Sony Sues Kevin Butler, Bridgestone for ‘Misappropriation of Sony’s Intellectual Property’
A week after ‘Kevin Butler’ actor Jerry Lambert appeared in a Bridgestone advert playing Wii, Sony filed a suit against them, it has been uncovered. The lawsuit is SCEA vs Bridgestone and Wildcat Creek – the advertising company that Lambert is President (not VP) of.
Kevin Butler was SCEA’s advertising spokesman from 2009 until 2011, when the character was quietly moved to the side in favor of zero advertising, but never officially dropped.
SCEA’s senior director of corporate communications Dan Race told VentureBeat:
Sony Computer Entertainment America filed a lawsuit against Bridgestone, Inc. on September 11. The claims are based on violations of the Lanham Act, misappropriation, breach of contract and tortious interference with a contractual relationship. We invested significant resources in bringing the Kevin Butler character to life and he’s become an iconic personality directly associated with PlayStation products over the years. Use of the Kevin Butler character to sell products other than those from PlayStation misappropriates Sony’s intellectual property, creates confusion in the market, and causes damage to Sony.
The ad in question, where Lambert is seen playing Mario Kart on Wii, has been removed from the Bridgestone YouTube account, but you can view a promotional picture available below:
What do you think about the lawsuit? Is it fair enough for Sony to protect the Kevin Butler-brand, or is it a petty move to own the rights to an actor’s face? Share your thoughts in the comments below.