Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Sony Loses Appeal In Customs And Excise Case.

Sony has lost its five year legal battle to have the PlayStation 2 classified as a computer rather than a games console after the Court of Appeal ruled against the company.

As a result, Sony will not be entitled to the estimated GBP 34.2 million (50 million Euro) rebate for import duties that would have been payable had the court determined that the PS2 is a "digital processing unit".

Although games consoles are no longer subject to EU import charges, they were between 2001 and 2004 - while computers have always been exempt.

The appeal was dismissed by Lord Justice Chadwick, who denied Sony the right to take the case to the European Court of Justice.

In his ruling, the judge also took the opportunity to criticise Sony's lawyers for producing a skeleton argument which "goes beyond what can be regarded as acceptable written advocacy" and "exceeds the bounds of propriety."

"I am not here protesting about its inordinate length, nor about its discursive quality, nor about its frequent and unnecessary resort to hyperbole; although all those unappealing features are present," the judge continued.

"My concern is with the repeated aspersions that are cast in that document on the intellectual honesty of the High Court Judge from whose decision this appeal is brought... Fearless advocacy is one thing; intemperate advocacy is another."

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