Sony has stated its intentions to prosecute companies for what it calls "grey importing" of its products, including the PlayStation 3, from other regions to within the European Union.
This comes hot on the heels of Sony's court win against Hong Kong-based online retailer Lik-Sang, the second time the two have clashed, this time over Lik-Sang's selling Japanese PSPs to EU customers. The judge found in favour of Sony and deemed that various intellectual property rights had been violated by Lik-Sang's activities.
Sony also asserted its intentions to prosecute other retailers who sell the PS3--which is launching around three months earlier in Japan and the US--to Europeans desperate to get their hands on it for Christmas.
Sony stated: "The law is clear, grey importing PS2, PSP, or PS3 into the EU, without the express permission of SCE is illegal. Therefore, we will utilise the full scope of the law to put a stop to any retailers who chose to do this."
The company explained the reasoning behind this policy as trying to "protect" European consumers "from being sold hardware that does not conform to strict EU or UK consumer safety standards (due to voltage supply differences etc.), 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."
When asked if Sony would be pursuing private customers, such as those who advertise PS3s on auction sites such as eBay and offer to ship their own consoles overseas (for a price), a spokesperson said that Sony currently had no comment.