NewsWritten by Sarah Bella on July 2, 2013
Pharrell Williams has responded to claims from will.i.am that his new creative project I Am Other rips off the Black Eyed Peas singer’s brand I Am by going to court and seeking permission to go ahead with the name – and he’s quoting Dr Seuss in the process.
The Get Lucky vocalist has filed a suit in New York asking a judge for the OK to use the name, after the Black Eyed Peas rapper previously filed a suit stating that the name was too similar to his own, which Pharrell hit back by calling “meritless and ridiculous”.
According to TMZ, Williams’ countersuit states that he is using the words ‘I Am’ in a completely different way to Will, who’s using them Dr Seuss style, going as far as to quote Green Eggs And Ham:
“Sam I am. I am Sam. I am Sam. Sam I am. In contrast, 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.'”
Will.i.am is yet to respond, but he’s previously had his lawyer call the legal action a “run-of-the-mill trademark procedure”. Pharrell disputes this, saying Will has obstructed every attempt to resolve the issue amicably and has launched no less than 8 cases against him.
Perhaps will.i.am should file charges against Dr Seuss now, lest small children get confused between the Black Eyed Peas and The Cat In The Hat.
Gallery: Dodgy lawsuits involving musicians
Mariah Carey vs Mary Carey - The pop diva sued the porn star in 2006 for having a name too similar to her own. A judge agreed and deemed that Mary needed to change her name to avoid confusion.
50 Cent vs Taco Bell - The chain ran an ad campaign in 2008 suggesting the rapper change his name to 99 Cent to promote their 99 cent menu. The Get Rich Or Die Tryin' rapper cared not for this, sued, and the two parties ended up settling out of court.
John Fogerty vs John Fogerty - In '93, John Fogerty was sued by Fantasy records for ripping off a song he wrote for Creedence Clearwater Revival...in his own solo song, because Fantasy owned the rights to the original. The case was by all accounts laughed out of the courtroom.
David Fox vs Placebo - Fox, now 28, was once the 12-year-old pulling a face on the cover of Placebo's self-titled debut. He sued the band in 2012, saying the release ruined his life and led to bullying and unemployment.
Rick Ross vs "Freeway" Rick Ross - What if we were to tell you that the Rick Ross you know may not be Rick Ross at all? That's the story behind the formerly incarcerated cocaine kingpin “Freeway” Ricky Ross, who has gone up against the rapper and his label accusing them of stealing his hard-earned badass image in order sell records.
John Cage vs The Planets - Who has creative control over silence? Well, potentially composer John Cage does. Years after he released silent performance work 4’33″, The Planets released their 'One Minute Silence (after Cage)'. Now perhaps they used the same 'key' of silence but a lawsuit ended with an out-of-court 6-figure settlement in the favour of Cage. Hopefully there were no awkward silences at the proceedings, as that would have probably The Plants cost a few extra grand.
The Vandals vs Variety Magazine - Before releasing their 2003 opus 'Hollywood Potato Chip', The Vandals were issued a stern warning for selecting album artwork similar to the logo of 'Variety' Magazine. So they changed it. Years later, the canned album art popped up online and even though it wasn't on The Vandals website, they copped a lawsuit from 'Variety'.
ICP vs FBI - Forefathers of the Juggalo movement, Insane Clown Posse truly lived up to their name with this one. After their subculture was listed by the FBI as a dangerous gang, they filed a lawsuit, instead wanting to be known as a family. Too bad for them they weren't actually a family, and that there had been many instances of gangs of Juggalos causing havoc. Woop woop.
Axl Rose vs Guitar Hero - When Guitar Hero III was released, everyone was over the moon bar Axl Rose. As it turns out, he had put it in writing that he didn't want to be associated with Slash, which the developers agreed to, then seemingly forgot about. This case actually holds water but Rose waited THREE YEARS before taking it to court, and it was thrown out for that reason.
Eminem vs Crazy Homeless Man - Apparently, Christina Aguilera handed homeless man Stephen Lee Pieck a phone as she walked passed him on the street. On the other end? Eminem! Pieck allegedly told Slim his big idea for a Superbowl TV spot, then tried to sue for $9 million after he didn't get credit when it appeared. The real question here is how does a homeless man own a TV?
Rihanna vs Woman With Herpes - A 28-year-old waitress was understandably concerned when her new Rihanna-brand lipstick gave her oral herpes. As it turns out, staff at a department store had been using that exact stick of lippy as a tester. That doesn't TOTALLY rule RiRi out as a carrier. (Prepare for an updated edition of this article with Rhianna vs Music Feeds)
Jonathan Lee Riches Vs Kim Kardashian and Kanye West - There are always rumours flying around Kimye, but when Jonathan Lee Riches threw his into the mix it ruined the fun for everyone. Riches sued the power couple for being terrorists, saying he saw them training with Al-Qaeda and burning the American flag.