Here’s what happens when patent cases go really bad: Dutch officials have seized tens of thousands Sony PlayStation 3s from Dutch warehouses and may have the right to confiscate consoles from users’ homes.The seizures are the outcome of a patent dispute with LG, which accuses Sony’s Blu-ray technology of violating three LG patents. Every PS3 ships with a Blu-ray player.
Last week, LG won a preliminary 10-day injunction under EU law, and applied it first to the Netherlands, where most Sony consoles enter Europe. Sony ships about 100,000 PS3s into Europe every month.
Customs officials have already taken tens of thousands of the devices sitting in warehouses, according to the Financial Times. The Guardian reports that the legal order also allows Dutch officials to seize new PS3 consoles that are already in homes.
This morning, intellectual property activist Florian Mueller posted a copy of the actual legal order. He has also heard that customs officials have confiscated at least three shipments in or near the main Amsterdam airport.
Sony is challenging the injunction in court tomorrow.
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