gear, was today informed that Sony Computer Entertainment Europe Limited and Sony Computer Entertainment Inc commenced legal actions against Lik-Sang.com in the High Court of Hong Kong for selling PSP consoles.

Sony of Europe alleges that Lik-Sang.com has breached Sony's Trade Mark rights by offering the PlayStation Portable (PSP) for sale to customers in the UK, and seeks a court order that would prevent Lik-Sang.com from selling or offering systems, games and accessories to customers in the UK and the European Economic Area (EEA).

Sony further claims copyright infringement and damages by mirroring the freely available PSP manual on the news section of Lik-Sang.com during early June. Sony UK warned Lik-Sang.com at June 14 to take legal actions, should the manual and any hypertext links to Sony's web site not be removed. Lik-Sang.com complied with Sony's request to remove the manual immediately.

This lawsuit comes as a total surprise to Lik-Sang.com, given that the laws of Hong Kong are clear when it comes to parallel trade. Hong Kong's legislation is based on the fact that allowing parallel and free trade will restore natural competition and benefit consumers with lower prices. Hong Kong, one of the pioneering countries respecting worldwide exhaustion of trademark rights, allows free trade once an item entered the market for sale.

The company running Lik-Sang.com, Pacific Game Technology (Holding) Limited, is fully registered and operating in Hong Kong and has no ties with the UK. The company is currently looking into available options to combat Sony's cynical attempt to disrupt the successful online business again, gain total market control, and garner publicity.

"Lik-Sang's sales are an unlawful interference with Sony's economic interests", stated Sony's legal correspondence. The case relies on Sony's claim that Lik-Sang.com has advertised the PlayStation Portable products in a "dishonest manner". Lik-Sang.com will do its best to fight Sony's powers and appreciates any support from employees, friends and even customers.

"This is the most aggressive move against its own customers that a console manufacturer has ever taken in the 30 year history of videogames", says Pascal Clarysse, Marketing Manager for Lik-Sang.com. "Sony wants to completely cut hardcore gamers away from items released in Japan or anywhere else outside their own country. A very active part of the gaming community has been enjoying Japanese gaming culture for over two decades, and that's what the Empire is now willing to destroy."

Daily business is unaffected by this lawsuit. Customers in the UK and elsewhere don't have to worry about negative side effects or disruption of service. Shipping, Customer Support and Order Processing are fully operational and Lik-Sang.com remains open as usual. The sites news section will be updated as soon as the situation evolves.

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All trademarks and copyrights contained herein are the property of their respective holders. Sony?, PlayStation? and PSP? are registered trademarks of Sony? Corporation. Lik-Sang and Lik-Sang.com are registered trademarks of Pacific Game Technology (Holding) Limited. Other product and corporate names may be trademarks of other companies and are used only for explanations and to the owners? benefit, without intend to infringe.
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