Kabushiki Kaisha Sony Computer Entertainment Inc., Sony Computer Entertainment Europe Limited, Sony Computer Entertainment UK Limited v Ball, and others: ChD 19 Jul 2004

The claimant sought summary judgment in a claim that the defendant had manufactured computer chips which would be used with their playstation computer games consoles to avoid their copy protection systems.
Held: The fact that the chips only stored code temporarily whilst the game was played did not prevent there being an infringement. The chip was an article within the Act. It became an infringing article when the code was loaded in its random access memory. Insofar as the chips were exported, they might only become unlawful in countries where such use was unlawful, and no summary judgment could be given in respect of such items. For those intended for use in the UK, no defence was available and summary judgment was granted. The Electronic technical measure provisions could equally be applied in hardware or software or both. The section creates a tort of strict liability. It is no defence to show that the defendant did not know and had no reason to believe that the devices would be used to make infringing copies: ‘Once a protected technological measure exists, it is a breach of the provisions, for example, to advertise for sale any device, product, component or service which is primarily designed, produced, adapted or performed for the purpose of enabling or facilitating the circumvention of the technological measure.’

The Hon Mr Justice Laddie
Times 21-Oct-2004, [2004] EWHC 1738 (Ch), [2005] FSR 9
Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 296
England and Wales
See AlsoKabushiki Kaisha Sony Computer Entertainment Inc (t/a Sony Computer Entertainment Inc) v Ball and Others ChD 17-May-2004
The claimant sought an order for the defendant to be pursued for contempt of court having filed a statement of truth which was known to be false. . .

Cited by:
CitedHiggs v Regina CACD 24-Jun-2008
The defendant appealed against his conviction under the section. He ran a business fitting modifying chips to games consoles allowing them to play non-certificated games CDs.
Held: The appeal was allowed. It was not suggested that the use of a . .
See AlsoSony Computer Entertainment and Others v. Ball and Others ChD 17-May-2004
Pumfrey J considered the test to be applied when a party applied for leave to commence proceedings for contempt of court against another party: ‘It seems to me, in the light of the judgment in Malgar v. Leach, that the discretion to permit . .
CitedNintendo Company Ltd and Another v Playables Ltd and Another ChD 28-Jul-2010
The claimant said that the defendant was marketing an anti-copyright protection device, and now sought summary judgment.
Held: A partial settlement having been reached, the court should be particularly careful with an unopposed application. . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Intellectual Property, European

Updated: 12 November 2021; Ref: scu.199319