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Singer will.i.am and his attorney have both denied that he is suing singer Pharell Williams over William's brand “I am OTHER.”
As we reported earlier today, will.i.am said in legal documents that Williams’s phrase was “confusingly similar” to his own “i am.” Will.i.am added in legal documents, “The registration of the mark . . . is likely to dilute the I AM mark and the WILL.I.AM mark.”
Williams responded with a statement to Rolling Stone expressing disappointment over the Black Eyed Peas star’s suit. “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,” the “Get Lucky” singer added.
But will.i.am took to Twitter to say that the media had got it wrong, reports the Huffington Post. “i.am not suing @Pharrell & I NEVER WAS..,” will.i.am wrote in two very similar tweets.
— will.i.am (@iamwill) June 26, 2013
In a statement to Variety, will.i.am’s attorney, Ken Hertz, said that he is “not suing Pharrell Williams.”
“What will.i.am has done is what any trademark owner much do to protect and maintain a trademark, Hertz explained. “Our client is following the standard procedures of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to defend trademarks that have been registered and that he has used widely and continuously for many years.”
Will.i.am has successfully earned trademarks for several phrases that include “I AM,” including “I AM ANGEL” for his philanthropic causes. However, Hertz said that they had tried to register the phrase “I am OTHER,” it was already in use. They wanted to settle the dispute right away, but Trademark Office's deadlines were coming up too quick and “will.i.am had no choice but to lodge his objection at the time he did.”
“This is how the process works. 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,” Hertz explained.