Sony has lost its 5-year legal battle to have its PlayStation 2 console classified as a computer rather than a games console to be entitled to a rebate from the European Union.

The news means that Sony will not be entitled to the estimated £34.2 million rebate for import duties if the console had been classified as a computer.

The appeal was dismissed by Lord Justice Chadwick, who denied Sony the right to take the case to the European Court of Justice.

In a cutting reproach to Sony's legal team, Chadwick also took issue with the manner in which the case was conducted.

"In my view the skeleton argument filed in this court on behalf of Sony goes beyond what can be regarded as acceptable written advocacy: it exceeds the bounds of propriety", he wrote. "I am not protesting about its inordinate length, nor about its discursive quality, nor about its frequent and unnecessary resort to hyperbole, although all those unappealing features are present."

"My concern is with the repeated aspersions that are cast in that document on the intellectual honesty of the High Court Judge from whose decision this appeal is brought", he wrote.

Since 2004, games consoles are no longer subject to EU import charges. The charges referred to in the court case were between 2001 and 2004.