Dr Dre Loses Trademark Battle to Dr. Drai
Dr. Dre is best known for discovering Eminem and for the famous Beats headphones, but he is not a real doctor. The hip-hop entrepreneur Dr. Dre lost a trademark battle with a Dr. Drai, who is an actual doctor by the name of Dr. Draion M. Burch.
Burch is a Pittsburgh gynecologist who calls himself “America’s OBGYN” and whose website advertises that he’s a sex expert and media personality.
In 2011, Dr. Drai—a shortened version of his first name that he is known as professionally—sought trademark protection for his name for his medical and motivational speaking appearances, and other products like books, videos, and podcasts, Ars Technica reported.
But Dre, whose full name is Andre R. Young, disagreed to the protection and wanted the trademark to be annulled in 2015. Dre argued that Drai’s public appearances constitute entertainment because they take place in non-medical settings. Dre’s lawyers said that Dr. Drai “implied a false suggestion of a connection” between Dre and Drai. As such, the brand names Dre and Drai may be mixed up by consumers.
“Both of Applicant’s Marks and DR. DRE begin with the terms doctor or the abbreviation for doctor, which are followed by a term that begins with the letters ‘D’ and ‘R’ and ends with vowels that make the same sound,” lawyers representing Dre wrote in a November 2017 court filing (pdf).
But Dr. Drai. said he wanted the trademark protection because “that’s my name,” Washington Post reported. Drai added that he didn’t want to be associated with Dre, because “it’s a bad reflection on me as a doctor.”
The Dr’s have been in dispute since, until the trial and appeal board of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office dismissed Dr. Dre’s argument on May 3.
The trademark panel said that Dr. Drai’s “entertainment and educational motivational speaking services, which are specifically limited in content to osteopathic medicine, obstetrics, and gynecology, are a subject matter which is obviously far removed from music.”
In the document is a quote from Drai:
“I was just appalled how someone would think that I wanted to be them and I actually went to medical school.”
By Mimi Nguyen Ly