Jerry Lambert, more widely known online and commercially as Kevin Butler, VP of Everything at Sony, has been one of if not the face of Sony’s PlayStation line of products for a number of years now. With his likeness starring in videos advertising the PlayStation 3, the PS Move, and a number of first party games like God of War 3 and Ratchet & Clank: Crack in Time, Butler is arguably synonymous with the PlayStation brand.
However, Sony is suing him.
This legal battle has taken off due to a recent commercial that aired with Lambert playing a Nintendo Wii console in a Bridgestone T.V. advertisement, which Sony obviously isn’t content with. The commercial was later edited to exclude Lambert’s appearance, but Sony still isn’t a happy camper.
In addition to Lambert, Sony is suing Bridgestone and Wildcat Creek (the company created by Lambert himself to handle his business affairs) for trademark infringement.
In a statement to Kotaku, Sony stated that the use of Lambert in a video game-related commercial that isn’t about PlayStation “causes damage” and “creates confusion”:
“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”.
And according to a more recent filing, it appears that since the lawsuit came into play, the companies might be settling it all privately, with a conclusion to be reached officially on October 12.
Does this mean the end of Kevin Butler? Yeah, probably – which is sad, given how likeable of a character he is and how frequently I almost went out to purchase a PlayStation Move based on his comical recommendations.
But then, you know, I didn’t – because there’s nothing fun to play on the PlayStation Move. Or the Wii, since they’re pretty much the same thing. I take that back — not the part about them being the same thing, about there being nothing fun to play on the Wii. Twilight Princess was awesome.