A lawyer for will.i.am 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)."
Last year director Garry Marshall hit upon a devilishly canny approach to the romantic comedy. A more polished refinement of Hal Needham’s experimental Cannonball Run method it called for assembling a gaggle of famous faces from across the demographic spectrum and pairing them with a shallow day-in-the-life narrative packed with gobs of gooey sentiment. A cynical strategy to be sure but one that paid handsome dividends: Valentine’s Day earned over $56 million in its opening weekend surpassing even the rosiest of forecasts. Buoyed by the success Marshall and his screenwriter Katherine Fugate hastily retreated to the bowels of Hades to apply their lucrative formula to another holiday historically steeped in romantic significance and New Year’s Eve was born.
Set in Manhattan on the last day of the year New Year’s Eve crams together a dozen or so canned scenarios into one bloated barely coherent mass of cliches. As before Marshall’s recruited an impressive ensemble of minions to do his unholy bidding including Oscar winners Hilary Swank Halle Berry and Robert De Niro the latter luxuriating in a role that didn’t require him to get out of bed. High School Musical’s Zac Efron is paired up with ‘80s icon Michelle Pfeiffer – giving teenage girls and their fathers something to bond over – while Glee’s Lea Michele meets cute with a pajama-clad Ashton Kutcher. There’s Katherine Heigl in a familiar jilted-fiance role Sarah Jessica Parker as a fretful single mom and Chris “Ludacris” Bridges as the most laid-back cop in New York. Sofia Vergara and Hector Elizondo mine for cheap laughs with thick accents – his fake and hers real – and Jessica Biel and Josh Duhamel deftly mix beauty with blandness. Fans of awful music will delight in the sounds of Jon Bon Jovi straining against type to play a relevant pop musician.
The task of interweaving the various storylines is too great for Marshall and New Year’s Eve bears the distinct scent and stain of an editing-room bloodbath with plot holes so gaping that not even the brightest of celebrity smiles can obscure them. But that’s not the point – it never was. You should know better than to expect logic from a film that portrays 24-year-old Efron and 46-year-old Parker as brother-and-sister without bothering to explain how such an apparent scientific miracle might have come to pass. Marshall wagers that by the time the ball drops and the film’s last melodramatic sequence has ended prior transgressions will be absolved and moviegoers will be content to bask in New Year's Eve's artificial glow. The gambit worked for Valentine's Day; this time he may not be so fortunate.
Two-time Oscar winner and all-around nice guy Tom Hanks will be receiving the American Film Institute's 30th Life Achievement Award. Hanks' friend Steven Spielberg will present him the award at the ceremonies on June 12. Some coming to the show at the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood include Steve Martin, Tim Allen, Jim Carrey and Helen Hunt. The tribute will air June 24 on USA Network.
Singer Wyclef Jean and 10 others were arrested for disorderly conduct during a protest against school funding cuts on New York's City Hall on Tuesday. Thousands of teachers, students and politicians turned out to denounce the proposed funding cuts, The Associated Press reports.
A federal judge has ruled that actress Jennifer Aniston's lawsuit against the publishers of the magazines Celebrity Skin and High Society may go forward. The Friends star is suing them for publishing a photo of her sunbathing topless in her backyard. The trial date is set for July 2.
Didier Fischer, a left-wing French politician, called for a ban on the Scream trilogy Wednesday after a 17-year-old boy said the violent teen-slasher films inspired him to stab a 15-year-old girl to death. Reuters reported that Fischer, who is a candidate in next week's parliamentary elections, said in a statement, "I call for the immediate withdrawal from sale and public rental across the national territory of any videotape, DVD disc and any other form of distribution, including on the Internet, of the film Scream."
Here we go again. ABC Family has picked up a new reality show for the summer, The Last Resort. Four couples on the brink of separation go to a Hawaiian resort to work with relationship coaches to try to resolve their differences. By the final episode, they'll decide whether to stay together or not. Oh, goody.
British musician Dave Stewart, who formed the '80s band The Eurythmics with pal Annie Lennox, has decided to create his own record label. Called Artists' Network, the label will nuture acts that don't fit into the traditional mass-produced pop culture mold. "I remember in 1986, the head of our record company changed in America, and this man came in from Hertz rent-a-car and that was a sign of...the way things have become: a corporate face to a creative business," Stewart told Reuters.
First the Osbournes, then Anna Nicole Smith, now...Oasis? The famously foul-mouthed Brit poppers Oasis are the latest to want to jump on the celebrity reality show bandwagon. Singer Noel Gallagher has told the Web site mne.com that he'd like cameras to film his life at home. An Oasis spokesperson says footage of the band on the tour bus has already been released on DVD and there would be more to come.