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RIP Lik-Sang

October 24, 2006

According to this announcement from game importer Lik-Sang,the company’s gone out of business due to numerous lawsuits thrown at them from Sony, stating that “Lik-Sang infringed its trade marks, copyright and registered design rights by selling Sony PSP consoles from Asia to European customers, and have recently obtained a judgment in the High Court of London (England) rendering Lik-Sang’s sales of PSP consoles unlawful.”. Sony, in its defense, said that it was only trying to protect its consumers from “from being sold hardware that does not conform to strict EU or UK consumer safety standards, due to voltage supply differences et cetera”.

Now I don’t know much about international trade law, but to be honest, that sounds like a load of bullshit to me. I’ve never needed to import anything from Lik-Sang, but I have imported games and consoles from the US because the markups in Asian backwaters like the Philippines can be ludicrous sometimes (for example, a DS Lite in one of our biggest Toy chains costs roughly $200). Every single time I’ve done this I’ve been very careful about region coding and checking the voltage supply differences etc. I bought a voltage supply regulator because my Gamecube was 110V and our sockets run 220V. What’s my point?

That anyone who imports games and consoles will most likely be savvy enough to recognize that the item he’s buying may not be entirely suited for the area he lives in, and that there are workarounds he has to adjust to. He (or she) knows the he’s taking a risk by importing but he’s decided that it’s the best choice because of a ton of reasons, not the least of which is that the hardware they’re buying may not have been released yet where they are. I’m not exactly sure what Sony has to gain by pulling such a maneuver, except maybe to protect Sony Europe’s income.

On the flipside, Lik-Sang seem to have overracted somewhat to the lawsuit, which at worst would force them to just stop selling some shit to Europe. Sure it’d be another dent in their armor, but they’ve survived worse right? And going out in flames by naming executives who’ve ordered PSPs from them just seems a little…childish, not to mention unethical. Why ruin your credibility by throwing customer confidentiality out the window?

4 Comments leave one →
  1. October 25, 2006 2:20 am

    Sony says that Lik-Sang skipped out on the court date, and therefore haven’t paid them a dime yet. Meaning that Lik-Sang had no reason to shut down. It seems like once they were hit with the lawsuits, they blew their already Sony-hating tops and came out gun blazing and brains missing. Also, the way they announced it was waiting till people got to the buy page to spring the news, like a spiteful tease. Nice try getting the gamers on your side when you jumped the gun, but they can switch sides.

    Now witness Play-Asia’s stock rise.

  2. frisby permalink
    October 25, 2006 2:38 am

    I think that Lik-Sang has their hands in more than their name.
    No no, they don’t have an opium operation or anything, I just think someone called out one of their faces, so the face retreated. Someone cashing out their chips so fast without even a hesitation makes me wonder what lies beneath the happy controller toting Asian logo…

    No more X-Files for me.

  3. October 25, 2006 12:40 pm

    Although I also think Lik-Sang’s response to the press was a bit over-the-top, Sony made the preemptive strike, and they were unnecessarily rough: they set a law suit on SEVERAL European contries, so that Lik-Sang had no chance to even start defending themselves due to the price of hiring that many lawyers.

    The most likely reason Lik-Sang skipped out on the court date was so that they could continue selling stuff before they get officially shut down. They will need the money!

    Honestly, if this doesn’t show you Sony’s true colors, I don’t know what will…

  4. October 30, 2006 12:12 pm

    I have ordered from Lik-Sang and the 2 packages were shipped from Germany. Now with that whole European Union, they probably didn’t want the headache.

    I personally think that it is BS. I agree Ryan. Most people who import know what to expect and outside of that, it’s just greed on Sony’s part.

    Corporations, 1
    Consumers, f*cked again.

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