NewsWritten by Sarah Bella on June 28, 2013
Will.i.am‘s lawyer Ken Hertz has hit out against claims that the Black Eyed Peas frontman is suing singer Pharrell Williams over a copyright claim, saying that the legal action is simply a “run-of-the-mill trademark procedure”.
Reports broke yesterday of the dispute, with Will saying that Pharrell’s new I Am OTHER brand is too similar to his own I Am creative project. Pharrell called the suit “meritless and ridiculous” and expressed disappointment that Will.i.am had taken legal action rather than talking to him artist to artist.
Will.i.am’s lawyer Hertz responded by releasing a statement, hoping to clear up “misinformation” about the case:
“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. We hope to work out a sensible compromise that will allow both parties to move forward without unnecessary acrimony.”
But that’s a bunch of baloney, according to the Get Lucky vocalist. Williams’ attorney Brad Rose denied the denial, saying Will.i.am was only changing his tune due to public backlash against him:
“The plain truth is that Will has obstructed every overture made by Pharrell to amicably resolve this matter and has steadfastly refused to engage in a dialogue. Will and his trademark counsel have instituted no less than eight cases against Pharrell in the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board and have also threatened on more than one occasion to sue Pharrell for trademark infringement in Federal District Court for damages and an injunction.”
Can’t we just settle this over a nice cup of tea and a Random Access Memories listening, guys? No? Oh well, we guess the facts will have to speak for themselves when this goes to court.
(via Rolling Stone)
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.