A High Court ruling is to give a helpful meaning as to the meaning of IP ownership in the KK Sony Computer Entertainment and another v Pacific Game Technology (Holding) Ltd  EWHC (Ch) 2509 case.
Sony via its UK subsidiaries marketed its latest PSP PlayStation gaming console in over 100Â countries, including the 24 other member states of the EU. The branded PlayStations are protectedÂ by five Community trade marks, a UK registered trade mark, a UK registered design and a CommunityÂ registered design and copyright in the computerÂs programs, menu icons, surface design and theÂ user manual. This is without a doubt an extensive portfolio of intellectual property rights.
It was all going smoothing until, Hong Kong company, Pacific decided to launch a website thatÂ hosted pages offering video games, consoles and accessories, video games all relating to the PSP.Â These products were exclusive to be marketed in only Japan. Sony sought a court order to protectÂ its IP rights and applied for an order for seeking delivery up, disclosure of names, and anÂ enquiry as to damages or an account of profits and costs.
Â Before granting an order the Court considered the following: (i) whether Sony had agreed to the sale of those PSPs in the EEA – in which case its IP rights would have been exhausted and (ii) whether Pacific, by offering the goods for sale on its website, had committed any infringing acts.Â
The Court finally sided with Sony’s application for relief. In the CourtÂs ruling the residingÂ Judge provided that the offer for sale had taken place not in Hong Kong but in the EEA. It wasÂ also evident that the offer had been made without SonyÂs consent. This was a key fact. The offerÂ to sell was made via the intermediary of a website which did not mean that the offer had not beenÂ made within the EEA:
“… It would make no sense if intellectual property rights in the EEA could be avoided merely by setting up a website outside the EEA crafted to sell within it” (para.27).Â
The Court granted the application for the above interim relief.Â