Dbrand, the popular maker of cases, skins, and, now formerly, PS5 darkplates has been ordered by Sony to cease selling the PS5 customization faceplates. The order comes in the form of a cease and desist letter from Sony. Dbrand announced on the Dbrand subreddit along with excerpts from their communication with Sony and their arguments against Sony’s decision.
Sony claims that Dbrand is infringing on its intellectual property by selling the darkplates. Sony complains that Dbrand is copying the design of the PS5’s faceplates and that any faceplates which replicate the original Sony ones are infringing on Sony’s intellectual property. Dbrand claims that Sony did not provide any patent information with the claim. Dbrand believes that Sony is claiming ownership of the faceplate design because of how popular the console is. It’s not clear at this time whether Sony does in fact hold the patents for the faceplate design and whether or not the patents that Sony does hold for the PS5 would actually cover the darkplates that Dbrand has been selling. It isn’t uncommon for companies to produce unlicensed accessories and customization options for consoles.
Despite Dbrand’s questioning of whether or not Sony actually possesses the patents required to stop Dbrand from selling darkplates the company has ceased selling them anyway. Dbrand is claiming that as darkplates are replacement parts for the PS5 they should be allowed to continue selling them. Currently, Sony does not sell replacement faceplates for the PS5, although the faceplates are easily changeable. However, Dbrand speculates that they have been ordered to stop because Sony is planning their own official PS5 faceplates. Dbrand then claims that their superior product quality would be a cause for concern for Sony because Sony would not be able to compete with them.
Despite Dbrand’s combative post, the fact is that they are no longer selling PS5 darkplates. Whether they will be able to in the future is probably something for the lawyers to decide.