Battle between two very different Doctors comes to an end at last: Dr Drai v Dr Dre

Written by Margaret Briffa | May 17, 2018

Trade Marks

While I know the cult of celebrity is bigger in the US than in the UK one thing that has mercifully not yet hit our shores is the idea of a celebrity gynaecologist. Avoiding the impulse to hide behind the sofa and chew on a cushion I learn that a certain real Dr Drai, University of Ohio, has been locked in a trademark battle with hip hop star Dr Dre, University of Life, and co-founder of N.W.A – a group contributed enormously to the foundations of the Gangster Rap music genre.

Both Dr Dre and Dr Drai have significant online presences. For a rap star that is no surprise. The web presence of Dr Drai however is nothing like that of a beleaguered NHS Consultant. There are public speaking events, blogs, books (including one called ‘20 Things You May Not Know About The Vagina’) and even a press room. It is not surprising therefore that the commercially savvy Dr Drai should apply for a trade mark to protect his name for his business activities.

Dr Dre whose name is pronounced the same as that of Drai objected. Dr Dre submitted that his name in the recording industry is sufficiently related to Dr Drai’s application to protect  MP3 files, magazines, audio books, a series of books and other types of public performance under the brand Dr Drai that the public would be confused into believing there was a connection between the two.

After a three year battle at the US Trade Mark Registry said they did not agree. The Registry 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.

“Dr Dre had 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 must be relieved at the outcome. In his submission to the registry he had stated that he had applied to register in order be able to use the brand to further his career and avoid confusion with the Rap Star whose songs include B****** Ain’t S*** and which could be considered offensive to the women he worked with.

For information as to the full title and lyrics of the rap song referred above go here.

For information on how to protect your brand and make sure that other people’s reputations do not sully your own, call us for a free consultation on 0207 288 6003.

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