Last week, news surfaced that Will.i.am was taking Pharrell to court over use of "I Am Other" on Pharrell's YouTube account. In documents obtained by Rolling Stone, the suit alleges that, "The registration of the mark . . . is likely to dilute the I AM mark and the WILL.I.AM mark."
Pharrell was not too pleased with his decision, saying, "I am disappointed that Will, a fellow artist, would file a case against me," Pharrell says in a statement to RS. "I am someone who likes to talk things out and, in fact, I attempted to do just that on many occasions. 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."
It's still not 100 percent clear whether Will is suing Pharrell or whether his legal team simply took a hint from the IRS and went ahead with legal proceedings without proper authority, because last week Will tweeted that he was not in fact suing Pharrell.
i.am not suing @Pharrell & I NEVER WAS.. What i.am doing is… #iamSCHOLARSHIP sending kids to school debt free. go2 http://t.co/yAye0SpV9h
— will.i.am (@iamwill) June 26, 2013
Regardless, Pharrell has taken matters into his own hands and is now counter-suing Will.i.am by using Dr. Seuss in his testimony. According to TMZ:
In the suit, filed in federal court in NY and obtained by TMZ, Pharrell argues that they are each using "I Am" in completely different ways.
Pharrell says Will is using the "I Am" is a Seussian way — as a playfull riff on his own name — and to hammer home his point, he quotes from Green Eggs and Ham:
"Sam I am
I am Sam
I am Sam
Sam I am"
Pharrell continues in his suit, "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.'"
Pharrell is asking a judge for written permission to continue using the "I Am Other" mark.
Whether these suits are real or will be followed through, the quotes involved from the actual artists represent why we love them. Will's constant determination to help others and Pharrell's creative genius that has him running the charts right now (with "Get Lucky" and "Blurred Lines") both make them worldwide icons, but we're all better off if they keep those talents focused of music and culture rather than a courtroom.