Andre Young, better known as Dr Dre, objected to a trademark application made by Dr. Draion Burch – who commonly goes by Dr. Drai. The three-year long battle against the media personality was made by Dre as the gynecologist’s name – although spelled differently – is pronounced the same.
Burch, who has written books such as 20 Things You May Not Know About The Vagina, goes by the moniker Dr. Drai and attempted to trademark this name. Dre objected to this, with documents published by the US Patent and Trademark Office saying “[Dre’s] name in the recording industry is sufficiently related to applicant’s ‘MP3 files, magazines, audio books, a series of books and other types of public performance’.”
Dr Drai applied to use the name “in connection with services that relate to the (entertainment) industry in which Dr Dre is recognised,” and as such the hip-hop legend objected to the trademark as consumers may get confused and associate them with one another. “It is beyond question that the applicant’s marks would be viewed by the public as pointing uniquely and unmistakably to Dr Dre” he said.
The US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) rejected this, saying that consumers would be able to differentiate between the two – as Dr. Drai is a gynecologist and public speaker on women’s health issues. The USPTO said that Dre “failed to show that a connection would be presumed in the mind of the consuming public when the applicant’s Dr Drai marks are used in connection with its applied-for goods and services.“