June 28, 2013

Is Will.i.am suing Pharrell Williams for using "I am OTHER" and horning in on his "I am"?

I am so you can't be. Will.i.am's lawyer provided this legalistic argle-bargle:
"Will.i.am is not suing Pharrell Williams... What Will.i.am has done is what any trademark owner must do to protect and maintain a trademark. This is a run-of-the-mill trademark dispute that has been going on since late last year. In order to avoid weakening or losing his trademark, Will.i.am has an obligation under trademark law to monitor and defend his trademarks against confusingly similar marks. Will.i.am has registered several trademarks, including 'I AM', which is also emphasised in, and a significant element of, his professional name. 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."
So don't call this suing AND don't call yourself "I am," especially in the music business and where you seem to be exploiting the "William" name and the simple cleverness of seeing the "I am" in William, and anyway, your name is Williams, with an "s," so that's some awkward appropriated cleverness. Like I ams. So go infringe on that dogfood, why don't you? Or... I mean... cease this unnecessary acrimony.

By the way, I thought God owned the trademark on "I am":
I Am that I Am (אֶהְיֶה אֲשֶׁר אֶהְיֶה, ʾehyeh ʾašer ʾehyeh...) is a common English translation...  of the response God used in the Hebrew Bible when Moses asked for his name (Exodus 3:14)....

Ehyeh-Asher-Ehyeh (often contracted in English as "I AM") is one of the Seven Names of God accorded special care by medieval Jewish tradition. The phrase is also found in other world religious literature, used to describe the Supreme Being, generally referring back to its use in Exodus.
If God is I Am that I Am, then Will.i.am must already be an OTHER I am. Suggested legalistic argle-bargle: one more reason for Pharrell Williams to step back.

UPDATE: The 2 men settle the lawsuit in March 2014.

24 comments:

Cheryl said...

Yeah, I think Will needs to get over himself. God definitely claimed that one first.

pduggie said...

The "manifesto" for "i am other" is really whack

http://iamother.com/manifesto

typically, saying someone is "other" is saying they don't belong to the majority group, and are thought of as different and not included. Turning that positive?

Aridog said...

Heh. I am happy to have learned a new word combination this week: "Argle-Bargle" ....far more graceful than just calling it "shit-shoveling."

My middle name is "William". I don't think God gives a shit, about my name, or these two freaks either. I do know what part of my anatomy both may kiss if they suggest I can't use "William" as my name.

Clyde said...

I knew "I AM." "I AM" was a friend of mine. Will.i.am, you are no "I AM."

Matthew Sablan said...

I thought Popeye had the TM on I yam what I yam.

rhhardin said...

Little iamb who made thee.

Tank said...

Should he be suing Paula Deen for saying she is what she is?

MayBee said...

But Pharrell Williams isn't tying his "I Am" to his name, so I don't see why he'd have to be I AMs.

Lem said...

I AM noticing that the Law Suits I hope Will Fail tag is I am OTHER today.

Argle-Bargle is in and Law Suits I hope Will Fail is out.

I AM listening to AM radio.

virgil xenophon said...

Surely iams dog-food has a dog in his fight as well, n'cest-ce pas? :)

Danno said...

Ahhh, Getting my early morning dose of legal argle-bargle.

Danno said...

Lem, Are you sure you are not listening to SPOT.I.FY?

Jon Davies said...

I am going to consider trademarking "I am going to sue you".

Jay Vogt said...

Somewhere between Will.I.am and God lies Niel Diamond who declared (but did not IP) "I am, I said". Of course no one was listening, not even the chair.

Larvell said...

Then there's Descartes, but he said it in Latin, so maybe that's different? I'm going to try to trademark Will.SUM and see what happens.

BarrySanders20 said...

My physical therapist friend thought it would be clever to do something similar as will.i.am.

He advetised as larry the.rapist.

For some reason it never generated the business he expected.

bpm4532 said...

Trademark law seems almost as out of control as patent law.

Ann Althouse said...

One of my earliest blog posts is about how I could have named this blog alt.house -- which would seem like one of those old usenet discussion groups that began with "alt." and "house" would have made it seem like a place to discuss house music.

Here.

Marc Lowenstein said...

There is no present tense of the verb 'to be' in hebrew. The translation of what God tells Moses is actually 'I will be what I will be'. In other words, if you want to say 'I am hungry' you just say 'I hungry'.

And I guess if you wanted to say 'I am will.i.am' you would just say 'will' and glare meaningfully, like an urban Schopenauer. Or something.

Titus said...

Pharrell + Daft Punk = hot and in this summer. Just listen to Get Lucky-its the summer anthem.

You need to be taking a drive or on the beach as that song is playing.

Greg said...

The notion that a third-rate musician can somehow trademark the first person pronoun and first person form of the verb "to be" and therefore control or regulate their use is utterly ludicrous.

ken in sc said...

Both these guys think they are the Great I Am. That's a southern-ism for someone who thinks he is a big shot.

William said...

Swill I Am. I wonder if Kanye & Kim have copyrighted their child's name. Just from compass manufacturer's they should be able to pick up a pretty penny.

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

Where does this leave Sam I Am of Dr. Seuss?