NFL Veteran Brown Sues over Madden Number Use, Hopes to Halt Sales and Obtain All Relevant Profits

By Chris Faylor, Aug 01, 2008 10:04am PDT NFL Hall of Famer turned actor Jim Brown has sued game makers Electronic Arts and Sony regarding his alleged appearance in the Madden NFL series, seeking to halt game sales and obtain all profits derived from any Madden games with his likeness.

The suit stems from Brown's recent discovery that a Cleveland Browns player using his number, but not his face or name, appeared in Madden NFL 2001, reports GameSpot.

Brown describes the character as "a muscular African American player," claiming that this hurts his "inherently distinctive, and arbitrary trademark as the All-Time Great Cleveland Brown Running Back."

The one-time Cleveland Browns number 32 claims that he "never signed away any rights that would allow his likeness to be used [in a video game]" and that both companies "unjustly enriched and have received and continue to hold ill-gotten gains," according to Bloomberg.

The filing states that Brown could not have signed away his likeness during his 1957-1965 NFL career as "video games were not yet invented and no union to obtain rights from existed."

While Electronic Arts is obviously named in the suit for its use of Brown in its Madden NFL series, Sony is named for its involvement in manufacturing and distribution.

Curiously, Sony is the only console maker named, though Madden appears on consoles produced by Sony, Nintendo and Microsoft. Sony is also most recent console maker to develop its own licensed football game: NFL GameDay 2005.

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