Dbrand was one of the first companies that started producing and selling a matte black PS5 faceplate called the “Darkplates”. Back when the custom decal maker first listed the product, the company openly asked Sony to sue them by literally listing the product with a “Go ahead, sue us” description. Their dreams have now come true as Sony has officially taken legal steps against Dbrand and the custom PS5 faceplates.
Over the weekend, Dbrand took down the Darkplates from its product lineup. This was after the company received a cease and desist from Sony. The letter Sony sent Dbrand lists a number of grievances including how the Darkplates replicate Sony’s iconic (and so-called patented) symbol design and plastic outer shell.
Sony asks that Dbrand immediately remove the Darkplates from their store and take down all marketing and promotion materials. The company also needs to cease the production and sales of the faceplate. In addition, they can no longer list any product configurations on dbrand.com that align with Sony Interactive Entertainment’s PS5 faceplates. If they do, they will face a fine of up to $150,000.
The cease and desist requires that Dbrand no longer produces any further PS5 faceplates on a permanent basis. However, Dbrand says they are not complying with this requirement. The company did release a statement in regards to the takedown from SIE. In a Reddit post, they openly trash Sony calling them “terrorists”. The company goes on to post a rather salty explanation of the events. According to Dbrand, Sony claims that the faceplate design of the Darkplates infringes on their patents. This is especially in regards to the symbols printed on the inside of the shell.
Sony also says that it wants the PS5 faceplates to remain exclusively associated with the brand.
Thanks to our client’s extensive marketing of the PS5 console, its commercial popularity and its massive earned media coverage, the console’s unique product configuration, including without limitation the two vertical faceplates, has become exclusively associated with [Sony] in the minds of consumers and has come to symbolize considerable goodwill (the PS5 console design, together with the PlayStation Word Marks and Logos, the “PlayStation Marks”).
So Dbrand is no longer selling the Darkplates and Sony doesn’t have any other option on the market as a replacement to its standard white versions. However, the cease and desist perhaps does hint at more to come. Sony will release an alternative version of the PS5 faceplates in the future. The console has been designed to accommodate this. We just don’t know when this will happen.