Kevin Butler Actor Being Sued For "Creating Confusion" And "Causing Damage" To Sony

Aside from mention that the case is being fought over "trademark infringement", there really isn't much information in the court filings detailing the legal battle between Sony and Jerry Lambert, the actor who for years has played the fictional PlayStation executive Kevin Butler.

A Sony statement issued today, however, casts a little more light on SCEA's reasons for filing the suit. Speaking with Kotaku, a PlayStation representative says:

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.

As it's a legal matter, the company won't be discussing the matter further. We have yet to hear from Bridgestone, another of the targeted parties, on the matter.


    Stupid thing to do on his part.
    Stupid legal system where you can sue for anything and everything instead of just firing him and moving on.
    Meh same shit different day.

      He did make a completely batshit decision, and I can see why they're suing him. He's not only breaking contract, but he's also promoting another rival companies video game system. Seriously, WHAT THE FUCK was he thinking?!? Why did he think that would end well..?

        Given how long it's been since his last advert with Sony, I'm willing to bet his contract with Sony is over... this would be a case of violating a non-compete clause, which was probably buried in the small print of their contract with him.
        Still, he probably should have checked with legal.

        It's far more likely he got hired for a bridgestone ad.

        Rocked up to find they wanted him to play a Wii. And figured that because it isn't an actual ad designed to sell wii's that there wouldn't be an issue.

        Bridgestone is not a videogame company. They're a tyre company.

        They didn't use the Kevin Butler character. They used ther ACTOR who happens to play Kevin Butler.

        The fact that BRIDGSTONE had an ad using a Wii is irrelevant to the ACTOR who plays a FICTIONAL CHARACTER on behalf of Sony.

        Sony are basically morons run by people who are no better than forum fanboys, and most of the moves they've made this generation thus far, this one included show that.

    sony is upset over more silly bullshit, this shocks nobody

    correction, this shocks nobody intelligent

    Having just watched the original, unedited ad, I noticed not once did he call himself or get referred to as Kevin Butler. It's almost like *gasp* an actor playing a different part! How unheard of.

    Yeah it was pretty stupid to appear in an ad featuring another game system (not even directly for the Wii, for Bridgestone Tyres running a Wii promotion) but again, no mention is made of the Kevin Butler character or the Sony brand.

      He might just get out of this then. And banderdash, I haven't seen an ad for awhile, but I don't follow the playstation blogs all that much, I figured he was still active but I just hadn't seen him.

      This is why you don't pretend actors are actually people of high distinguishment in your organisation. Giving him the mock title of Vice President of Everything. Actually will have associated some degree of power to him among idiots.

      It's those same idiots who are going to see this and consider hey maybe the wii is more awesome than the PS or the PS guy wouldn't be playing it.

      If he was doing it in-character as Kevin Butler (even if he didn't come out and say "Hi, I'm Kevin Butler") then it will likely still be an issue. I should mention I haven't seen the original ad at the centre of this lawsuit, so I'm not sure how close to Kevin Butler territory his performance got.

      I hope this doesn't mean we won't see any more Kevin Butler... he was awesome.

    Wow Sony, when was the last time they used the KB character anyway. Give it another 2 years of profit losses and they are out

    I hope Sony lose and then get counter-sued for defamation and anything else. Based purely on how stupid it is to sue someone over this sort of stuff. Were there a non-compete clause they(Sony's lawyers) when separating from a contract would have to confirm that the employee fully understands the terms and agreement. At least that's how it went down when my father left Rio Tinto .

    Well this breaks my heart to know that there will be no more KB ads :/

    I know I'm going to get counter argued on this but I don't care. If this actor appeared in an ad promoting a rival product (it does not matter if the ad isn't for the product, they are promoting the product regardless) Sony have a right to sue to maintain their integrity. You are all saying that this guy who plays kevin butler, wasn't portraying the character in this ad. That's irrelevant considering how many people have said that the KB persona is very similar to the actor proper. To be honest this case reminds me of the lawsuit Midway filed against the actor they got to do the motion captures for Johnny Cage when he went and advertised a rival product... A lawsuit I believe Midway won.

      So in other words, that actors career as an actor is over unless he's only specifically in Sony ads?

      Makes sense to me man. Now Lucas just needs to sue Harrason for staring in movies that weren't Jones or Star Wars.

        It's not that cut and dry, for the most part i doubt Sony would care if the actor appeared in an ad which didn't directly effect them. However Butler did, even if the Wii was advertised indirectly, he still advertised a competing product without giving Sony prior knowledge. The exact same thing the guy who played Johnny Cage did back in the 90's.

          Yes but the difference here is he was doing a BRIDGESTONE ad w/ a Wii Promo.

          The devil is in the details. Had the actor gone to do actual ads for Ninty or MS to promote their products as the character KB then the clause would probably have more of a bite. The fact is Bridgestone is not a direct competitor to Sony and the actor was not doing the ad as KB.

          Secondly the Midway vs Pesina case the actor actually dressed up *as* Johnny Cage. So he was still portraying the character while doing the promotion for the Bloodstorm game (and while still working for Midway!). That is very much a clear cut case of breaking a non compete clause.

          Then again I'm not exactly a lawyer either so not like my arguments are set in stone. That being said *IF* this case does end up for a loss to the actor thats going to set an awful lot of messy precedents for actors everywhere.

            There were so many other ways the actor could have protrayed the Bridgestone promotion, simply state the fact that you could get a $70 gift card or a Nintendo Wii, or show footage of the Wii itself, but they specifically showed the actor playing the Nintendo console, at the very least the actor should of known that Sony wouldn't approve of this since most people would know him as the guy who effectively plays Playstation's corporate mascot.

            I know this opens up a legal case of worms here, especially if it goes to court and somehow Sony wins, but all I'm saying is if your globally known for portraying a sponsor for one organisation, I wouldn't go and advertise a competing product without letting them know about it.

            I would not say that this is as obvious a breach of the non compete clause as the Midway v Pesina case ended up being, but since there is supposedly little to no difference between Kevin Butler and the actor who plays him, it's very murky to say the very least.

              @Ruen: But you can't sue an actor for "looking like" a character he/she plays unless he plays in role of the character. Otherwise you might as well sue... say Daniel Radcliffe for appearing in all those thriller movies for "destroying the Harry Potter character for appearing in an inappropriate film"

              And the grounds is Trademark infringement. No trademark was infringed unless the actor played the part of KB. Which he wasn't

    The only reason why Sony is doing this is because their company is heading down a path towards falling apart. If they were a success then they would have no problem, this is nothing more than insecurity within the Sony leaders.

      Yeah, because successful companies never sue anybody.

      Oh, hi there, Apple! *waves*

    Here's some classic PlayStation commercials from when PlayStation was the shiznic!

    100% Wicked:
    Wipeout 2097:
    Cool Boarders 2:
    Bushido Blade:
    Tomb Raider 3:
    Omega Boost:
    Metal Gear Solid:
    Colin McRae Rally:
    Crash Bandicoot:
    Final Fantasy 7:
    Tomba 2:
    F1 '97:

    The key theme would be FUN :D

    Sony is the greatest and behead those who is against Sony.

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