Dbrand no longer selling PS5 faceplates after Sony threatens legal action

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Selling faceplates for the PlayStation 5 seems to be a lost cause. Last year, a storefront called PlateStation, which was selling customized faceplates for the PS5, was forced to stop after threat of legal action from Sony. A few months later, Dbrand, known for their tech decals decided to get in on the market, by offering their own black faceplates called "darkplates" for the console, even going so far as to joke about the matter by advertising them and saying, "go ahead, sue us" to Sony. The latter took it seriously, as they've done just that. A cease and desist order was issued by Sony to Dbrand, which resulted in the latter being forced to remove their PS5 faceplates from sale; if you now attempt to visit the store page link for them, it redirects you to a list of news reports specifically about Dbrand taking the darkplates off the market.

Quotes from the letter were posted by Dbrand's marketing team to the brand's subreddit, with a breakdown of the incident from their point of view. Sony alleges that the shapes used on the darkplates infringe upon their trademarked PlayStation face button symbols. Dbrand clearly uses a cheeky spin on the PlayStation look by using the same square, circle, triangle, cross look: a cross-shaped skull and bones, a circular radioactive symbol, a square robot head, and a triangle with a rune in the center. That isn't the only issue with the darkplates, though, as further on in the letter, Sony's legal team mentions that "the two vertical faceplates has become exclusively associated with [Sony] in the minds of consumers, and has come to symbolize considerable goodwill", meaning they find the sale of third-party faceplates to be an issue regardless.

Quote from Dbrand:
While we strongly believe in the consumer's right to customize and modify their hardware with aftermarket components, your Darkplates are now a collector's item. You know what they say - you either die a Darkplates owner, or you live long enough to see yourself become the scalper.

In closing, fuck you and especially fuck Sony. Talk soon.

:arrow: Source: Legal document (courtesy of Vox Media)
 

Xzi

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I could see the platestation name confusion thing but this... don't know what got into Sony here.
Uhh...probably this:
saying, "go ahead, sue us" to Sony
After a stunt like that you would think they'd at least be willing to risk taking the matter to court, and not wimp out the second Sony simply "threatens" legal action.
 
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FAST6191

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Every console manufacturer is super greedy now. Microsoft is the lesser of the evils, though Windows has its share of problems
From where I sit Microsoft pioneered the use of chips to lock down third party controllers (not that I have liked any third party controllers since the 16 bit era) so are far from saints in this one.

Custom plates though... that pretty much has always been the domain of consumers whether it has been phone shells*, car parts, laptop covers... even more so when you seemingly build it with the intention of allowing end users to do things basically trivially.

The scope of law to do things under is also seriously limited; assuming you are not troubling copyright with the art you put into it, or trademarks maybe (the send up these guys did of the PS button logo thing in most things I have ever seen would be hard pressed to say risks confusion of endorsement by Sony, aka one of the main points of trademarks) then you are pretty much in design rights and registered design (both occasionally called slightly different things in different countries but much the same idea and implementation, industrial design right is a reasonable start for a search with the US usually going for design patents) which usually specifically excludes bolt on parts and you are then down to trade dress colours and shapes maybe for specific classes of items (amusingly enough the "Samsung made a phone with rounded corners" thing starts to come into focus there).
I could see them getting something on the defensive front to avoid the "haha Sony can't make custom parts for own device" thing if someone else slips in there but actively pursuing it... the mind boggles. The closest I have is they don't want scantily clad anime characters or whatever showing up in videos made by the kids but that is weak, though maybe it is the pure greed thing and they think they can monopolise or bless those that prostrate to them for the chance to make (and have approved).

*granted there was that apple thing a while back with the backplates of different colours but that seemed to be more the guy speaking to the factory in China to get unauthorised parts.
 
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SG854

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This is greedy. Just like the right to repair these companies are just plain greedy.

I had no idea geometric shapes were trademarked. And what's stupid is that it was a cheeky spin on these shapes.



the two vertical faceplates has become exclusively associated with [Sony] in the minds of consumers, and has come to symbolize considerable goodwill", meaning they find the sale of third-party faceplates to be an issue regardless
This is bullshit reason and Sony knows this is not the reason why they shut this down. Goodwill my ass. It's all greed and control of the market. It's bullshit to think a 3rd party item will ruin poor little weak helpless Sony's image boo who.

Imagine Nintendo coming out and saying these 3rd party controllers ruin Nintendo's image of goodwill so we are shutting them down.
 

SilverWah

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*Sony creates a console with customisable features*
'Dear ladies and gentleman, introducing faceplates for more money down the road!'
*3rd parties fabricate faceplates for said console*
'Oh no no no, that's not allowed. We want that money. You don't deserve our profits. We'll meet in court for your misdeeds'.
 

pedro702

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how are faceplates illegal? i mean there are faceplates for 3ds consoles for years, phone covers and so on, and a faceplate is just plastic so i dont think sony can stop anyone from making plastic plates that happen to fit into a ps5 console... unless they pust ps logo on them i dont see any grounds to forbid anyone imo.

switch has so many custom stuff to buy like buttons and covers and shells and whatnot and now sony doesnt want to allow ps5 to be costumizable?

im guessing they really want to sell those special edition ps5 consoles down the line where the only difference will be faceplates.
 
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