Hip-hop superproducer Pharrell Williams has asked a New York judge for permission to continue doing business under his creative firm's I Am Other name following a trademark dispute with rapper will.i.am.
The Black Eyed Peas frontman's lawyer fired off a cease and desist notice to Williams last week (ends28Jun13), demanding he stop using the name for his YouTube.com channel because it is too "confusingly similar" to will.i.am's copyrighted "I AM" phrase.
However, Williams is refusing to back down and has taken preventative action in a federal court, arguing that they are using the words "I am" in different ways, reports TMZ.com.
The Get Lucky hitmaker claims will.i.am is playing off his own name in a way similar to that of children's writer Dr. Seuss, aka Theodor Seuss Geisel, while he adds: "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.'"
Monday's (01Jul13) filing emerges days after Williams expressed his disappointment at will.i.am for threatening to sue, saying, "I am disappointed that Will, a fellow artist, would file a case against me. 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 (sic)."
will.i.am has yet to comment on Williams' lawsuit.