In a move that could have serious repercussions for gamers worldwide, the UK High Court has ruled that noted Hong Kong-based electronics exporter Lik-Sang is in violation of Sony's intellectual property rights when it sells the company's hardware inside the European Economic Area. As many of you know, Lik-Sang has been a primary source for hard-to-find foreign gadgets, exporting such products as Nintendo's DS Lite weeks or months before they launch in the rest of the world. Sony claims that it will continue to pursue grey market importers under the guise of "protecting consumers" from gear that doesn't conform to local safety standards, electrical voltages, and software encoding, even though it would seem that most people purchasing these goods are fully aware of what they're getting into. This development should be especially troubling to European gamers, who may have been hoping to snatch up a PS3 several months before the scheduled rollout there; now, exporters will likely be more wary of shipping consoles to Europe in light of this legal precedent. On a completely separate note, Engadget has recently secured 1,000 PS3 units and a small plane to smuggle them overseas, where we'll be selling them out of the back of a Land Rover on a first come, first served basis for €10,000 apiece (component and HDMI cables not included).

[Via Gamesindustry.biz]

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Lik-Sang busted for grey market imports, European fanboys weep