Dbrand black front panels

image: Dbrand

You may not remember that February 2021 was actually 19 years ago, but Earlier this year, phone and console skin makers Dbrand released a line of black PS5 faceplates. However, the company didn’t stop at just releasing them – it also bizarre ways got Sony to sue them, and Sony is now following suit.

A page from Dbrand's website that knew that day was coming

A page from Dbrand’s website that knew that day was coming
image: Dbrand

As The edge report, Dbrand’s “Darkplates” were recently removed from the company’s store, and all purchase links now direct to a page that just lists all of the news articles that have been written about the plates. including the Gizmodo story linked above.

Why are you pulling them now? Since the company received a cease and desist letter from Sony, part of it says:

SHE has found that dbrand advertises and sells console accessories in a way that is deeply worrying to our customer. First, dbrand sells faceplates for the PSS console (both in the Standard Edition and in the Digital Edition configuration) that replicate SIE’s proprietary product design. Any faceplates that take the form of our customer’s PSS product configuration or a similar configuration and that are: manufactured and sold without SIE’s permission violate our customer’s intellectual property rights to the distinctive console design.

Second, dbrand sells skins for SIE devices that have the PlayStation family mark. Your company is not allowed to sell products that bear unauthorized representations of our customers’ PlayStation trademarks. The following still image from one of dbrand’s instructional videos shows a dbrand skin with an identical design to the PlayStation Family Mark.

For their part, Dbrand have responded with an extensive company shit post on Redditwhich starts with “very much like your hopes and dreams, Darkplates are dead” before finally real legal defense of their position and saying that the plates do not violate any existing trademarks. Dbrand suspects that Sony’s real motivation here is to shut down competitors before its own first-party replacement panels for the PS5 are revealed.

Note that this isn’t the first company Sony has been following like this. CustomizeMyPlates was also forced to stop selling its own colored replacement plates in 2020although in their case they resumed sales earlier this year and have been undisturbed since then, perhaps because their versions don’t include tiny logos that look very much like actual PlayStation icons.

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