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Pharrell Seeks Court Ruling on Trademark Case

Musician says his 'i am OTHER' brand doesn't infringe on will.i.am's mark

Pharrell
Chelsea Lauren/Getty Images for BET
July 2, 2013 11:00 AM ET

Pharrell has filed papers in a New York City federal court asking a judge to declare that his "i am OTHER" trademark is not infringing on the "I AM" trademark owned by will.i.am, The Associated Press reports.

The legal papers seeking a declaratory judgment of non-infringement is the latest move from Pharrell and his camp in the ongoing scuffle, which began about a year ago when will.i.am claimed in court documents that the logo for Pharrell's new brand was "confusingly similar" to his own and that its registration would be "likely to dilute the I AM mark and the will.i.am mark."

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Lawyers for Pharrell and "i am OTHER" have denied all such claims, with the musician saying in a statement, "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."

After the story of their trademark beef broke, will.i.am's lawyer Ken Hertz said that while the two parties attempted to resolve the dispute, official Trademark Office deadlines demanded will.i.am submit an objection: "This is how the process works," Hertz said. "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. We hope to work out a sensible compromise that will allow both parties to move forward without unnecessary acrimony."

The war of the words continued when Pharrell's attorney Brad Rose issued a response calling Hertz and will.i.am's statements "revisionist history" and claiming that the Black Eyed Peas leader and his lawyers "obstructed every overture made by Pharrell to amicably resolve this matter and has steadfastly refused to engage in a dialogue."

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