You probably know actor Jerry Lambert as “Kevin Butler,” the man who has played the character of Sony Executive Kevin Butler in a long-running series of ads for the PlayStation brand. Now Lambert can add “defendant” to his resume, as Sony is apparently unhappy with his appearance in an ad for another company that features him playing Nintendo.
A couple months back, Lambert popped up in an ad for Bridgestone tires. In that ad, he and other actors in lab coats are seen playing Mario Kart on the Nintendo Wii. Lambert was later edited out of the commercial, but it looks like the damage was done.
In a statement to Kotaku, Sony explains why it sued both Lambert (or rather, a company formed by Lambert) and Bridgestone:
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.