AMSTERDAM/TOYKO (Reuters) - Sony Corp said it will appeal the seizure of Playstation 3 game consoles by customs officers in the Netherlands following a court injunction initiated by LG Electronics over a patent dispute.
The Dutch customs authorities notified Sony at the end of February that an inspection would be made into Sony products imported into the Netherlands, which has now resulted in Playstation 3 game consoles being temporarily withheld, Sony said late on Friday.
Sony added that this preliminary injunction was related to a petition made by LG Electronics, alleging that Sony may be infringing LG patents related to Blu-ray technologies.
South Korea’s LG Electronics said it would not comment on pending legal matters.
Sony said it disagreed with LG’s allegations and would file an appeal to the courts in the Netherlands.
According to media reports earlier this week, tens of thousands of the consoles had been seized in the Netherlands in line with a 10-day import ban ordered by a Dutch court.
Charlotte Slagter from the Dutch customs office declined to confirm any details of the Playstation seizure but said it was possible that the hold on the goods would be extended another 10 days, pending the outcome of the proceedings.
The technology battle comes after Sony and LG Electronics failed to renew a technology sharing agreement when it expired three years ago, a person familiar with the development said.
The two technology giants have since sued each other over alleged patent infringements.
Sony filed a complaint against LG with the U.S. International Trade Commission last year, seeking to block LG from shipping its Rumor Touch and several other smartphones to the United States.
LG filed a complaint to the commission last month, saying that Sony’s PlayStation 3 infringed its Blu-ray video technology.
The Netherlands is an important entry point for Sony’s imports to Europe, but a person familiar with the matter said the company is seeking alternatives and does not expect its regional sales to be badly affected by the temporary ban.
Reporting by Isabel Reynolds in Tokyo and Miyoung Kim in Seoul and Roberta B. Cowan in Amsterdam; Editing by Joseph Radford and David Cowell