will.i.am's lawyer has clarified reports suggesting the Black Eyed Peas star is suing Pharrell Williams over a branding issue, insisting they are simply engaged in a routine trademark procedure.
The Boom Boom Pow hitmaker hit headlines earlier this week (begs24Jun13) after court papers revealed will.i.am had taken issue with Williams' new creative brand "i am OTHER", insisting the line is too "confusingly similar" to his copyrighted "I AM" phrase.
His official notice of opposition stated: "The registration of the mark (by Williams)... is likely to dilute the I AM mark and the WILL.I.AM mark."
Now his lawyer Ken Hertz has issued a statement to address the "misinformation" surrounding the dispute, insisting there is no lawsuit, just a "run-of-the-mill trademark procedure" to "defend trademarks that have been registered and that (will.i.am) has used widely and continuously for many years".
Hertz goes on to claim that his client was legally required to lodge the complaint with the Trademark Office before a specified deadline, or risk missing out on having his objections heard - but that doesn't mean that they are not willing to compromise.
He continues, "This is how the process works. 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."
Lawyers for Williams have already responded to the filing to refute the allegations, and the Frontin' singer/producer expressed his disappointment at the legal action on Wednesday (26Jun13) by 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)."