Sony Interactive Entertainment has filed a lawsuit against Prizm Labs, a small-scale private studio, over an in-development tabletop gaming console called PlayTable. It’s basically a giant tablet that serves as a virtual board game, while allowing users to create their own RFID-enabled (Amiibo-like) set pieces for a personalized gaming experience. Sony finds the PlayTable name to be infringing upon its PlayStation-related trademarks and hence, has taken a legal stance on the matter.
According to the court documents submitted in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California last month, Prizm Labs Inc aka Blok Party has been “intentionally” misleading consumers since 2016 when it registered PlayTable as a gaming console and PlayNetwork as a game-related service. Both are confusingly similar variations of PlayStation and PlayStation Network within the same categories.
Despite efforts from Sony to resolve the dispute without litigation, Prizm Labs has continued its infringing conduct on all PlayStation-related trademarks. Hence, why a lawsuit became necessary to cease any further trading on the “reputation and significant goodwill” that Sony has earned among customers since 1994.
Sony also reminded the court that the PlayStation brand is one of the most valuable assets under its corporate banner. Sales of PlayStation 4 have exceeded 100 million units, greater than the sales of any other gaming console currently on the market. In addition, PlayStation Network continues to grow with over 94 million active users. PlayTable, as well as PlayNetwork, are both trying to ride on the coattails a world-renowned gaming franchise.
Prizm Labs continues to advertise, promote, offer to sell and, on information and belief, sell reservations for consumers to purchase gaming consoles using or bearing the “PlayTable” name.
Sony wants Prizm Labs restrained and to immediately cease infringing upon all PlayStation-related trademarks. Sony also wants relief against Prizm Labs for deceiving the public to falsely associate PlayTable with PlayStation and PlayNetwork with PlayStation Network. Finally, Sony wants Prizm Labs to hand over all registered trademarks or domain names that are similarly identical to the PlayStation brand.
PlayTable prides itself on being the first of its kind. The tabletop gaming console incorporates blockchain technology to merge physical and digital play. An open beta was held earlier this year with nearly fifteen games in total, including Catan, Battlegrid, and Texas Hold’em Poker. More games like Avalon, Codenames, and Cards Against Humanity are on the way. Prizm Labs wants its console to boast at least thirty games before the impending launch, which should be early next year.
For those interested, PlayTable will retail for $600, or $450 for early supporters worldwide. Attached are the court documents for those who want to read through the lawsuit: