Former Brazilian footballer Pele is suing Samsung in Chicago federal court, claiming the electronics company improperly used his identity in The New York Times
The lawsuit was filed earlier this month by attorney Fred Sperling on behalf of Pele, 75, claiming Samsung used a Pele look-alike in an October advertisement for televisions.
The lawsuit says the ad will confuse consumers and hurt the value of his endorsement rights. It seeks 30 million US dollars (£20.85 million) in damages. Pele has endorsement deals with other companies, including Volkswagen, Subway, Emirates and Procter and Gamble.
The lawsuit says the ad appeared after Samsung broke off negotiations to use Pele’s image in 2013. Specifically, the lawsuit said Samsung pulled out of negotiations at the last minute “and never obtained the right to use Pele’s identity in any manner or in any format”.
Mr Sperling is the same attorney who in August helped former Chicago Bulls star Michael Jordan win an 8.9 million US dollars (£6.18 million) jury verdict against the former supermarket chain Dominick’s. In that case Jordan said Dominick’s improperly used his identity in a print advertisement.
“The goal is to obtain fair compensation for the unauthorised use of Pele’s identity and to prevent future unauthorised uses,” Mr Sperling said.Samsung spokeswoman Danielle Meister Cohen said in an email on Tuesday that the company has no comment on the lawsuit.