An interesting development has come out of a silly war between LG and Sony. The Korean company wants the Japanese manufacturer to stop selling the Playstation 3 in the US. To word it in another way that will really drive the point home, LG wants to ban distribution of the PS3 in the US. Wow.
Here’s an article from CNET (written by Don Reisinger) that details what’s going on.
LG Electronics wants the U.S. International Trade Commission to bar the import of the PlayStation 3 into the United States, according to a complaint.
The complaint, filed Friday with the ITC and first reported by Bloomberg yesterday, claims that the Blu-ray player in the PlayStation 3 violates several of LG’s patents. The company cited Sony, Sony Corporation of America, Sony Electronics, Sony Computer Entertainment, and Sony Computer Entertainment America in the complaint, according to the docket page on the ITC’s Web site.
The ITC 337 Law Blog, which is run by a private law firm, posted the complaint documents (PDF) yesterday.
According to the documents, LG said it holds two patents that it believes Sony violates in the PlayStation 3 related to the way a Blu-ray player reproduces data from a Blu-ray disc. The company cited another patent that covers the “reproduction of multiple data streams” by way of multiple camera angles. LG also said Sony violates a patent it holds on the display of text subtitles on Blu-ray.
LG’s decision to take aim at Sony follows a complaint filed by Sony with the ITC in late December. In that complaint, Sony said that LG violates patents it holds for mobile phones. The company asked the ITC to bar LG from selling its mobile phones in the United States.
For its part, LG wants the ITC to launch an “immediate investigation” into Sony’s use of the Blu-ray player in the PlayStation 3. The company wants the ITC to bar Sony from importing the PlayStation 3 into the United States. It also wants the console to be banned from any marketing or repair efforts Sony might engage in.
Neither Sony nor LG immediately responded to request for comment.
Regardless of what comes out of this, I cannot possibly see LG winning out against Sony. Despite the fact that LG is a larger and wealthier company by today’s standards, Sony just has too much pull in the entertainment and recreation industries.
It won’t just be gamers that will be against a move such as this. Developers will universally rally behind Sony, due to the USA being a vital market for them. Remove the US from the equation and developers will receive a lot less recognition and, as a result, will make a lot less money.
And what about the manufacturers of trading card games, models, toys, and so forth? A lot of their products are based on video games. Think they’d accept this laying down? I don’t think so.
I won’t even get started on the film industry, but we all know that quite a few folks in Hollywood enjoy making movies based on butchered video game plots. Folks such as the notorious Uwe Boll would also be dead set against this (but it’s not like he matters much anyway).
LG can attack Sony all they want, but the PS3 is here to stay.
Japan – 1
Korea – 0