Sony ordered to stop selling PlayStation in US


29 Mar 2005

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Sony has been ordered by a US court to stop selling its PlayStation consoles in the US and has been fined US$90.7m pending an appeal. The ruling came after Sony was found guilty of violating Immersion Corp’s “dual shock” controller technology.

The ruling covers all of Sony’s games consoles, including the recently launched PlayStation Portable console. So far it is estimated that Sony has sold more than one million of the handheld devices in the US alone.

The court named some 47 PlayStation games in its judgment, including titles Gran Tourisimo, Final Fantasy and Metal Gear Solid.

Immersion claims that Sony’s implementation of force feedback in its PlayStation 2 and original PlayStation consoles infringes on its patents.

Microsoft is understood to have paid Immersion US$26m two years ago to settle similar claims surrounding its PC joysticks and other products.

Sony has been successful in resisting such charges for the past few years but emerged unsuccessful last year when a US judge sided with Immersion and ordered the company to stump up US$82m.

The latest judgement orders Sony to pay up the US$82m plus an additional US$8.7m in interest.

Sony has said that it will appeal the decision and will continue to sell its PlayStation 2 product in the US while the appeals process continues.

By John Kennedy