will_i_am.jpgNEW YORK — Will.i.am says a trademark Pharrell’s company tried to register is too similar to his “I AM” trademark. Will.i.am has owned the “I AM” trademark since 2001. He filed oppositions in March and May against Pharrell’s company, i am OTHER. It launched in 2010.

In a statement Thursday, will.i.am’s attorney Ken Hertz says trademark lawyers for will.i.am and Pharrell “discussed the matter for several months.” He says because of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s deadlines, will.i.am “had no choice but to lodge his objection at the time he did.”

Hertz says the lawyers for the musicians first spoke in December.

Pharrell says in a statement he’s “disappointed” and “surprised” by will.i.am’s opposition.

“The plain truth is that Will has obstructed every overture made by Pharrell to amicably resolve this matter and has steadfastly refused to engage in a dialogue,” said Pharrell attorney Brad Rose in a separate statement. Will.i.am uses “I AM” for a  number of his businesses, including his charity foundation I AM ANGEL.