Hong Kong retailer Lik-Sang, long the subject of multiple lawsuits brought by Sony Computer Entertainment Europe (SCEE) and Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. (SCEI), has announced that it will be shuttering its popular web-based export business due to recent suits brought Sony regarding PSP and PS3 trade.
The legal battles between Lik-Sang and Sony have been underway for years, starting with a 2003 ruling
over the exporter's trade in mod-chips - concurrent with similar suits from Microsoft and Nintendo over similar grey market hardware - and followed by further litigation
in 2005 surrounding the import of Japanese PSPs to the UK and EU previous to the portable's domestic release.
Last week, a High Court judgment in the UK against online importer Lik-Sang.com ruled
that sales of the Japanese version of the PSP console to the UK and European Economic Area (EEA) are indeed unlawful and that UK law should also apply to Hong Kong exporters, despite Hong Kong law permitting so-called “parallel trade.” Sony had also threatened Lik-Sang with another lawsuit to prevent the sales of PlayStation 3 consoles to Europe.
The statement by Lik-Sang released today cited the High Court ruling as the primary factor behind the closure of the company, stating, "Lik-Sang.com, the popular gaming retailer from Hong Kong, has today announced that it is forced to close down due to multiple legal actions brought against it by Sony Computer Entertainment Europe Limited and Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. Sony claimed that Lik-Sang infringed its trade marks, copyright and registered design rights by selling Sony PSP consoles from Asia to European customers, and have recently obtained a judgment in the High Court of London (England) rendering Lik-Sang's sales of PSP consoles unlawful."
The statement goes on to allege that Sony failed to disclose in the High Court proceedings that a number of Sony Europe's own managing, marketing, and creative directors had imported PSP soft and hardware through Lik-Sang "as early as 14th of December 2004 (more than nine months earlier than the legal action)."
"Today is Sony Europe victory about PSP, tomorrow is Sony Europe’s ongoing pressure about PlayStation 3," said Lik-Sang now-former marketing manager Pascal Clarysse. "With this precedent set, next week could already be the stage for complaints from Sony America about the same thing, or from other console manufacturers about other consoles to other regions, or even from any publisher about any specific software title to any country they don’t see fit."
"That's the latest dark spot in their 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."