Thanks to Alan for emailing us that Lik-Sang.com, the popular gaming retailer from Hong Kong, has today announced that it is forced to close down due to multiple legal actions brought against it by Sony Computer Entertainment Europe Limited and Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. 🙁 Sony claimed that Lik-Sang infringed its trade marks, copyright and registered design rights by selling Sony PSP consoles from Asia to European customers, and have recently obtained a judgment in the High Court of London (England) rendering Lik-Sang’s sales of PSP consoles unlawful.
This is terrible, I’ve bought so much that I couldn’t get anywhere else but from Asia at Lik-Sang and now their gone. The last item I bought were the only decent DS screen protectors on the market that were available from them. But it’s true, most people I know who bought from them imported the first PSP’s or the later new white PSP’s from them. The reason everyone’s upset over this is because they offered a service that was wanted, needed. Sony’s copyright protection lawsuit is a poor excuse, because the people importing Sony products, know they need a different voltage adapter (explained below).
Of course what’s really going on is that Sony and European retailers missed a lot of money this way. I’ve heard Sony have been doing this to a lot of UK import stores as well, none of whom can afford the lengthy court cases with expensive lawyers, so Sony wins by default. But be sure to read on, so you know the story from Lik-Sang’s side.
As of today, Lik-Sang.com will not be in the position to accept any new orders and will cancel and refund all existing orders that have already been placed. Furthermore, Lik-Sang is working closely with banks and PayPal to refund any store credits held by the company, and the customer support department is taking care of any open transactions such as pending RMAs or repairs and shipping related matters. The staff of Lik-Sang will make sure that nobody will get hurt in the crossfire of this ordeal.
A Sony spokesperson declined to comment directly on the lawsuit against Lik-Sang, but recently went on to tell Gamesindustry.biz that “ultimately, we’re trying to protect consumers from being sold hardware that does not conform to strict EU or UK consumer safety standards, due to voltage supply differences et cetera; is not – in PS3’s case – backwards compatible with either PS1 or PS2 software; will not play European Blu-Ray movies or DVDs; and will not be covered by warranty”.
Lik Sang strongly disagrees with Sony’s opinion that their customers need this kind of protection and pointed out that PSP consoles shipped from Lik-Sang contained genuine Sony 100V-240V AC Adapters that carry CE and other safety marks and are compatible world wide. All PSP consoles were in conformity with all EU and UK consumer safety regulations.
Furthermore, Sony have failed to disclose to the London High Court that not only the world wide gaming community in more than 100 countries relied on Lik-Sang for their gaming needs, but also Sony Europe’s very own top directors repeatedly got their Sony PSP hard or software imports in nicely packed Lik-Sang parcels with free Lik-Sang Mugs or Lik-Sang Badge Holders, starting just two days after Japan’s official release, as early as 14th of December 2004 (more than nine months earlier than the legal action). The list of PSP related Sony Europe orders reads like the who’s who of the videogames industry, and includes Ray Maguire (Managing Director, Sony Computer Entertainment Europe Ltd), Alan Duncan (UK Marketing Director, Sony Computer Entertainment Europe Ltd), Chris Sorrell (Creative Director, Sony Computer Entertainment Europe Ltd), Rob Parkin (Development Director, Sony Computer Entertainment Europe Limited), just to name a few.
“Today is Sony Europe victory about PSP, tomorrow is Sony Europeâ€™s ongoing pressure about PlayStation 3. With this precedent set, next week could already be the stage for complaints from Sony America about the same thing, or from other console manufacturers about other consoles to other regions, or even from any publisher about any specific software title to any country they donâ€™t see fit. Itâ€™s the beginning of the end… of the World as we know it”, stated Pascal Clarysse, formerly known as the Marketing Manager of Lik-Sang.com.
“Blame it on Sony. That’s the latest dark spot in their shameful track record as gaming industry leader. The Empire finally ‘won’, few dominating retailers from the UK probably will rejoice the news, but everybody else in the gaming world lost something today.”