Home Entertainment Pharrell Williams and Chad Hugo locked in legal battle over the rights to using The Neptunes name

Pharrell Williams and Chad Hugo locked in legal battle over the rights to using The Neptunes name

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Pharrell Williams, 50, and his longtime collaborator Chad Hugo, 50, are involved in a legal battle over the rights to the name of their musical tandem, The Neptunes. Photographed in Paris in 2023

Pharrell Williams and his collaborator Chad Hugo are involved in a legal battle over the rights to the name of their musical tandem, The Neptunes.

Hugo, 50, said in court papers last week that Pharrell, 50, attempted to “fraudulently” gain full control of the band’s name and trademarks. Billboard reported on Monday.

Hugo’s legal team said in documents filed in federal court that Pharrell attempted to register trademarks for The Neptunes’ name without Hugo’s involvement, in violation of a previous professional pact they had made to split everything in half.

“Throughout their more than thirty-year history, (Hugo) and Williams have agreed and, in fact, divided all assets,” Hugo’s attorney, Kenneth D. Freundlich, said in legal documents reviewed by the outlet. .

Freundlich said that ‘by ignoring and excluding (Hugo) from each and every application filed by the applicant for the trademark “The Neptunes”, the applicant has committed fraud in obtaining the trademarks and has acted in bad faith.’ .

Pharrell Williams, 50, and his longtime collaborator Chad Hugo, 50, are involved in a legal battle over the rights to the name of their musical tandem, The Neptunes. Photographed in Paris in 2023

Hugo was photographed in New York in June 2022

Hugo was photographed in New York in June 2022

Pharrell Williams, 50, and his longtime collaborator Chad Hugo, 50, are involved in a legal battle over the rights to the name of their musical tandem, The Neptunes.

Pharrell’s rep told Billboard in a statement that the Happy artist was “surprised by this” lawsuit, as he and his team “have reached out on multiple occasions to share ownership and management of the brand and will continue to make that offer.” “.

“The goal here was to make sure the brand wasn’t taken over by a third party and to ensure that Chad and Pharrell shared ownership and management.”

The paperwork Pharrell submitted suggested otherwise, Freundlich told Billboard in a response statement.

“If Pharrell’s intention was to include Chad in the filing, he should have registered it under the name of their jointly owned company Neptunes, LLC and not under his own name,” Freundlich said. “This was a land grab in a long simmering dispute that has not yet been resolved.”

According to Hugo’s legal team, on three occasions in 2022, Pharrell’s company, PW IP Holdings LLC, attempted to trademark the name “The Neptunes” for streaming purposes; music videos and ancillary content; and live shows, Billboard reported.

Pharrell uses the company PW IP Holdings LLC for other business projects, including his musical group NERD; his hotel, The Goodtime Hotel: South Beach Miami Hotel; and other brands he has endorsed.

Hugo’s legal team told the court that Pharrell “knowingly and intentionally” submitted the trio of applications without contacting Hugo, despite being “fully aware” that Hugo should have been named as a partner in the documents.

“Nothing, written or oral, provided Williams or (PW IP Holdings) the unilateral authority to register the trademarks,” Hugo’s lawyers told the court, noting that Pharrell and his team have been alerted “repeatedly” about the issue.

Hugo's legal team said in documents filed in federal court that Pharrell attempted to register trademarks for The Neptunes' name without Hugo's involvement, in violation of a previous professional pact they had made to split everything in half.

Hugo's legal team said in documents filed in federal court that Pharrell attempted to register trademarks for the name The Neptunes without Hugo's involvement, in violation of a previous professional pact they had made to split everything in half.

Hugo’s legal team said in documents filed in federal court that Pharrell attempted to register trademarks for The Neptunes’ name without Hugo’s involvement, in violation of a previous professional pact they had made to split everything in half.

In June 2002, Pharrell and Hugo were inducted into the New York Songwriters Hall of Fame.

In June 2002, Pharrell and Hugo were inducted into the New York Songwriters Hall of Fame.

In June 2002, Pharrell and Hugo were inducted into the New York Songwriters Hall of Fame.

Pharrell has “admitted” that Hugo “is an equal co-owner of the marks” and has promised to involve him, Hugo’s lawyer said.

Hugo’s legal team said Pharrell’s business partners have presented Hugo with “onerous business terms” regarding control and finances.

Before his solo debut, Pharrell and Hugo, who struck up a friendship as children, formed a producing tandem that was responsible for several pop hits more than two decades ago.

They included Nelly’s 2002 hit Hot in Herre, Justin Timberlake’s 2002 song Rock Your Body, Gwen Stefani’s 2004 song Hollaback Girl, and Snoop Dogg’s 2004 song Drop It Like It’s Hot. among others.

In June 2002, the couple was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame, which Pharrell called “a great honor,” according to TV Revolt.

“The immense sense of gratitude that I feel is probably taking over everything in terms of being in it,” Pharrell said in a red carpet interview. “I’m failing at that because I always have delayed reactions, so in two or three days, I’ll be like, I was actually in the room with Eurythmics and Ronald Isley.

“I’ll probably realize it by then, but right now it’s like, ‘Oh, wow.'”

Dailymail.com has contacted Pharrell’s representatives for comment on this story.

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