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Dutch courts lifts import ban

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A Dutch court yesterday lifted the injunction banning the import of Sony PlayStation 3s into Europe.

LG and Sony have been locked in a patent dispute over BluRay technology. LG won an injunction over a week ago which left PlayStations locked in Dutch warehouses.

Dutch law allowed LG to seek a 10-day temporary injunction while the matter was considered. But yesterday the court lifted the injunction and ordered LG to pay legal fees of about €130,000, according to patent lobbyist Florian Mueller.

Customs cannot seize any more consoles but the patent issue is still to be decided.

About 300,000 PS3s were seized by Dutch customs and another nine shipments of between 15,000 and 20,000 are en route to the Netherlands – they will now be allowed through Customs.

LG is demanding a royalty payment of about $2.50 per PS3 Sony has sold. The Japanese giant has sold just short of 50m consoles worldwide. Some other Sony kit including some Bravia TVs are also believed by LG to infringe its patents.

With limited stocks in the channel, there were already shortages of certain models at some London stores.

Sony and LG have both refused to comment on this story. The companies are engaged in a similar battle in the US. ®

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