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Sony Is Suing Bridgestone Over Its TV Ads Featuring Kevin Butler Actor

by Kyle Hilliard on Oct 07, 2012 at 12:22 PM

Update: Sony offered a statement to Venture Beat clarifying the situation. Here's the 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."


Remember when we all made jokes about actor Jerry Lambert appearing in a Bridgestone commercial with a Wii promotion? We though it was was just a hilarious coincidence, but Sony didn't find it nearly as funny.

Jerry Lambert is the actor who will forever be known as Kevin Butler, Sony PlayStation director/vice president of whatever was appropriate for the commercial he was appearing in. In early September, he began appearing in a series of Bridgestone commercials, one of which promoted a free Nintendo Wii console for customers who bought tires. Sony took notice, filed a lawsuit, and Lambert/Butler was removed from the commercial, and the original commercial is difficult to find online.

NeoGAF user Takao has put together an exhaustive post with a timeline and links to documents covering the lawsuit that Sony has filed against Bridgestone and the production company that created the commercial. The intellectual property/trademark lawsuit was filed on September 11, and is expected to reach some kind of settlement a little bit later this month.

[via NeoGAF]