Feeds

PlayStation 2 is not a PC, says Court of Appeal

Ruling denies import duty rebate

Top three mobile application threats

Sony's PlayStation 2 is officially a games console and not a computer, according to an English court judgment that denies the electronics firm a €50m (£34.2m) rebate for import duties.

Sony has been pursuing legal action for five years in attempts to have the machine classified as a "digital processing unit" and not a games console. Games machines attracted an EU import duty of 1.7 per cent in 2001, falling year by year to zero by 2004; but computers attracted no duty in that time.

The most recent judgment comes from the Court of Appeal and not only upholds the High Court's decision, but denies Sony a referral to the European Court of Justice.

Sony was granted permission at one point to import the PS2 as a games console, but was subsequently told by Customs and Excise that that permission was revoked. It was Sony's continuing reliance on the earlier permission to import the machine as a games console on which Lord Justice Chadwick adjudicated.

"The point does not turn on whether … the goods ought to be classified under sub-heading 8471 (ie, as a games console). The point turns on whether, in the events which have happened, Sony was entitled to continue to rely on binding tariff information...which did classify the goods under 8471 notwithstanding the subsequent decision of Customs and Excise that that information be revoked," wrote Chadwick. He dismissed the appeal.

In a stinging rebuke to Sony's legal team, Chadwick also took issue with the manner in which the case was conducted.

"In my view the skeleton argument filed in this court on behalf of Sony goes beyond what can be regarded as acceptable written advocacy: it exceeds the bounds of propriety," he wrote. "I am not protesting about its inordinate length, nor about its discursive quality, nor about its frequent and unnecessary resort to hyperbole, although all those unappealing features are present.

"My concern is with the repeated aspersions that are cast in that document on the intellectual honesty of the High Court Judge from whose decision this appeal is brought," he wrote.

Sony was the sole importer of the PS2 into Europe and told the court that most imports came via Holland. Because sales were not as high as expected, the company had to absorb the £6.60 cost of the import duty itself rather than pass it on to consumers.

Since 2004 the issue has been irrelevant since neither classification of machine has attracted import duty since then.

See: The Sony ruling

Copyright © 2006, OUT-LAW.com

OUT-LAW.COM is part of international law firm Pinsent Masons.

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

More from The Register

next story
Samsung Galaxy S5 fingerprint scanner hacked in just 4 DAYS
Sammy's newbie cooked slower than iPhone, also costs more to build
Leaked pics show EMBIGGENED iPhone 6 screen
Fat-fingered fanbois rejoice over Chinternet snaps
Microsoft lobs pre-release Windows Phone 8.1 at devs who dare
App makers can load it before anyone else, but if they do they're stuck with it
Feast your PUNY eyes on highest resolution phone display EVER
Too much pixel dust for your strained eyeballs to handle
Report: Apple seeking to raise iPhone 6 price by a HUNDRED BUCKS
'Well, that 5c experiment didn't go so well – let's try the other direction'
US mobile firms cave on kill switch, agree to install anti-theft code
Slow and kludgy rollout will protect corporate profits
Rounded corners? Pah! Amazon's '3D phone has eye-tracking tech'
Now THAT'S what we call a proper new feature
Oh no, Joe: WinPhone users already griping over 8.1 mega-update
Hang on. Which bit of Developer Preview don't you understand?
Zucker punched: Google gobbles Facebook-wooed Titan Aerospace
Up, up and away in my beautiful balloon flying broadband-bot
Sony battery recall as VAIO goes out with a bang, not a whimper
The perils of having Panasonic as a partner
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a defence for mobile apps
In this whitepaper learn the various considerations for defending mobile applications; from the mobile application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies needed to properly assess mobile applications risk.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.