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PlayStation exporter forced to close

Sony's 'shameful' conduct blocks UK imports

A Hong Kong-based online retailer of games consoles and software says it's closing down after losing a lawsuit brought against it in the UK by Sony.

The lawsuit was filed at the London High Court in 2005 by SCEI against Pacific Game Technology, the company that operates the lik-sang.com website. It alleged that Pacific Game Technology had violated Sony’s European trademark by selling the PlayStation Portable to customers in the UK and sought an injunction to prevent the site from selling any PlayStation consoles, games and accessories to customers in the UK and Europe.

Lik-sang.com is popular with gamers because it offers a wide selection of game hardware and software from Japan and other regions of the world. In the case of the PlayStation Portable it gave gamers outside of Japan a chance to buy the Japanese version of the console long before regional models were released in local markets.

Earlier this week the site posted a notice advising customers that it was "out of business due to multiple Sony lawsuits". It attacked Sony in the notice and raised the likelihood that it would face lawsuits over sales of the PlayStation 3, which is due to launch in Japan on 11 November.

"Blame it on Sony. That's the latest dark spot in its shameful track record as gaming industry leader. The Empire finally 'won', few dominating retailers from the UK probably will rejoice the news, but everybody else in the gaming world lost something today," the statement ended.

It also, perhaps somewhat embarrassingly for Sony, alleged that four senior Sony managers had used Lik-sang.com to purchase PSPs shortly after the Japanese launch.

Pascal Clarysse, marketing director for the website, said Sony is demanding the payment of £100,000 in legal fees by 1 November.

"Sony should be proud of having such a die-hard import gamers community rushing to buy their products and supporting them with a passion. Instead, they march all over us," said Clarysse.

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