UK publication MCV received
legal advice from a top law firm informing them that any profits made from
importing PlayStation 3s into the UK, where the machine won’t be officially
available until March, could prove insignificant compared to the huge legal
costs if Sony were to take matters to court.
According to Mitra Pahlabod of Davenport Lyons, Sony could
play the trademark infringement card on those who import a PS3 into the UK. Sony
is already investigating a company named Mastercash, who is advertising that it
will sell PS3s before Christmas.
“They run the real risk of defending lengthy and costly trademark
infringement proceedings,” Pahlabod stated. “It is up to the grey importer to
prove that consent to resell the goods in Europe has been given by the
“Brand owners should be aware of their rights with regard to
grey importing, monitor closely the sale of their goods and where possible
ensure that their trademark registrations are kept fully up to date,” she said.
In late October,
European imports of its PSP hardware from Hong Kong-based retailer Lik-Sang,
which caused the shop to close its doors. Sony
denied that it
had anything to do with Lik-Sang’s closure, while admitting that its directors have
illegally imported hardware previously from the retailer.