Sony of Europe alleges that Lik-Sang.com has breached Sony's Trade Mark rights by offering the PlayStation Portable (PSP) for sale to customers in the UK, and seeks a court order that would prevent Lik-Sang.com from selling or offering systems, games and accessories to customers in the UK and the European Economic Area (EEA).
Sony further claims copyright infringement and damages by mirroring the freely available PSP manual on the news section of Lik-Sang.com during early June. Sony UK warned Lik-Sang.com at June 14 to take legal actions, should the manual and any hypertext links to Sony's web site not be removed. Lik-Sang.com complied with Sony's request to remove the manual immediately.
This lawsuit comes as a total surprise to Lik-Sang.com, given that the laws of Hong Kong are clear when it comes to parallel trade. Hong Kong's legislation is based on the fact that allowing parallel and free trade will restore natural competition and benefit consumers with lower prices. Hong Kong, one of the pioneering countries respecting worldwide exhaustion of trademark rights, allows free trade once an item entered the market for sale.
The company running Lik-Sang.com, Pacific Game Technology (Holding) Limited, is fully registered and operating in Hong Kong and has no ties with the UK. The company is currently looking into available options to combat Sony's cynical attempt to disrupt the successful online business again, gain total market control, and garner publicity.
"Lik-Sang's sales are an unlawful interference with Sony's economic interests", stated Sony's legal correspondence. The case relies on Sony's claim, that Lik-Sang.com has advertised the PlayStation Portable products in a "dishonest manner". Lik-Sang.com will do its best to fight Sony's powers and appreciates any support from employees, friends and even customers.
"This is the most aggressive move against its own customers that a console manufacturer has ever taken in the 30 year history of videogames", says Pascal Clarysse, Marketing Manager for Lik-Sang.com. "Sony wants to completely cut hardcore gamers away from items released in Japan or anywhere else outside their own country. A very active part of the gaming community has been enjoying Japanese gaming culture for over two decades, and that's what the Empire is now willing to destroy."
Daily business is unaffected by this lawsuit. Customers in the UK and elsewhere don't have to worry about negative side effects or disruption of service. Shipping, Customer Support and Ordering Processing are fully operational and Lik-Sang.com remains open as usual. The sites news section will be updated as soon as the situation evolves.