Pharrell Williams and Chad Hugo Involved in a Legal Dispute Over Rights to the 'Neptunes' Name

Pharrell Williams and Chad Hugo Involved in a Legal Dispute Over Rights to the 'Neptunes' Name

Published Mon, April 1, 2024 at 3:15 PM EDT

Chad Hugo has accused his longtime friend and writing partner Pharrell Williams of fraudulently attempting to acquire sole ownership of the rights the the Neptunes trademark according to Billboard. “Throughout their over thirty year history, [Hugo] and Williams agreed to, and in fact, have divided all assets,” says Hugo’s attorney Kenneth D. Freundlich. “By ignoring and excluding [Hugo] from the any and all applications filed by applicant for the mark ‘The Neptunes,’ applicant has committed fraud in securing the trademarks and acted in bad faith.”

In a statement to Billboard, a Pharrell rep denied any fraudulent intent in the filings. “Pharrell is surprised by this," he said. "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.”

Williams and Hugo are childhood friends who formed the Neptunes in the early 1990's and started the offshoot band N.E.R.D. with Shay Haley years later. The Neptunes have produced hits for Jay-Z, Justin Timberlake, N.O.R.E., Beyonce, Snoop Dogg, and Gwen Stefani.

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