Online retailers in the UK are being asked by Sony Computer Entertainment Europe to stop offering imported PSPs for sale. The entertainment giant, it seems, is worried that the delay of its handheld games console launch in the UK is damaging prospective sales and creating a grey market which it isn't prepared to support.
Earlier in the week, Firebox.com was asked to withdraw its imported PSP listing in exchange for co-operation come launch day, and Amazon.co.uk has stuck to taking Pre-orders for the September 1st launch date. But not all retailers are happy with the move.
ElectricBirdLand Limited, a fairly unknown online retailer in the UK, has hit back after it received a Cease and Desist order from solicitors representing Sony Computer Entertainment.
According to the retailer, Sony is claiming infringement of Trade Mark despite its failure to secure vital Trade Marks in Europe.
Deciding to play dirty, ElectricBirdLand has let us know that a number of trademarks Sony is claiming for itself actually belong to other companies. PSP is a trademark currently registered by Owtanet Limited in 2000, UMD standing for Universal Media Disk is owned by Olympus Corporation and also being opposed by AMD, and XMB a PSP operating system component which is used with all PSP packaging is still up for grabs.
ElectricBirdLand is hoping that by bringing this to Sony and our attentions will some how delay the launch in the UK and give it more justification to sell imported PSP at a premium.
“Sony Computer Entertainment is well known for fudged product launches and this is another perfect example,” explained Dan Morelle, Managing Director, ElectricBirdLand. “Looking at the bigger picture, Sony isn't concerned about controlling small businesses importing a few units. The real story is about profit.” Profit he and his company are happy to take until the PSP is officially launched in September.
We spoke to Sony and its response was:
"We informed trade accounts of our position in the letter in April and
now we're simply following through and enforcing our IP rights. The law
is clear and the activity of parallel importing of PSP products from the
US/Japan is unlawful. It should be clearly understood that under no
circumstances does SCE consent to such activities. We confirm that we
are on schedule for a September launch."