In a May 3, 2018 decision, the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board found that gynolocologists are not confusingly similar to rap artists.
Draion Burch is a Pennsylvania doctor who goes by the nickname Dr. Drai. He provides obstetrics and gynecology medical services and speaking services, and filed two U.S. trademark applications to register DR. DRAI and DOCTOR DRAI (and Design). Andre Young, the rapper and music producer known as Dr. Dre, opposed these applications based on his own registrations for DR. DRE.
Young (Dr. Dre) alleged that Dr. Burch’s motivational and educational speaking services offered under the DR. DRAI marks were related to his own musical entertainment services. The Board disagreed, finding that osteopathic medicine, obstetrics and gynecology are subject matters obviously far removed from music. “Absent extrinsic evidence as to how musical composition, musical production and educational and motivational speaking services are related, the fact that these services fall within the general category of entertainment is insufficient on its face to show relatedness.”
While the Board acknowledged that it is a common practice of celebrities to use their names in connection with a vast array of goods and services in order to capitalize on their renown, it found that Dr. Dre is not a medical doctor and not qualified to provide medical services. The Board ultimately concluded that Dr. Dre failed to show that a connection would be presumed in the mind of the consuming public when Applicant’s DR. DRAI marks are used in connection with the applied-for goods and services, and dismissed the oppositions.
This decision comes as good news to my mother, who is called G-LO (short for “Grandma Lois”) by her grandchildren. She no longer has to be worried about being sued by J-LO, since grandma services are unrelated to entertainment services. I think! 😉