Talk about a battle of words: Pharrell has sued will.i.am for trade infringement on his brand I Am Other, after will.i.am claimed that he owns the copyright to the phrase “I AM.” While Pharrell could not comprehend why Will decided to file a case first — “I am someone who likes to talk things out and, in fact, I attempted to do just that on many occasions,” he has said — he was able to justify his own lawsuit by citing Dr. Seuss.
“Sam I am, I am Sam, I am Sam, Sam I am,” Pharrell said, quoting Green Eggs And Ham, according to TMZ. “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 may have overlooked how he names specifics in I am Other’s manifesto, but he did make his defense hard for will.i.am to beat.
will.i.am has owned the “I AM” trademark since 2001, while Pharrell launched i am OTHER in 2010. There’s no telling how this lawsuit will pan out. One thing’s for sure, though: Dr. Seuss wrote Green Eggs And Ham, after a publisher challenged the author to write a book with just 50 different words. (Its predecessor, The Cat in the Hat, had only 225.) Pharrell only needed three of them, and he chose just the right ones.