LG And Sony Face Emergency Hearing Over PS3 Confiscations

Dutch police officials have seized several thousand PlayStation 3 gaming consoles as Sony's patent infringement battle with LG heats up.

Last week, LG won an temporary injunction against Sony, prompting Dutch authorities to order custom officials to seize shipments of Sony PS3 consoles into Europe. The Netherlands is the main entry point for Sony to ship consoles into the UK and most of the Europe. Sony ships around 100,000 PS3 units to Europe every week.

The Korean consumer electronics maker has accused Sony of infringing patents related to LG's Blu Ray technology. LG alleges that Sony used its Blu Ray players in the PS3 without bothering to ask for a license to do so.

An emergency hearing at the Dutch civil court has been set for tomorrow, in which Sony is most likely to appeal to get the bans lifted. LG also has plans to pursue a similar lawsuit in the US to make authorities ban Sony from shipping PS3 consoles in the country.

If Sony is found guilty of infringing LG patents then it would have to pay LG for every PS3 console it has sold so far, a bill that could run into millions of pounds for Sony.

“This is only a preliminary injunction, that has resulted in shipments being temporarily withheld. It does not indicate any acceptance of LG's allegations. We consider these allegations unwarranted, and will take appropriate measures including filing a claim of opposition to courts in the Netherlands,” a Sony spokesperson told The Guardian.