chad hugo

The Neptunes At Odds: Chad Hugo Disputes Pharrell’s Trademark Filing

A cloud hangs over the legendary production duo The Neptunes, as co-founder Chad Hugo is embroiled in a legal battle with longtime collaborator Pharrell Williams.

Formed in 1992 by childhood friends in Virginia Beach, The Neptunes rose to prominence in the late 90s, crafting hits for superstars like Beyoncé, Jay-Z, and Justin Timberlake. However, a recent trademark filing by Pharrell has ignited a legal dispute between the duo.

According to Billboard, Hugo’s lawyers allege that Pharrell attempted to secure trademarks for “The Neptunes” name without his knowledge. These trademarks, if approved, would grant Pharrell sole control over the name, a move seen as a violation of their alleged agreement to share ownership and profits equally.

“For over 30 years,” Chad Hugo ‘s attorney, Kenneth D. Freundlich, states, “they agreed to, and in fact, have divided all assets.” Freundlich goes on to claim that by excluding Hugo from the trademark filings, Pharrell “committed fraud in securing the trademarks and acted in bad faith.”

The disputed trademarks encompass the use of “The Neptunes” name for streaming services, music videos, and live performances. While Pharrell’s company reportedly acknowledges Hugo’s co-ownership, the sticking point appears to be a set of “onerous business terms” presented by Pharrell’s camp. These terms allegedly restrict Hugo’s control over the name and potentially impact his future compensation.

With the legal battle ongoing, the future of The Neptunes name remains uncertain. This dispute casts a shadow over the legacy of one of music’s most successful production teams, leaving fans wondering if a resolution can be reached.