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If Will.I.Am isn’t suing Pharrell, someone should let Pharrell know before everybody racks up unnecessary lawyer fees.
Last week, word hit the web that the Black Eyed Peas frontman was seeking an injunction against Pharrell’s company, i am OTHER, for copyright infringement. Will’s claim is that he owns the trademark for “I AM” and people will confuse the two due to similarities.
On Monday, Pharrell filed legal papers in federal court in Manhattan seeking a declaratory judgment of non-infringement.
“Trademarks owned by Williams’s company, I Am Other Entertainment, do not have periods between the “i” and the “am,” while those owned by will.i.am do, the lawsuit said.
Further, the lawsuit claimed, will.i.am’s trademark for “I AM” covers clothing and is “relatively weak” because similar trademarks already exist.
An attorney for will.i.am was not immediately available for comment.
The lawsuit asked the court to declare that the phrase “I Am Other” does not “infringe, dilute or unfairly compete” with will.i.am, said Brad Rose, counsel for Williams.”
After news of the brewing legal brouhaha hit the ‘net last week, Will.I.Am hopped on his Twitter to refute Pharrell’s claim, stating “i.am not suing @Pharrell & I NEVER WAS.. What i.am doing is… #iamSCHOLARSHIP sending kids to school debt free. go2 http://www.iamANGELfoundation.org” among a slew of other tweets restating the point.
Maybe Will wasn’t suing P but he did file injunctions against i am OTHER as recently as March and May.
Will.i.am has owned the “I AM” trademark since 2001 and uses it for businesses, including his his charity foundation I AM ANGEL. Pharrell Williams’ company officially launched in 2010.