Pharrell Sues Will.i.am, Says Use Of ‘i Am’ Isn’t IllegalPharrell and Will.I.Am will be facing each other in court over what could be deemed by some as a trivial thing: the use of the phrase “I Am”.
According to the lawsuit filed by Pharrel, whose full name is Pharrell Williams, Will.I.Am, whose real name is William James Adams, has constantly sent Williams letters asking the latter to cease from using “I Am” and versions of the phrase.
The lawsuit wants the court to rule that “I Am Other” as used by Williams does not “infringe, dilute or unfairly compete” with Adams.
Williams uses the phrase and versions of it on a website he owns, iamother.com, which the lawsuit filed in a Manhattan court says encourages “individuality through different forms of expression.”
Adams owns the trademark to “Will.I.Am” which has periods in between the words while Williams, through his company I Am Other Entertainment, owns the trademarks to versions of “I Am” without periods in between, the lawsuit argues.
Moreover, Williams, through the newly-filed lawsuit, says that the trademark owned by Will.I.Am for “I Am” covers clothing and is “relatively weak” owing to the fact that other similar trademarks exist.
Adams is part of the group The Black Eyed Peas while Williams, known simply as Pharrell, is part of the group The Neptunes.
The case is I Am Other Entertainment, LLC v. William Adams filed at the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York with case number 13-4547.