Games developer Prizm Labs has been sued by Sony Interactive Entertainment over the latter’s “PlayTable”, a tablet-like games console that its designers claim will allow players to interact with various boardgames displayed on the screen using physical items such as dice, cards, and figures. Sony has objected to the name “PlayTable”, claiming that it infringes upon the raft of trademarks it holds in relation to its massively popular PlayStation consoles.
The PlayTable was announced in 2016 and remains in development, although Prizm Labs have said they intend to release the device sometime in 2020. Prizm Labs registered trademarks for both “PlayTable” and an online network called “PlayNetwork”, but Sony immediately objected on the grounds that the terms were similar not only to “PlayStation” but also Sony’s own online service “PlayStation Network”, which currently has close to 100 million users. Ongoing talks between Sony and Prizm have now reached an impasse, with Sony launching formal infringement proceedings in the California courts.
According to Sony’s lawsuit, “Prizm Labs’ unauthorized conduct is likely to confuse consumers as to the source of Prizm Labs’ product and/or a relationship between Prizm Labs and [Sony Interactive Entertainment] when, in fact, there is no affiliation or relationship between Prizm Labs and SIE. Prizm Labs’ conduct is likely to cause dilution of the PLAYSTATION mark by diminishing its distinctiveness”.
Sony is demanding, amongst other things, that Prizm Labs assign to Sony any and all infringing trademarks.