July 11, 2013
By Chelsea Lenora White
Special to the NNPA from the Houston Forward Times
Pharrell seems to have carried the BET Awards 2013 theme of “Anything Can Happen” with him from that Sunday evening to Monday morning. Just one day after he offered arguably some of the best performances of the night at the BET Awards in LA, which featured heavy hitters such as: TI, Robin Thicke, Justin Timberlake, Snoop Dogg (I refuse to call him Snoop Lion) and trailblazer Charlie Wilson, he filed legal papers in federal court in Manhattan seeking a declaratory judgment of non-infringement on Will.i.am’s “I AM” trademark.
The two artists have been in dispute for the past several months over the infringement issue. Will.i.am has owned the “I AM” trademark since 2001 and he filed objections in March and May against Pharrell Williams’ company, “i am OTHER,’ which launched in 2010.
Will.i.am uses “I AM” for his businesses, including his charity foundation “I AM ANGEL.” Pharrell’s “i am OTHER” produces web series, including hit web series and my absolute favorite webisode, “Awkward Black Girl.”