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Sony sues online retailer over PSP

Lik-Sang.com is chided for selling to customers in the U.K. before the console's official release there.

Gaming
Sony is suing an online retailer in Hong Kong for trying to sell PSP consoles in the U.K. before the official September launch in the region.

Lik-Sang.com said that Sony Computer Entertainment Europe and Sony Computer Entertainment filed the complaint in the High Court of Hong Kong. Sony is asking the court to prevent Pacific Game Technology (the company running Lik-Sang.com) from selling the Sony PlayStation Portable, as well as game cartridges and accessories, to customers in the United Kingdom, Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein.

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Sony is also asking for monetary damages. It claims Lik-Sang.com violated its copyrights in early June after Lik-Sang.com mirrored the PSP manual on its Web site, Lik-Sang.com said.

Sony has been cracking down on companies that participate in the underground sale of its products, even to the point of allegedly asking online stores for customer information to track PSP shipments in the U.K.

In June, Sony won an injuncton to halt a one-man retailer called ElectricBirdLand in Britain.

U.K. customers clamoring for the $249.99 consoles have been turning to online retailers to fulfill their gaming needs, often paying $100 more to get their hands on one.

The PSP, also known as a device for playing video games and movies, is already on sale in Japan and the United States. Shipments into the United Kingdom were delayed by about six months to make sure the company had enough for its U.S. launch.

Sony U.K. on June 14 warned Lik-Sang.com that it would take legal action if the manual and any hypertext links to Sony's Web site were not removed, the retailer said. Lik-Sang.com said it complied with Sony's request but is still shocked by Sony's continued legal action, calling it the "most aggressive move against its own customers that a console manufacturer has ever taken in the 30-year history of videogames."

Lik-Sang.com said it is looking at its own legal options to combat Sony's lawsuit.

A representative of Sony U.K. was not immediately available for comment.

This is the second time that Sony has pressed charges against Lik-Sang.com. The Japanese electronics giant sued the Honk Kong retailer for copyright infringement in 2002 in an attempt to stop Lik-Sang.com from selling unauthorized hardware modifications for the Sony PlayStation 2.

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