The firm is seeking damages from O2 and its advertising agency Vallance Carruthers Coleman Priest (VCCP), as well as an injunction against O2 using the advertising creative.
A procedural first hearing took place yesterday at London's Royal Courts of Justice, seeking directions for a speedy trial, which is expected to take place in June or July.
"We have commenced legal proceedings against O2 and its advertising agency Vallance Carruthers Coleman Priest alleging copyright infringement, trademark infringement and passing off," said David Patton, vice-president of marketing at SCEE.
"The PlayStation symbols have been an integral component of our brand values since 1995," he added.
"The style, structure and communication tone of the O2 campaign can easily be misinterpreted as PlayStation activity."
The ad in question, 'Talk Simple', forms part of a £4m campaign demonstrating that O2 customers can use their inclusive minutes and texts to call any network. It is part of a consumer proposition called X-Net, a service that offers subscribers 50 texts and 50 minutes of free calls to any network for £10 a month.
Although the ad does not mention the other networks, they are symbolised by the neon shapes. PlayStation's icons consist of a triangle, square, cross and circle. The O2 ad broke on April 4 on TV, outdoor print and ambient media.
'Talk Simple' was art directed by VCCP creative director Rooney Carruthers, the man who created O2's advertising identity in April 2002.
Last October, Nike threatened Scottish Courage with legal action, alleging the 'Just 'ave it' line in its John Smith's ads was an obvious reference to its 'Just do it' slogan. Nike did not take action, however.
MmO2 vice-president of brand marketing Will Harris would not comment on the case, except to say: "Our advertising is still running."
This article was first published on Marketing