As Pharrell celebrated one success after another in 2013, he was also combating an odd lawsuit filed by fellow producer-artist will.i.am over the use of “I Am” in his “I Am Other” brand name. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the two men have reached a settlement before matters got worse.
Jury trials were avoided when Pharrell and will.i.am informed a judge that they’d reached an agreement in principle. Both parties are in the process of drafting up some sort of settlement, though the terms are currently unknown.
The Grammy winners making amends come with details on the root of their issue, which began when Skateboard P attempted to register “I Am Other” at the U.S. Trademark Office. The Black Eyed Peas affiliate immediately filed a cease and desist letter, since he previously trademarked his I.Am.Symbolic company.
Pharrell countered with a lawsuit for trademark noninfringement stating that, “The I Am Other mark means ‘I am something else,’ leaving what that ‘else’ is to the imagination of the consumer. It certainly does not mean ‘I am Will’ or in any way suggest defendants’ or the will.i.am mark.” In a clever move, P also cited Dr. Seuss’ iterations of “Sam I am” in his children’s classic Green Eggs and Ham and 146 musicians whose name includes “I Am.”
This sparked a countersuit from will.i.am, who claimed that Pharrell has a history of serial thievery and tried to use a separate lawsuit over Robin Thicke’s hit, “Blurred Lines,” as further proof. Needless to say that things got sticky. We’re happy to see that Pharrell and will.i.am could put their issues behind them.