May 23, 2024

Music producer Chad Hugo has accused his longtime pal Pharrell Williams of fraudulently searching for sole management over emblems for “The Neptunes,” the identify of the profitable songwriting and producing duo Hugo and Williams fashioned collectively over 30 years in the past. 

The discover of opposition filed final week with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Workplace by Hugo and his legal professional, Kenneth Freundlich,  claimed Williams filed trademark purposes for the identify “for his personal profit” with out together with Hugo and subsequently dedicated fraud and “acted in dangerous religion,” based on Billboard, which first reported in regards to the authorized submitting. 

Williams’ firm, PW IP Holdings, LLC, submitted a number of purposes in October 2022 to trademark “The Neptunes” for issues like clothes, music, dwell leisure, digital publications and extra. It was across the similar time he utilized to trademark the identify of his music competition, “One thing within the Water,” and “Strawberry Moon,” described as nation membership companies. 

A consultant for Pharrell instructed Billboard “there was no ill-intent” behind the filings and that his crew had reached out to Hugo to share possession of the trademark. The consultant added that the purpose of the filings was to verify a 3rd celebration didn’t get rights to the trademark. 

Hugo’s lawyer disputes these claims, Billboard reported. 

The Neptunes are the Grammy-award successful collaborative masterminds behind a prolonged checklist of chart-topping hits all through the early 2000s, most notably Nelly’s “Scorching in Herre,” Gwen Stefani’s “Hollaback Woman” and Snoop Dogg’s “Drop It Like It’s Scorching.” The checklist of artists they haven’t produced songs for could be shorter than the checklist of artists they’ve. 

Williams and Hugo met a summer season camp of their hometown of Virginia Seaside as youngsters and later fashioned the duo in 1992. They have been found by producer Teddy Riley after coming into a neighborhood expertise contest and the remainder is historical past. 

Whereas Williams started to take middle stage and ultimately launched his solo profession, Hugo has at all times been recognized to be extra behind the scenes. However each representatives for Williams and Hugo acknowledged the pair had an settlement to separate the whole lot down the center when it got here to their partnership.


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