Customs officials within the European Union are reportedly confiscating imports of PlayStation 3 consoles, according to an unconfirmed report. The U.K.'s The Guardian
newspaper reported Monday
that customs officials had seized shipments of the PlayStation 3 consoles in response to an ongoing patent dispute between LG and Sony. The seizures amount to a quarantine, however, as the imports are being held for ten days. "Tens of thousands of PS3s were seized by customs officers last week in the Netherlands," the Guardian
So far, Sony and LG officials have not provided official comment or confirmation, and the EU has not posted any official confirmation on its Web site. Within the United States, LG and Sony have engaged in an ongoing patent dispute. Sony has claimed that LG's phones infringe its patents; LG, in response, has said that the Blu-ray drives used within the PlayStation 3 infringe its own technology. LG reportedly asked the U.S. International Trade Commission
to block the sale of PlayStation 3s and Bravia televisions within the United States. LG's suit can be seen as a response to one Sony filed in late December; in it, Sony claimed that several LG phones infringe Sony's patents. They include the LG Quantum
, the new Windows Phone 7 device available on AT&T, as well as the Cosmos
, enV Touch
, Glance, GU295, Lotus Elite
, LX370, Neon, Remarq
, Rumor Touch
, VL600, Vu Plus
, and Xenon
. Sony said it wants the ITC or the court to stop LG from importing, selling, marketing, advertising, or demonstrating the infringing devices in the U.S., the same request that LG made of the agency. Meanwhile, Sony is attempting to tamp down the actions of George Hotz
. Hotz hacked the Sony PS3 and posted his circumvention technique on his Web site, as well as links for others to do the same. Under the order, he is banned from posting or distributing those links or information about his hacking techniques. He must also turn over computers, hard drives, CD-roms, DVDs, USB sticks, or any other storage devices on which the circumvention devices are stored.
Hotz is contesting the suit.