Hip hop icon Dr Dre has lost a three-year trademark battle with a gynaecologist and “sexpert” called Dr Drai.
The Still D.R.E. rapper – whose real name is Andre Young – objected to the trademark application of the doctor and “media personality” whose nickname is spelled differently but sounds the same as the music producer’s.
Dr Draion Burch, who has written books such as 20 Things You May Not Know About The Vagina, goes by a shortened version of his name and applied to register it as a trademark.
But the music star – behind hits such as Forgot About Dre, Dre Day and I Need A Doctor – objected, arguing the public would be confused and assume a connection between the two parties.
In a document published by the US Patent and Trademark Office, it said Dr Dre argued that his “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’.”
He put it to the department that “it is beyond question that the applicant’s marks would be viewed by the public as pointing uniquely and unmistakably to Dr Dre” as Dr Drai had applied to use the name “in connection with services that relate to the (entertainment) industry in which Dr Dre is recognised”.
But the US Patent and Trademark Office dismissed the objection, saying consumers would be able to distinguish between the 53-year-old musician and the medical doctor, who is a public speaker on women’s health issues.
It said the rapper “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”.
Dr Drai argued he was not using the name in order to further his career as he found the rap lyrics of the former NWA star – who recorded the song B****** Ain’t S*** – offensive to the women he worked with.
Published in the documents, the gynaecologist added: “I cannot be associated with anyone that has any kind of misogynistic speech because it’s a bad reflection on me as a doctor.”
Dr Dre is considered one of the most successful artists in hip hop and helped launch the careers of Snoop Dogg, Eminem and 50 Cent before launching his Beats by Dre headphones brand.