Pharrell Williams, a singer/producer whose latest hits include “Blurred Lines” and “Get Lucky”, is battling for the right to trademark “I Am Other Entertainment” the name of his music label against another music heavyweight Will.i.am. Pharrell wants a declaratory judgment that says he is not infringing the Black Eyed Peas’ front man’s “I.Am.Symbolic” trademark.
Pharrell claims that the “I Am Other” mark is certainly not meant to bring Will.i.am to mind. He says that the use of “other” allows consumers to make up their mind as to what they want “other” to be. He contends the marks have different impressions and are arranged differently. Pharrell also points to the dozens of other times some phrase beginning with “I am….” has been used in the music industry. He even went as far as to quote “Sam I am” from the popular Dr. Seuss book to show the weakness and ubiquity of the mark.
Will.i.am disagrees with Pharrell and shed unfavorable light on his history in intellectual property disputes. He cites Pharrell’s use of STAR TRAK ENTERTAINMENT as the name of a record label he founded, which was notably similar to the popular STAR TREK mark that is owned by CBS Studios. He also mentioned the recent troubles with the Estate of Marvin Gaye and BMI, who were accusing that the hit song “Blurred Lines” was infringing Gaye’s “Got to Give It Up”.
Will.i.am also believes the collaborations between the two artists in the past might lead to confusion about affiliation between their two marks. Pharrell maintains that his mark is worded to disassociate from any connection Will.i.am. The debate will likely go on, making it unlikely that we’ll see these two together in the studio again anytime soon.
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