PS5 custom faceplate maker cancels orders after Sony legal threats

JC Torres - Nov 1, 2020, 11:50pm CST
PS5 custom faceplate maker cancels orders after Sony legal threats

The PlayStation 5’s unconventional design has proven to be quite divisive. While it is quite the sight to behold, sometimes being likened to a trophy, its enormous size and default vertical orientation may have turned off a few PlayStation fans. And, as always, the console will come only in one default color that opens the door for a third-party customization market. That, however, might not be possible if Sony sets its legal hounds on such attempts as it did with a company that tried to make customized faceplates for the upcoming PS5.

It’s not all that unusual for console makers, both Sony and Microsoft, to limit the variations of their boxes. They usually reserve alternative colors and designs for special editions that may or may not sell at a higher price or for a limited time only. There is no shortage of third-party companies offering customization options, often in the form of skins, but one seller tried to take it to the next level and got a rather strange response from Sony.

CustomizeMyPlates.com already changed its name from PlateStation5.com after Sony pointed out trademark infringements. That, however, was only the tip of a bigger legal iceberg. They were once again approached by Sony’s lawyers that warned them about formal legal action should they continue selling and distributing their custom faceplates in any country.

Sony’s legal team apparently considered the PS5 faceplate design as part of their intellectual property, which practically means no one is allowed to make them with Sony’s blessing. This was despite the patents for the faceplates were, according to the seller, still pending approval. An early teardown of the console revealed that the faceplates were easily removable, hence the opportunity to make unofficial faceplates.

That fact plus Sony’s alleged legal threats suggest that the company itself might be looking into selling its own first-party faceplates. That is definitely one legal way of killing competition, though not exactly an agreeable strategy. That said, that doesn’t seem to apply to third-party skins, which the seller does continue to offer on the same website.


Must Read Bits & Bytes