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)
 

lokomelo

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Out of curiosity I've just searched "PS5 faceplate" on AliExpress. There are, as expected, many options there for a very cheap price. So why sony bothered with dbrand is the question, because for the console owner the options will still remain.
 

FAST6191

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How is this any different than selling custom shells and buttons for the controller ?
If I am being a pedant. Most not quite patent, not copyright and not trademark but still intellectual property laws (design right, registered designs, design patents and so forth depending upon where you are) make a distinction between functional and non functional parts. Buttons for controllers would be a functional part, and shells in a great many cases (hah) would be as well but that also gets more fun -- sometimes shells are functional (cooling, inherent part of strength*, damage protection) but sometimes they just look cool (as might be the case here, certainly their language appears to reflect that).

*see in normal design circles the difference between monocoque wherein the shell notably adds to/constitutes the strength of a design and conventional frame + "basically there to keep the rain out" skin.

Out of curiosity I've just searched "PS5 faceplate" on AliExpress. There are, as expected, many options there for a very cheap price. So why sony bothered with dbrand is the question, because for the console owner the options will still remain.
Ask your lawyers to take on Chinese company and "hahahahahahaha" will be the result, possibly with a consultation fee for that as you are clearly stupid and will probably pay it. Somewhere in there is probably also the quality issue of most such parts as well.
Ask your lawyers to put a boot to the neck of somewhere else that is based in (haven't checked these guys but fair bet) and deals in first world markets and different game entirely.
You also have the deterrence factor for when another company wants to try it on. Though I am still at a loss for what they are deterring and why they care to deter it.
 

Cyph3r_

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Never really found them that interesting since they're rude to pretty much everybody.

I'm guessing Sony is planning on selling faceplates in the future. Like Take-Two before them, they're suing everyone who does something before them. They should've release other colors rather than sticking to only white.
I can already see them yellowing...ew.
 
Last edited by Cyph3r_,

tech3475

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I don't get why Sony doesn't just license the ability to make replacement plates, it would be relatively easy money for them.
 

stanleyopar2000

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wow does sony has plans to make their own faceplates? :D

No, probably some limited edition bullshit with purposely limited stock when the PS5 starts to plateau in sales that they'll release. in bLaCK. You think they would give their consumers the CHEAPER option?

God I fucking hate arrogant post-PS4 release Sony.
 

D34DL1N3R

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I don't get why Sony doesn't just license the ability to make replacement plates, it would be relatively easy money for them.

That has already been answered. As Cyan stated, not enough people even care about face plates for it to be profitable to Sony. A lawsuit gets them more. ;)
 

slaphappygamer

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In theory, the other sellers will take note and remove their faceplates.

In reality, nothing changes and faceplates will continue to be sold.

Sony, your actions here accomplished nothing and make you look like a crying child.
 

MasterJ360

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I don't get why Sony doesn't just license the ability to make replacement plates, it would be relatively easy money for them.
Most likely b/c they tend to sell black ps5 models in the future since every new gen console will have some sort of color variation or model in the long run. So a faceplate could halt some sales, which in my honest opinion shouldn't matter due to this Covid era- everything tech will go rampant in sales
 

FAST6191

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They should post 3d files, so people can create their own custom ones with 3d printing. No sales, just open source their project.
Easier said then done, especially if people want the artwork under a layer of clear plastic thing that many of these designs were, and vinyls generally aim to be an acceptable take on. Not to mention the size of these plates is beyond what most 3d printers (even the ones you might hire out locally/find in the local library) are capable of, and most 3d printers suck at low thickness effectively sheet goods (never mind that in "art" grade rather than purely functional).
 

64bitmodels

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I think white plastic PlayStation 5 is ugly. There, I said it.

Controller is also ugly. It will turn yellow in time. Bad design choice.
white consoles in general are kind of ugly. the only exceptions i can think of are SNES, dreamcast, wii, and PS1
 

The Real Jdbye

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What do the faceplates have to do with goodwill? What kind of statement is that? It makes no sense.

Uhh...probably this:

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.
Maybe they spoke to a lawyer after they wrote that provocative message and the lawyer suggested they comply.

Either way, this is fucking stupid. No idea what Sony thinks they are gaining by threatening to sue over this.
Don't Sony have to prove that they are somehow being harmed by this product in order to have a basis for winning a lawsuit?
 

Tom Bombadildo

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Nice, maybe my Darkplates will be worth lots of money soon, thanks Sony! ;O;


But yeah, fucking stupid as noted etc etc. It's 100% because Sony is going to shit out their own custom plates eventually and want all that sweet money for themselves. Still, I'd rather they just get it over with already instead of fucking suing people who get there first, or license the plates out to make whatever shitty cash they want.
 

SG854

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What do the faceplates have to do with goodwill? What kind of statement is that? It makes no sense.


Maybe they spoke to a lawyer after they wrote that provocative message and the lawyer suggested they comply.

Either way, this is fucking stupid. No idea what Sony thinks they are gaining by threatening to sue over this.
Don't Sony have to prove that they are somehow being harmed by this product in order to have a basis for winning a lawsuit?
They want to gain money.

If Sony can actually win a lawsuit like this it just shows how fucked up the law can be and how it can be worded to side with Sony. Using it to stifle competition and having control of the market.

The power is still in the consumer. We can not support companies that do this crap. And not buy their products after they pull stunts like this. But it's just a face plate so people aren't going to care about this lawsuit very much and still stupidly give Sony money for possibly their over priced versions. That's why companies get away with crap like this. Because people enable this stuff. I'm not buying any face plate from Sony fuck them.
 
Last edited by SG854,

tech3475

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That has already been answered. As Cyan stated, not enough people even care about face plates for it to be profitable to Sony. A lawsuit gets them more. ;)

Only if they win or maybe settle a lawsuit, the lawyers are the only ones who profit until then.

Sony also wouldn’t necessarily need to be the ones making it, just get a percentage of whatever the licensee makes so even if these flop Sony still wins.

Most likely b/c they tend to sell black ps5 models in the future since every new gen console will have some sort of color variation or model in the long run. So a faceplate could halt some sales, which in my honest opinion shouldn't matter due to this Covid era- everything tech will go rampant in sales

Whilst we’ll likely see console variants, the previous consoles weren’t designed with user removeable covers like the PS5. I doubt replaceable covers would have too much of an impact on console sales, I’d expect limited editions would still require a console purchases.

Might even be more profitable per unit via selling plates in some cases as opposed to console sales.

They should post 3d files, so people can create their own custom ones with 3d printing. No sales, just open source their project.

That would still invite legal issues, or at the very least a C&D. I’m not even sure these would be easy to 3D print because of their shape. You’d likely need support which you’d have to put additional effort to remove and make look nice.
 
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