Producer Pharrell Williams & Black Eyed Peas singer Will.I.Am are fighting a legal battle over Pharrell’s use of the name “I Am”.
Just days after will.i.am filed a notice of opposition over Pharrell’s i am OTHER creative venture, Pharrell has filed a lawsuit of his own.
TMZ reports that will.i.am sent Skateboard P a cease and desist letter informing P that he owns everything with a right to “I Am.” In response, Pharrell appears to be suing will.i.am to prevent him from suing the Neptunes member.
In the suit, Pharrell argues that his use of “I Am” differs completely from will.i.am’s use, in that the Black Eyed Peas frontman’s use is akin to Dr. Suess’ use in the beloved children’s book “Green Eggs and Ham,” which features a character named Sam I Am.
“In contrast, the I Am Other mark means ‘I am something else,’ leaving what that ‘else’ is to the imagination of the consumer,” reads the suit. “It certainly does not mean ‘I am Will.'”
Pharrell is asking that the New York federal court judge to whom the suit was filed give Pharrell written permission to keep using the “I Am Other” trademark.
“I am disappointed that Will, a fellow artist, would file a case against me,” said Pharrell in a statement after will.i.am’s notice last week. “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.”
will.i.am has countersued Pharrell over the use of I AM in I AM OTHER, reports TMZ. will.i.am believes that the use of I AM in I AM OTHER may confuse listeners because of their similarity in styles and the fact that they are both on Interscope Records, according to TMZ.
To support his lawsuit, will.i.am has stated that Pharrell has copied several others, according to documents obtained by TMZ. An example of this cited by will.i.am includes Pharrell’s work as a co-founder of Star Trak Entertainment, which is likely a reference to Star Trek. Another example is Pharrell’s attempt to register a trademark for Pink Slime, which will claims is similar to Mattel’s Slime.
will.i.am also notes that Pharrell is being sued by Marvin Gaye’s family over his recent work with “Blurred Lines.”
will.i.am is seeking an unspecified amount of money, according to TMZ.