“As far as importers of PS3s are concerned, they should bear in mind that any profit they may make from importing the consoles into Europe without Sony’s consent this Christmas may well be short lived,” Pahlabod stated. “They run the real risk of defending lengthy and costly trademark infringement proceedings.”
She adds that anyone trying their luck won’t have any excuse as far as the law is concerned – and Sony should keep a close eye on importers. “It is up to the grey importer to prove that consent to resell the goods in Europe has been given by the trademark owner,” she said.
“Brand owners should be aware of their rights with regard to grey importing, monitor closely the sale of their goods and where possible ensure that their trademark registrations are kept fully up to date.”
Sony maintains that gamers should wait for the official European launch in March, but that hasn't stopped some unscrupulous traders from taking full advantage of the huge demand for Sony's next generation console. The platform holder recently got in touch with Trading Standards when it discovered a company named Mastercash ran a poster campaign promsing PS3s before Christmas, and told MCV:
"SCEE has been made aware of this promotion, and we are investigating it further. We have forwarded the details onto Trading Standards."