Those funny recent TV ads for Microsoft's Windows Phone 7 are the target of a newly filed lawsuit from a company that claims the TV ads were lifted from their own marketing campaign. Ad Week reports that the lawsuit was filed by Cellrderm, a Boca Raton, Florida based novelty company. Besides Microsoft, the lawsuit goes after the ad agency that created the TV commercials, Crispin Porter + Bogusky.
Cellrderm sells a novelty product called Cell-R-Derm that humorously comments on some people's obsession with cell phone use. It also has some YouTube ads including one posted in 2009 that shows a woman trying to get the "attention" of her significant other in the bedroom while he is busy texting on his mobile phone. Cellrderm claims that Microsoft and Crispin Porter + Bogusky stole the concept of the ad for its recent Windows Phone 7 TV campaign. That ad does indeed show a woman in the bedroom being ignored by her man who is using his cell phone. A similar Cell-R-Derm YouTube video showing men using phones in a public bathroom is also similar to another Windows Phone 7 TV commercial.
Cellrderm states in its lawsuit, "The Microsoft Commercials copy both the sequence of events and the character interplay found in the Cellrderm Commercials. The Microsoft Commercials also copy other copyrightable expression, including but not limited to clothing, gestures, character appearance, camera angles, and other visual elements from the Cellrderm Commercials." It is asking for an injunction to keep the TV ads from being run along with profits gained from the ad and other damages. Microsoft and Crispin Porter + Bogusky have yet to comment on the lawsuit.