Medicine trumps music in Dr trade mark battle
It seems being one of the world’s highest earning rappers does not give you any sway in the trade mark world as Dr Dre has been stumped by name sake gynaecologist.
The case initially began in 2015, when US based gynaecologist Draion Burch filed a trade mark application in the US for the name ‘Dr Drai’ in respect of educational and entertainment services, as well as health care services.
This was opposed by Dr Dre, the rapper, who claimed the application would cause confusion with his existing trade mark for ‘Dr Dre’ especially as Dr Drai was looking to provide audio books and seminars.
Dr Drai argued against this stating there was no confusion as Dr Dre is not a medical doctor and has no authority to operate in the medical profession. The Doctor also argued against the claim that he is trying to ride on the coattails of Dr Dre as he states the association with the rapper would have a negative effect on his reputation due to instances of Dr Dre’s homophobic language.
The US trade mark office considered the case but fell on the side of medicine in their ruling.
They held that while the two names were similar, there is no likelihood of confusion between the marks. Dr Dre had not shown that allowing the application to be registered would mislead the public.
Comparing the two doctors work, there is clear difference.
The court highlighted that while Dr Drai’s typical fee for his seminar services is approximately $5,000, the consumer who would be interested in this would have operated a higher level of care to ensure they are contacting the right person.
Therefore, Dr Drai was free to continue with his trade mark application.
If you wish to register a trade mark, please contact The Trademarkroom who can assist you in filing in any country in the world.
By Ellis Sweetenham