Pharrell Williams Accused of Trademark Fraud in Lawsuit Amid Neptunes' Legal Rift

The 'Happy' hitmaker is slapped with a lawsuit by his pal Chad Hugo over the rights to their group's name and accused of violating their longstanding agreement.

AceShowbiz - Pharrell Williams and Chad Hugo, the legendary duo behind the iconic production team The Neptunes, are embroiled in a legal dispute over the rights to their group's name.

According to a lawsuit filed by Hugo, Williams has attempted to fraudulently secure sole control over trademarks for the name "The Neptunes." Hugo claims that Williams violated their long-standing agreement to split all assets equally.

Hugo's legal team alleges that Williams filed three trademark applications in 2022 without his consent, covering the use of the name on streaming music, music videos, and live performances. They claim Williams "knowingly and intentionally" excluded him from the applications, despite his equal co-ownership status.

Pharrell Williams' lawyers have stated that they were surprised by the lawsuit and have repeatedly reached out to offer Hugo joint ownership. However, Hugo's team claims that Williams' company has insisted on "onerous business terms" that would limit Hugo's control and compensation.

The dispute arises from Williams' company, PW IP Holdings LLC, having already registered the Neptunes name as a trademark for musical sound recordings, with another pending application for clothing and merchandise. Hugo's lawyers suggest that the legal action could expand to include these applications as well.

Throughout their three-decade partnership, the Neptunes have produced countless hits for artists such as Nelly, Snoop Dogg, Gwen Stefani, Justin Timberlake, and Clipse. Their work has earned them four Grammy awards and 12 nominations.

The legal dispute has cast a shadow over the legacy of the Neptunes, raising questions about the ownership and administration of their iconic brand. The outcome of the lawsuit remains to be seen, but it has certainly put a strain on the once-close relationship between Pharrell Williams and Chad Hugo.

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