Recap: If you were a company being threatened with legal action by a multi-national corporation such as Sony, what course of action would you choose? For PS5 faceplate maker Dbrand, the answer is to mock the Japanese giant and its lawyers while releasing a new version of the product that landed it in trouble.
The story began back in February when Dbrand’s Darkplates—matt black faceplates for the PS5 that gave the console a more classic PlayStation look—went on pre-sale. Confident that Sony wouldn’t target the company in the same way it had others selling similar products, Dbrand told it to “go ahead, sue us.”
It looked as if Dbrand was about to get its wish last week when Sony sent it a cease-and-desist letter. The Darkplates were pulled from sale, and Dbrand declared them “dead.” The Canadian firm used Reddit to explain what happened and the reason behind its initial hubris.
“You can’t successfully sue someone over an alleged ‘design infringement’ without a registered design patent. Sony did not have a registered design patent for the PS5’s side panels when we launched Darkplates (or for many, many months following the release).”
“We didn’t think they’d ever get one. They did. Here we are.”
— dbrand (@dbrand) October 19, 2021
But Dbrand isn’t backing down: check out Darkplates 2.0. It says the new product has a revamped design with several features that differentiate it from the PS5, including a vent that it says improves the console’s stock performance. “Checkmate, lawyers,” it confidently states.
The new versions are available in more than just black. Darkplates 2.0 also come in the PS5’s standard white as well as grey, the latter of which is described as “color-matched to a retro console which shall remain nameless, it’s perfect for those among you who miss the old Sony.”
You have to admire Dbrand’s cojones. It still believes Sony will “probably” sue the company, but adds that “the difference this time is that we’ve created an original design for which they have no basis to allege infringement. If they want to try, they’d better be ready to pay our legal fees.”