Sony has finally patented the PlayStation 5’s faceplates after threatening a number of other companies with legal action over making them – sparking speculation that it may begin selling its own variant editions.
A patent filed by the publisher can be found on the US States Patent and Trademark Office website, which states that the patent was officially recognized on November 16.
While it’s released several official controller colorways for PS5, Sony has yet to offer differently colors of the PS5 itself. The patent has caused speculation that Sony may now be planning to sell individual faceplate replacements, perhaps to match the Midnight Black and Cosmic Red DualSense controllers.
As Sony hasn’t officially commented on its reasons for filing the patent (we’ve contacted the company for comment), it isn’t yet clear whether the company has done so for the purpose of producing its own variant faceplates, granting licenses to third-party manufacturers to do the same, or to avoid future legal encounters with companies acting to create their own faceplates without consent from the publisher.
On at least two different occasions since the launch of the PlayStation 5, Sony has threatened companies with legal action over their plans to sell unofficial faceplates to consumers. Last year the company Customize My Plates announced that it was canceling all pre-sales of its custom-ready PS5 faceplates following legal pressure from Sony.
In a statement to IGN, the company explained that its decision had come following discussions with Sony’s legal team, where it became apparent that trademarks over the console’s removable side panels were too complex an issue for the company to navigate without risking legal infringement.
In a separate dispute, Sony sent out a cease-and-desist letter to Canadian peripherals company Dbrand following its plans to release custom faceplates for the console. Dbrand announced that it was pulling its custom faceplates from sale before stating in a separate statement on the company’s subreddit that it would be creating its own range of new PS5 faceplates that were far enough detached from Sony’s original design to risk further infringement.
When considering at the time whether or not Sony would still pursue the company over the new faceplates, a statement from Dbrand read: “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.”
For more on the PlayStation 5, make sure to check out this article posted surrounding the console’s first birthday and the lengthy list of first-party exclusive games coming to Sony fans in the future.
Jared Moore is a freelance writer for IGN. You can follow him on Twitter.