Pharrell Williams files lawsuit over will.i.am trademark

02/07/13

Pharrell Williams

Pharrell Williams has filed a lawsuit in the US asking for a court to rule that he has not violated any trademarks owned by the musician will.i.am.

The lawsuit says that will.i.am has sent letters to Pharrell demanding that he stop using the phrase "I AM" on his websites.

We hope to work out a sensible compromise that will allow both parties to move forward without unnecessary acrimony
Ken Hertz
Lawyer for Pharrell Williams

Pharrell owns a company named I Am Other, using the website iamother.com.

His trademarks do not feature full stops between the I and the am, while will.i.am's do, says the lawsuit.

Pharrell William's lawsuit also says that will.i.am's trademark for "I AM" covers clothing and is "relatively weak" because similar trademarks already exist.

A lawyer for will.i.am, whose real name is William Adams, was not 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, who represents Pharrell Williams.

Will.i.am

Previously will.i.am has denied reports that he was suing Pharrell, with his lawyer Ken Hertz saying that the musician "has done what any trademark owner must do to protect and maintain a trademark".

He added: "We hope to work out a sensible compromise that will allow both parties to move forward without unnecessary acrimony."

Earlier Pharrell Williams had released a statement saying he was "disappointed that Will, a fellow artist, would file a case" against him.

Pharrell Williams appears on the chart-topping Robin Thicke track Blurred Lines.

He also sang on the biggest-selling single of the year so far, Daft Punk's Get Lucky.

Will.i.am has recently resumed his role as a coach on BBC One's talent competition, The Voice.

His act, Leah McFall, was the runner-up to eventual winner Andrea Begley.

Follow @BBCNewsbeat on Twitter