Pharrell Williams, Will.i.am Reach Trademark Settlement

N.E.R.D. frontman and Black Eyed Peas leader end legal dispute over use of "I Am."

Posted: 03/12/2014 05:45 PM EDT
Pharrell Williams, Will.i.am

Pharrell Williams and Will.i.am have called a legal truce. According to the Hollywood Reporter, the music heavyweights reached a settlement in their battle over the phrase, "I Am."

Although the terms are unknown, the agreement means that no jury trial will be necessary. 

Will.i.am initiated the bout after Williams attempted to trademark the company name, "I Am OTHER." The Black Eyed Peas leader cited similarities to his own "I.Am" moniker, and accused Williams of intentional copying, in addition to infringement.    

Williams was never actually sued, but in response, the "Happy" singer filed a lawsuit against Will.i.am. In his counter, the N.E.R.D. member noted that his logo "I Am" is missing a period, and therefore dissimilar to Will.i.am's branding. 

Furthermore, Williams listed more than 100 bands currently using "I Am" in their titles, and other examples of the word use in popular culture. "The I Am OTHER mark means 'I am something else,'" reads Williams's suit. "Leaving what that 'else' is to the imagination of the consumer. It certainly does not mean 'I am Will' or in any way suggest Defendants or the WILL.I.AM mark."

On a personal note, Williams said he was "disappointed" that Will.i.am never opted to talk things out, rather than taking the legal route. The 38-year-old publicly responded via Twitter, emphasizing that he didn't sue Williams, he was only attempting to protect his business ventures, including the charity I Am Angel.

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(Photos from Left: Christopher Polk/Getty Images, Kevin Winter/Getty Images for NARAS)

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