Sony has launched legal action against the actor behind the PR personality Kevin Butler, the company has confirmed.
In a bizarre and bitter conclusion to a widely praised publicity strategy, the PlayStation firm is suing the actor - real name Jerry Lambert - for appearing in a separate advert associated with Nintendo's Wii console.
In September, Lambert was used in a Bridgestone tyres commercial video and was depicted enjoying a game on the Wii.
Lambert, whose likeness is has been so closely associated with his Kevin Butler character, was later scrubbed out of the advertisement using video editing tools.
On September 11, Sony Computer Entertainment America filed against both Bridgestone and Lambert's company Wildcat Creek. The American arm of PlayStation told Kotaku that the lawsuit claims are "based on violations of the Lanham Act, misappropriation, breach of contract and tortious interference with a contractual relationship".
The company went on to allege: "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."
Attempts have been made to settle the lawsuit privately, though these have fallen through.
Lambert has not yet provided a public statement on the matter. The case continues.