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Dr Dre not synonymous with sexual health, rules trademark court

By | Published on Tuesday 8 May 2018

Dr Dre

Dr Dre has failed to block a trademark application due to his lack of success in the field of gynaecology.

Obstetrician-gynaecologist and media personality Draion M Burch applied to trademark his nickname, Dr Drai, in the US in 2015. He has already published a number of books and videos, as well as running a YouTube channel, under the name. Although the trademark application was specifically aiming to register the moniker in relation to the provision of healthcare and motivational speaking.

Dr Dre quickly objected on the grounds that their two names both look and sound similar. However, trademark law usually allows similar marks to be registered when they are associated with different sectors. The US Trademark Trial & Appeal Board has now ruled in Burch’s favour, saying that the fields the two men operate in are too different. I think you can insert your own joke about the similarities between the music industry and the gynaecology profession here.

“Obstetrics and gynaecology are a subject matter which is obviously far removed from music”, wrote lead judge Cheryl S Goodman. “Although the similarity of the marks and the strength of the mark favour [Dr Dre], these factors are outweighed by the differences in the goods and services”.

That’s all well and good, but what if – similar to that trademark dispute between the Wu-Tang Clan and dog walking business the Woof-Tang Clan – Dr Dre is concerned that people might think he’s starting up his own gynaecology business once they start hearing about Dr Drai’s products and events? Might that be a thing that people might think? No, says the judging panel.

Goodman writes: “Although opposer has established that his name Dr Dre is of sufficient fame or reputation, he has failed to show that a connection would be presumed in the mind of the consuming public when applicant’s Dr Drai marks are used in connection with its applied-for goods and services”.

Dr Dre still has the option to appeal. If he wants to improve his chances, maybe he should start sticking bananas through his Y-fronts, like Dr Drai: