"Go ahead, sue us." It's a bold strategy for a company to effectively ask a much larger one to sue it, and that's exactly what happened a while back with dbrand. It's a business that creates and sells custom shells, skins, and decals for all kinds of consumer electronics like smartphones and laptops. Not too long ago, dbrand expanded this to include 'Darkplates', replacement faceplates for PlayStation 5 for those who wanted to swap the white panels with black ones. Fast-forward to now, and you can't buy them anymore following a cease and desist from Sony.
Yes, you can no longer purchase the black faceplates from dbrand's website. If you try to visit the page, you'll instead find a list of articles about the subject, and no way to buy the product. The company received the C&D letter from PlayStation's lawyers an undisclosed amount of time ago, and it's resulted in dbrand removing the Darkplates from sale.
The company's brazen and aggressive PR style is once again evident in a lengthy Reddit post, which shares snippets of the cease and desist letter, pointing out flaws in Sony's argument. SIE claims dbrand is infringing on copyright and producing unauthorised, "counterfeit" goods that bear the platform holder's logos. dbrand points out that Sony has failed to cite any patents it holds over the PS5 faceplates' unique shape and design. It also takes issue with the supposed similarity between the PlayStation face button symbols and its "apocalyptic spin" on the shapes. dbrand also suggests Sony's action is in part likely due to it looking to produce or licence out production of PS5 faceplates itself in the future.
To cut a long story short, Sony threatened legal action against dbrand regarding its various PS5 products unless it stopped selling and promoting them. The company says it has complied with Sony's demands "for now".
While dbrand does make some valid observations about Sony's C&D letter and some good points about the sale and purchase of after-market goods — such as the Darkplates at the heart of the matter — it should be remembered that the company goaded Sony to sue in the first place. We're sure this won't be the end of the story, especially as dbrand seems to have quite the mouth on it. If you want to read more about all this, you can check out the Reddit post and the C&D letter through the respective links.