will.i.am Legally Battling Pharrell Over Use Of ‘i am’
It’s super producer vs. super producer in the battle of the brands.
Rolling Stone reports that will.i.am has filed suit against Pharrell’s “i am OTHER” brand, with the former claiming in court documents that he owns the trademark on the phrase “I Am.” Furthermore, copyright issues are also in play, in regards to what will.i.am calls a “confusingly similar” logo from Pharrell’s clothing line.
It appears will.i.am’s quabble is with the eventual and probable use by Pharrell of the phrase “I Am” on branded clothing. A cursory look at will.i.am’s i am clothing online lookbook indicates he hasn’t released a new line since fall 2011, though reports had him collaborating with a Japanese designer in 2012 with intentions to bring their goods to the American market. Pharrell’s i am OTHER Tumblr site, however, indicates that the brand has already delved into content creation with several online videos and states an intention to expand into “apparel, tech and multimedia.”
Laywers for Pharrell filed an answer to the suit denying all of will.i.am’s claims.
“I am disappointed that Will, a fellow artist, would file a case against me,” Pharrell said in a statement. “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.”