Dutch port clogged up with PS3s

A Dutch port is filling up with Playstation 3 consoles as a result of the injunction Sony's Korean rival LG managed to slap on imports of the gaming machine in a spat over Blu-ray patents.

Sony said a shipment of the consoles is stuck Rotterdam after a Dutch court imposed a 10-day temporary injunction on the distribution of the console in Europe.

Sony said its lawyers are scrabbling about trying to work out the company's next move, having complained that LG was playing a game of tit-for-tat over a variety of technology patents.

Sony filed patent-infringement claims against LG in the US late last year in an attempt to get imports of mobile phones from the Korean outfit blocked from entry into the country.

LG has also filed a complaint against Sony's Blu-ray-toting PS3 in the States on February 4. It is also seeking a ban on Sony's Bravia televisions that are equipped with Blu-ray recorders.

The temporary trade ban is an unusually extreme measure for this type of regularly occurring patent dispute, which is often resolved by licensing agreements between the two parties.

LG Electronics filed a complaint against Sony with the U.S. International Trade Commission on , saying that the Japanese company violated its patents with certain electronic devices having a Blu-ray Disc Player and other related components. It sought to block sales of Sony Bravia televisions and PS3 consoles in the U.S.

Late last year, Sony brought a patent infringement claim of its own against LG Electronics to the ITC. It claimed that LG mobile phones violated its intellectual property and sought to prevent handsets from being shipped to the U.S.

A source told the Wall Street Journal that the stranded shipment involves tens of thousands of PS3s. He also suggested that Sony will use other routes into Europe since the injunction only current applies to Dutch ports.