Pharrell Sues Will.i.am Over Trademark Battle

Lawsuit claims Will.i.am's argument for "I AM" is weak.

Posted: 07/02/2013 01:22 PM EDT
Pharrell Williams

The legal battle between Will.i.am and Pharrell Williams just kicked up a notch. Williams has been accused of infringing upon his musical comrade's "I AM" trademark, and now he's filed suit in a Manhattan federal court Monday (Jul. 1), in hopes of claiming victory.

According to the documents, Will.i.am, née William Adams, sent letters demanding that Skateboard P stop using the "i am" title for his "i am OTHER" platform. Insisting there is no need to cease such use, Pharrell's lawsuit points out that there are no periods between the "i" and "am" in the "i am" trademarks that he and his I Am Other Entertainment uses, and therefore doesn't "infringe, dilute or unfairly compete" with the Black Eyed Peas frontman's use of the phrasing. In fact, the paperwork calls Will.i.am's argument "relatively weak" since the phrase "i am" has been used in other trademarks.

In May, the 40-year-old Neptunes' producer debuted his "i am OTHER" website as an arena "encouraging individuality through different forms of expression" through apparel, film, television, music, tech and multimedia.

Will.i.am launched his legal battle against Williams in March (but did not sue) with what his lawyer called a "standard" objection to Pharrell's trademark application. The L.A. native has owned the "i am" trademark for over a decade, and uses the name for various ventures. His attorney declined comment on Williams' recent rebuttal.

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