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Sony sues Bridgestone and Jerry Lambert (guy who played Kevin Butler)


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Initial post: Oct 6, 2012 4:45:30 PM PDT
http://dockets.justia.com/docket/california/candce/3:2012cv04753/258962/

http://docs.justia.com/cases/federal/district-courts/california/candce/3:2012cv04753/258962/8/

http://docs.justia.com/cases/federal/district-courts/california/candce/3:2012cv04753/258962/14/

Posted on Oct 6, 2012 4:46:13 PM PDT
vishock says:
why?

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 6, 2012 4:49:47 PM PDT
DVvM says:
Probably because they believed that Jerry Lambert appearing in a video game related commercial infringes on Sony's "Kevin Butler" trademark.

Posted on Oct 6, 2012 4:51:24 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Oct 6, 2012 4:53:51 PM PDT
Intellectual property trademark? what property trademark? I really can't help but wonder if this is some weird farfetched joke because I can't see a case like this going to court.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 6, 2012 4:52:32 PM PDT
AJF says:
Because Sony hasn't had enough negative publicity and they need some more so that their name is permanently soiled.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 6, 2012 4:52:52 PM PDT
I could remotely see them crying about it if Lambert wore a jacket that had the name Kevin Butler or something but I don't remember seeing anything like that.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 6, 2012 4:54:22 PM PDT
I thought it was for Bridgestone tires, not video games.

Posted on Oct 6, 2012 4:55:49 PM PDT
Unless the actor Lambert signed some weird contract with Sony about him doing certain commercials or advertisements I don't see how Sony hopes this case will see the light of day in a courtroom.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 6, 2012 4:56:43 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Oct 6, 2012 4:58:07 PM PDT
DVvM says:
Well, Sony's contention is likely that Bridgestone intentionally hired an actor that was associated with their product in order to lead credibility to Bridgestone's "get a Wii" promotion.

So Bridgestone's advertising became more effective because they infringed on Sony's trademark, or so Sony claims.

The thing about Trademarks is that you lose them unless you aggressively protect them. You don't have to win, you just have to be willing to sue (c.f. Bethesda suing Mojang over "Scrolls.")

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 6, 2012 4:58:26 PM PDT
"Buy 4 Bridgestone tires get a free Wii!"

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 6, 2012 4:59:42 PM PDT
Maybe but still hopefully the CEO of Sony is going to be smacking heads in the legal department for doing something as idiotic as this.

Posted on Oct 6, 2012 5:01:41 PM PDT
FOGE says:
Buying a PS4 is starting to feel like buying a Dreamcast.

Posted on Oct 6, 2012 8:41:14 PM PDT
Copyright and trademarks suits are often absurd.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 6, 2012 8:53:23 PM PDT
DVvM says:
Trademark suits especially, since you have to sue to protect your trademark even when you expect to lose or you don't really have an issue with the thing you're suing. Because if you don't sue everybody who comes close to infringing on your trademark, you will lose that trademark.

Sony may not really have an issue with Jack Lambert appearing in a tire commercial, but if they don't sue here (whether or not they win), they may end up looking at him appearing in commercials for the NeXtbox as "Kevin the Butler" or something.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 6, 2012 9:18:24 PM PDT
In which case I would argue that "Kevin the Butler" is parody, and therefore protected under fair use. I mean, Sony seemed to have no issue at all having Kevin Butler commercials in which he makes fun of other video game systems.

Trademarks also tend to assume that consumers are absolute i-word-that-Amazon-deletes. Seriously, who the hell was confused by Mojang's use of "Scrolls" as a video game name?

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 6, 2012 9:25:17 PM PDT
Oh, that's amazing.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 6, 2012 9:26:38 PM PDT
Oh, man, I want to get that Scrolls video game with, uh, all the scrolls. Yeah.

Posted on Oct 6, 2012 9:27:58 PM PDT
Cinema Fan says:
I don't know what's more pathetic: the fact that Sony is suing, or the fact that Jason actively sought this information.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 6, 2012 9:43:24 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Oct 6, 2012 9:47:29 PM PDT
DVvM says:
Bethesda needed to sue Mojang about that just to make a point that they're serious about protecting that trademark. They don't really even need to want to win, they just need to convince the legal system that they're serious, at which point they can settle because it doesn't really matter (which is exactly what they did.)

Since if Bethesda had let Mojang's "Scrolls" slide without comment, when they sue someone for trademark infringement over "Scrolls of the Elder" then the lawyers on the other side are going to hammer on the fact that they didn't care to protect their trademark when "Scrolls" came out.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 6, 2012 9:53:22 PM PDT
Sony suing of course.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 6, 2012 9:56:28 PM PDT
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In reply to an earlier post on Oct 6, 2012 10:43:32 PM PDT
I get what you're saying. I've seen ads from Xerox and Kleenex in writers' magazines about their own trademarks. It's just bad timing for Sony. They will essentially be paying for extra publicity for Nintendo (who isn't really involved in this anyways) right before the Wii U launches. Hell, in the last month SCEA has let go of their San Diego PR team, a bunch of people from marketing, their winner from their own TV show and now they are suing the public face of the most successful ad campaign that they have had for a while.

I've seen people coked out of their heads who were less self destructive than this.

Posted on Oct 6, 2012 11:08:12 PM PDT
Which makes me fear for the future of the Sony Corp, I would have hopefully wished the new CEO would have more intelligent and imaginative designs for the future of the Sony corporation. I mean to sue a tire company and actor who was a former company ad mascot is so sad and tragically pathetic I'm wondering what the heck the top think tanks at Sony are doing.

Posted on Oct 6, 2012 11:15:51 PM PDT
It only took the media a few hours to catch up to the VGF:

http://kotaku.com/5949607/sony-is-suing-kevin-butler

Following a bizarre turnof events and a highly unlikely TV commercial, actor Jerry Lambert - for yearsthe "face" of the PlayStationbrand - is being sued, along with Bridgestone, by none other than Sony itself.

Despite having made something of a name for himself playing the fictional PlayStation executive KevinButler,last month Lambert appeared inanadvertisementfor Bridgestone tyresplaying a competitor'sproduct,the Nintendo Wii.

Strangely, the commercialwas later edited to remove Lambert from it entirely. Which seemed weird at the time, but it may be explained by the fact that on September 11,Sony Computer Entertainment America filed a suit (spotted by gumby_trucker @ NeoGAF) against both Bridgestone and Wildcat Creek, a company registeredin 2007 by...Jerry Lambert, who according to California Secretary of State datais also its president (it appears to be the registered name for Butler'shandling of hisbusiness affairs).

Sony is suing both companies overtrademark infringement,I'd wager for their use of Lambert - synonymousnow with the PlayStationbrand - in a scenario involving video games that aren't PlayStation games. It would be crazy if the fine print of Lambert's contract with Sony didn't include some mentionof not being seen to endorse competing productsfor some set amount of time.

We've contacted both Sony and Bridgestone forcomment on the specificsof the case,and willupdate if we hear back.

Posted on Oct 6, 2012 11:46:56 PM PDT
user22 says:
This whole time I thought Kevin Butler was his real name. I'm suing Sony for false advertising!
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This discussion

Discussion in:  Video Games forum
Participants:  21
Total posts:  63
Initial post:  Oct 6, 2012
Latest post:  Jan 16, 2013

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