In response to Sony’s lawsuit Bridgestone Tires has issued a statement claiming that Jerry Lambert was portraying a Bridgestone employee in their commercial, and not the Kevin Butler character as Sony contends.
The statement reads in part:
“Mr. Lambert is one of the actors who appeared in the commercial as a Bridgestone engineer. Bridgestone denies that ‘Kevin Butler’ appears in the Bridgestone commercial discussed herein and thus denies that he speaks or does anything whatsoever in the commercial.”
Bridgestone also indicated that they will fight the lawsuit on the grounds that Sony has not registered any trademarks on the Kevin Butler character, and that Jerry Lambert’s appearance in their commercial will not cause customer confusion.
Assuming that it actually goes to trial, this should be an interesting case to keep an eye on. I can certainly see why Sony would have a problem with Jerry Lambert appearing in a commercial that shows him playing a Nintendo Wii. With that said, the truth is that he is a character actor playing another similar but different part. If Sony wanted to keep him locked away forever in the role of Kevin Butler, they should have kept him under contract.
We will keep an eye on any new developments and report back with any new information.