Dr Dre loses trademark dispute with gynaecologist Dr Drai

Rapper claimed name used by author of books including 20 Things You May Not Know About the Vagina, could cause 'confusion'

Chris Baynes
Wednesday 09 May 2018 20:54
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Dr Dre onstage at Coachella music festival in 2016
Dr Dre onstage at Coachella music festival in 2016

Hip-hop mogul Dr Dre has lost a trademark battle with a gynaecologist called Dr Drai.

The rapper and record label boss lodged a case with the US trademark office in 2015 after Pennsylvania medic Draion Burch, a media personality and author of books including 20 Things You May Not Know About the Vagina, applied to register the name Dr Drai.

Dr Dre claimed the moniker could case “confusion”, particularly since his near-namesake wanted to sell audiobooks, podcasts and MP3s.

He suggested the similarity may lead consumers to wrongly believe the pair were connected “due to the entertainment nature” of the goods and services he provided. He accused Mr Burch of looking to “trade on the goodwill generated” by his name.

Mr Burch argued confusion was unlikely as “Dr Dre is not a medical doctor nor is he qualified to provide any type of medical services”.

He added he would not want to trade on Dr Dre’s reputation because he was “known for misogyny and homophobic things” and it would be “a bad reflection on me as a doctor”.

The gynaecologist, who describes himself as "one of America’s top women’s health experts”, said he had chosen the name Dr Drai because “that’s my name”.

The trademark office sided with Mr Burch and dismissed Dr Dre’s case.

Its ruling said the rapper, real name Andre Young, had “failed to show that a connection would be presumed in the mind of the consuming public”. It found it was unlikely customers would be misled into buying Dr Drai’s products.

“We also find that there was no actual intent by applicant to trade on the goodwill generated by opposer’s name,” the ruling added.

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