Actor Jerry Lambert, who portrays walking meme Kevin Butler in a series of commercials for the PlayStation 3, has been hit by a lawsuit from the company after reportedly using his fictional persona in order to help advertise tyre maker Bridgestone's Game On promotion, in which the company was giving away a free Wii with every four tyres purchased. In one of the commercials (which has now been removed by the company), Lambert is seen playing the Nintendo console. Sony are now taking Bridgestone and Lambert's production company, Wildcat Creek, to court.
In a statement released to Kotaku, Sony said:
"Sony Computer Entertainment America filed a law suit 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's attorneys have informed the Northern District of California Court that those involved are close to resolving the issue. They have until October 12th to either withdraw the lawsuit or continue through to a hearing.
To see the offending clip of Butler, sorry, Lambert, playing some Mario Kart, head to GoNintendo.