Sony is laying down the law in regards to importing its consoles - doing so without their permission is against the law. The news follows Sony's court victory over online retailer Lik-Sang in a case concerning the grey importing of the PSP. Judge Michael Fysh found that Lik-Sang was in breach of intellectual property rights when it sold Japanese PSPs to European consumers.

Sony is taking a firm stance on importing and looks set to follow up actions it took over the PSP all over again for the launch of the PS3.

"The law is clear; grey importing PS2, PSP or PS3 into the EU, without the express permission of SCE is illegal. Therefore, we will utilise the full scope of the law to put a stop to any retailers who chose to do this," a Sony rep said to "Ultimately, we're trying to protect consumers from being sold hardware that does not conform to strict EU or UK consumer safety standards, due to voltage supply differences et cetera; is not - in PS3's case - backwards compatible with either PS1 or PS2 software; will not play European Blu-Ray movies or DVDs; and will not be covered by warranty."

There's no doubt that PlayStation 3 imports will be in high demand in Europe, given that North America and Japan get the console in November, which is likely to be at least four months prior to the PlayStation 3 launch in Europe. What actions Sony takes to prevent PS3 importing is yet to be seen, but the platform holder has already shown that it's more than willing to take the matter to the courts.