According to HotNewHipHop.com, the Black Eyed Peas frontman felt that the name i am OTHER is entirely too similar to the “I AM” branding he uses and went on to file a notice of opposition against Pharrell and his creative brand, stating that i am OTHER “is likely to dilute the I AM mark and the WILL.I.AM mark.”
In a statement, Pharrell explained that he attempted to “talk things out” with will.i.am before he went on to take legal action, but was unsuccessful.
“I am disappointed that Will, a fellow artist, would file a case against me,” said Pharrell. “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’s decision to take legal action against The Neptunes producer comes as quite the surprise given the history of the two musicians. Both artists have worked actively with pop star Miley Cyrus on her upcoming album and the pair also assisted Nas with his “Hip Hop Is Dead” record.
UPDATE: will.i.am’s lawyer clarified his client’s legal action, in a letter given to HipHopWired.com. In part, Ken Hertz, Senior Partner at Hertz Lichtenstein & Young, LLP, said, “will.i.am is not suing Pharrell Williams. What will.i.am has done is what any trademark owner must do to protect and maintain a trademark. Our client is following the standard procedures of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to defend trademarks that have been registered and that he has used widely and continuously for many years. This is a run-of-the-mill trademark procedure that has been going on since late last year.”
The rest of the statement is available at HipHopWired.com.