Will.i.am Sues Pharrell Williams Over the Phrase “I Am”

Will.i.am is filing a lawsuit against Pharrell Williams for his “I Am Other” brand, which Will.I.Am feels is strikingly similar to his own brand and trademark.

It seems like the leader of the Black Eyed Peas isn’t trying to play nice with the Star Trak Entertainment founder who wanted to just talk out the whole matter instead of turning it into a legal battle.

According to the official court documents that were obtained by Rolling Stone, Will.i.am thinks Pharrell’s “I Am Other” brand is “confusingly similar” to his own trademark “I AM” and he believes the “registration of the mark… is likely to dilute the I AM mark and the WILL.I.AM mark.”

If the actual logo for Pharrell’s brand resembled Will’s then he might have a case, but as it turns out the “Scream and Shout” singer is suing for the use of the words “I am.”

It is hard to believe that nobody else in the music industry will ever be able to use the two words “I am” without being sued but that will be up to a judge to decide.

For now, Williams is just disappointed that a fellow music producer wasn’t willing to just talk things out and reach a compromise without taking legal action.

“I am disappointed that Will, a fellow artist, would file a case against me,” Pharrell told the Rolling Stone. “I am someone who likes to talk things out and, in fact, I attempted to do just that on many occasions. I am surprised in how this is being handled and I am confident that Will’s trademark claims will ultimately be found to be as meritless and ridiculous as I do [sic].”

Ironically, it wasn’t long ago that Will.I.Am was on the other end of a copyright infringement lawsuit so it’s a bit surprising that he isn’t trying to settles things out of court when Pharrell said he is willing to do so.

According to Will.i.am’s lawyer, Ken Hertz, the dispute over the trademark has been going on for quite some time and apparently talking things out hasn’t been getting any results.

“Prior to lodging our objection with the US Trademark Office Will.i.am’s trademark lawyer reached out to Pharrell’s trademark lawyer in an attempt to resolve the dispute, and the parties discussed the matter for several months,” Hertz said.

Well apparently Hertz isn’t on the same page as his client because Will.I.Am just took to Twitter to deny any allegations that he’ll be taking Pharrell to court over the trademark.

“I.am not suing @Pharrell & I NEVER WAS,” he tweeted before promoting some of his charity efforts. “What i.am doing is… #iamSCHOLARSHIP sending kids to school debt free. Go2 iamANGELfoundation.org.”

He repeated the phrase once again except this time promoting a different charity.

“i.am not suing @Pharrell & I never was,” the tweed started off again. “What i.am doing is #iamHOME helping families keep their homes … see iamanglefoundation.org.”

While we commend him on his charitable efforts, one can’t help but wonder what legal documents does the Rolling Stone have and why is Will.i.am’s lawyer speaking as if they are indeed suing Pharrell over the trademark?

Something fishy is going on here…


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