Music hitmaker Pharrell Williams has a battle on his hands courtesy of fellow producer Will.i.am who is taking legal action against him over a copyright issue.
Details of the potentially hefty lawsuit surfaced across the Internet early Wednesday (June 26).
Will.i.am is taking legal action against Pharrell Williams over the latter’s new creative brand “i am OTHER” – claiming that he owns the copyright to the phrase “I AM” and that Pharrell’s logo is “confusingly similar,” according to official court documents obtained by Rolling Stone. In his notice of opposition, Will.i.am argues that Pharrell would be using his “i am OTHER” brand on clothing and other items in a manner similar to the goods that bear his own “I AM” logo. “The registration of the mark . . . is likely to dilute the I AM mark and the WILL.I.AM mark,” the document reads. (Rolling Stone)
Williams has already responded, via statement, and admitted the suit caught him off-guard.
“I am disappointed that Will, a fellow artist, would file a case against me,” Pharrell says in a statement to RS. “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.” (Statement)
Coincidentally, a clothing company sued Will last year for over $2 million.
Will.i.am is being sued by a company claiming he has bailed on a deal he made to hock a clothing line. I.Am.Clothing (that’s the company) claims will.i.am inked a deal in 2010, for the Black Eyed Pea’s name to be used for marketing the threads. The singer also agreed to help design and market the schmattas. The company believes will.i.am was obligated to lend his name to the line through 2016, but the singer’s position is that the deal is already over and out. So the company wants more than $2 mil from will. Hey, shirt happens. (TMZ)
Over the past few years, Pharrell has popularized his I Am Other brand.
The musician and fashion mogul has paired up with branded entertainment producer United Entertainment Group to launch I Am Other as a content-driven property that spotlights new musicians, filmmakers, designers, artists and innovators through online, mobile and retail channels, TV shows and films. Venture is being formally introduced to marketers Tuesday as they’re gathered in Gotham to choose which TV shows to advertise around this fall. I Am Other is courting those same sponsors. It’s designed around products and experiences that Williams will curate and recommend to his millions of fans and followers for them to purchase. I Am Other will also bow this fall, fitting in with the media planning of buyers at the upfronts. (Variety)