A court decision made today will allow the large quantity of PlayStation 3 systems that had been seized upon their arrival in Europe to be freed. Sony will be allowed to continue their distribution to retailers. This latest court order follows February's move that blocked the importation of PS3s into the Netherlands (where all European PS3 imports come through), leading to the seizure of what's said to be around 300,000 systems.
LG alleged that Sony had violated certain LG-owned Blu-ray patents, so a court granted the temporary block. Today's decision doesn't mean Sony is necessarily in the right. According to blogFOSS Patents, lifting the seizure order was done because "this kind of measure didn't seem fair given the history of negotiations between the parties."
Sony's potential guilt will be decided at a later date. For now, PS3s will stop being seized in Europe (good news for any Europeans planning to pick up a PS3 in a few weeks' time) and LG will be forced to pay a little more than $179,000 to cover legal fees. An additional fine of more than $275,000 will be levied for each day that it fails to comply.
The roughly 300,000 systems that have been seized are valued at more than $59 million. That figure would have increased greatly had the seizure not been lifted, as nearly 180,000 additional systems are currently en route to the Netherlands.
Regarding the potential royalties Sony would be forced to pay if it is ultimately found guilty of violating patents, LG reportedly wants between $2.50 and $2.55 for each device sold. By those figures, $150-180 million would be owed for devices sold in the past, and with future payments, LG would look to receive in excess of $350 million. Whether it will ever see a penny is a matter that remains to be seen.
Original Article : http://www.1up.com/news/playstation-3-set-free-europe