Speaking to Kotaku, Sony has revealed a few more details about their lawsuit against Bridgestone and Jerry Lambert, the actor who plays Kevin Butler in a series of very popular PlayStation commercials.
Expanding on their earlier charge of trademark infringement, Sony believes that Bridgestone and Lambert are guilty of “misappropriation, breach of contract and tortious interference with a contractual relationship.” Their lawsuit hinges on their belief that Bridgestone “[used] the Kevin Butler character to sell products other than those from PlayStation.”
Sony might have a case as the Bridgestone ads (which feature Mario Kart Wii) began a few days before the announcement of a Kevin Butler DLC Pack for this November’s LittleBigPlanet Karting. However, nowhere in the Bridgestone (which appears online now only in edited form) ad was Lambert’s character referred to as “Kevin Butler.”
Sony’s full statement can be found after the break.
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.