Canadian peripheral firm Dbrand has introduced a new ‘version 2.0’ of its popular black PS5 faceplates, just days after pulling their original design following a threat of legal action from Sony.
Dbrand’s $50 Darkplates went on sale in February and within a few hours had sold out of stock until May.
However, in a statement posted on Saturday, the company declared that Darkplates were “dead”, following a cease and desist letter from Sony Interactive Entertainment‘s lawyers threatening to sue if it continued selling them.
Now, in a self-assured statement on its own subreddit (and a product page on its website that says “checkmate, lawyers”), Dbrand has revealed a new line of PS5 faceplates, which it calls Darkplates 2.0 and claims is safe from future lawsuits.
“While we appreciate all the armchair legal advice that filtered in over the weekend,” the statement reads, “the reality of this Darkplates dispute is quite simple.
“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 claims the new design is different enough that it “successfully closes the loop on this dispute and neutralises any future infringement claims from Sony”, adding that its decision to add vents to the side of the plate to help with cooling distinguishes it further.
“Happy to license this design to you, Sony,” the company teases. “You’ll find that our rates are outrageous.”
The company has also introduced new colour schemes as well as black. Acknowledging that “some people seem to be oddly attached to their whiter-than-West-Virginia colour scheme”, it’s also selling white faceplates with the vents included.
A third option is coloured with the same shade of grey as the original PlayStation. ” Colour-matched to a retro console which shall remain nameless, it’s perfect for those among you who miss the old Sony,” Dbrand says.
The statement ends with a bullish warning that if Sony wants to try suing it for this new design it should be prepared to lose.
Considering whether if Sony was still going to sue it, it concluded: “Probably. 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.”