Dr. Dre v. Dr. Dre
“Dr. Dre Has to Share Famous Name with a Gynecologist Thanks to Federal Trademark Ruling”
No Dr. Dre, you are not a real doctor. Although, I am sure your fans would swoon over the sight of you in their operating room!
In all seriousness, the distinction between rapper and doctor was vital in a recent trademark case between Dr. Dre, famed rapper, and Dr. Drai, Pennsylvania-based gynecologist. Here’s what happened.
Back in October 2015, Andre Young, known as Dr. Dre, had his lawyers file a case to the United States Patent and Trademark Office’s Trademark Trial and Appeal Board claiming that Dr. Draion M. Burch’s trademark of “Dr. Drai” was too similar to his stage name. The rapper’s lawyers wanted the “Drai” trademark, which was first filed in 2011, to be annulled. They cited that the two names sound identical and look similar, therefore, a consumer hearing them would think they are the same.
Dr. Drai’s lawyers fought back arguing that under American trademark law for trademarks to be infringing they have to be at least in a related field and cause confusion in the marketplace.
Here’s where the distinction between rapper and doctor comes into play. It is very unlikely that consumers would confuse Dr. Dre, famed rapper, with Dr. Drai, actual medical professional.
In the end, a federal trademark judge ruled in favor of Dr. Draion M. Burch finding that the use of his name doesn’t violate the trademark of Dr. Dre.
Yes, even famous rapper lawyers can get it wrong. As you are doing a trademark search for your business, there are several important aspects to consider. Get in touch with one of our experienced lawyers to avoid pricey legal battles in the future.