Legal threat over use of actor Caine's name

A BUSINESSMAN has told how he was threatened with legal action by agents acting on behalf of one of the world's most famous actors.

Dave Gooderham

A BUSINESSMAN has told how he was threatened with legal action by agents acting on behalf of one of the world's most famous actors.

The EADT has learned that Suffolk-based Equity Portfolio Management was warned it could be hauled in front of the courts after suggesting that Sir Michael Caine was backing the launch of one of its products.

In an advertising flyer for the event tomorrow night , the acting legend was billed as a “special guest” attendee.

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But it has now been revealed that it will in fact be an “excellent lookalike and sound-alike” to the star of The Italian Job and countless other films.

Ryan Otto, founder and managing director of the Bury St Edmunds property management company, blamed the mistake on a “printing error”.

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But he admitted he had been contacted by Sir Michael's London agents who had threatened him with legal action.

Mr Otto told the EADT: “We have always known that it was only one of the best impersonators in the UK.

“But the error was brought to our attention by Sir Michael's agents and possible legal action was mentioned.

“They were concerned that someone was trying to make money from his name but that was obviously not the case. We never intended to upset anyone.

“It was caused by a printing error as the word 'Sir' should never have been included in the flyer. The invite only went out to local people and everyone going knew it wasn't the real Sir Michael Caine.”

The mistake occurred on an invite, thought to have been sent out to dozens of businesses and potential clients, for the launch of a fixed fee estate agency and letting consultancy.

On the colour A5 flyer, it said Sir Michael Caine would be attending and that the evening would support The Advantage Foundation's bid to become a fully-fledged charity.

Kevin Bruns, chairman of the trustees for the charity which aims to reduce poverty and unemployment, said he was always under the impression that it was an “excellent” impersonator of the acting great.

Sir Michael Caine has starred in more than 100 films and, along with Jack Nicholson, is one of only two actors to have received Oscar nominations in every decade since the 1960s.

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