Pharrell denies trademark infringement, insisting that he should be allowed to use 'I Am' phrase because it's different from the one owned by the Black Eyed Peas star.
Pharrell Williams takes a preventive action in his trademark battle against fellow musician will.i.am. The N.E.R.D star is taking the case to court after he received a cease and desist letter from the Black Eyed Peas member due to similarity in their brands.
Pharrell is asking a judge to grant him a permission to use "I Am" element, despite will's complaint. The Neptunes' star insists his "i am OTHER" brand, which already has an official website and YouTube channel, didn't infringe the trademark that the BEP leader owns.
According to TMZ, Pharrell claims they each use "I Am" in a different way. While will's trademark is a playful riff on his own name, "the i am OTHER mark means 'I am something else,' leaving what that 'else' is to the imagination of the consumer. It certainly does not mean 'I am Will'," he argues.
Reuters additionally reports that Pharrell says in his lawsuit that his brand, launched under his i am OTHER Entertainment, does not have periods between the "i" and the "am," while those owned by will.i.am do. He also says will.i.am is "relatively weak" because similar trademarks already exist.
will.i.am's camp hasn't responded to the lawsuit, but his lawyer has previously explained why they objected to Pharrell's brand name as saying, "We own a trademark. They have applied for a trademark. We think their proposed trademark is too close to our registered and common law trademarks. They disagree."