As of April 2024, Virginia Beach icons Pharrell Williams and Chad Hugo, of the production team the Neptunes, were locked in a legal battle.

Rolling Stone magazine reports that Chad Hugo has accused his long-time friend and collaborator, Pharrell Williams, of attempting to take sole control over the Neptunes trademarks. According to reports, in April 2024 Hugo’s legal team filed a formal complaint, alleging that Pharrell and his company, PW IP Holdings LLC, tried to register three trademarks for the Neptunes without Hugo’s involvement. This, Hugo claims, goes against their agreement to share all assets equally throughout their partnership.

According to the complaint, Pharrell filed to obtain trademarks in his name only, failing to name Hugo as co-owner, calling the move “fraud.”  The complaint alleges his failure to do so “reflects an intentional effort to mislead the U.S Patent and Trademark Office.”  Hugo is now asking a judge to cancel those trademark registrations, saying Pharrell acted in bad faith.

When asked to comment, Pharrell’s attorney denied any ill intent, saying, in part: “Pharrell is surprised by this. We have reached out on multiple occasions to share in the ownership and administration of the trademark and will continue to make that offer. The goal here was to make sure a third party doesn’t get a hold of the trademark and to guarantee Chad and Pharrell share in ownership and administration.”

This story continues to unfold. If you have a trademark dispute, or would like to file for a trademark that you need legal assistance with please contact us today.