You may know him as Kevin Butler, the man behind some of the best PlayStation commercials ever made. His real name is Jerry Lambert and recently he did a Bridgestone commercial where he was trying to sell a Nintendo Wii to people. That apparently did not sit well with the people at Sony, and they are now suing both Bridgestone and “Wildcat Creek, a company registered in 2007 by Jerry Lambert.”
Here is the official statement from Sony:
“Sony Computer Entertainment America filed a lawsuit against Bridgestone and Wildcat Creek, 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.”
Sony later talked to Kotaku explaining their reasoning behind the lawsuit, “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 only problem I have with this is that during the Bridgestone commercial Jerry Lambert is not actually playing his role as Kevin Butler; he for all intensive purposes is just playing a normal person. So basically the only reason Sony is suing is because Jerry Lambert and Kevin Butler are the same person and look alike therefore it might confuse people?
According to Kotaku, both sides have tried to settle the case out of court, but at this point the talks are at a stand still. That doesn’t mean the case won’t get settled before the court date though as long as both sides keep talking, so there is still the possibility that this case never goes to court.
What do you think, is Sony just being petty, or are people really going to get confused seeing Jerry Lambert trying to sell a Nintendo Wii?