After two-and-a-half years of deliberation, the U.S. Trademark Office dismissed Dr. Dre’s trademark claim Friday against gynecologist Dr. Draion M. Burch, who goes by Dr. Drai.
The 53-year-old hip-hop mogul filed his claim in 2015 — two weeks after Burch’s application for the Dr. Drai trademark. Dr. Dre cited the dilution of his brand and false suggestion of connection and likelihood of confusion between the two names as his grounds for the complaint, the BBC reports.
While the board recognized the similarity in stylization and pronunciation of the two names, their commonality as “entertainment services,” which Dr. Dre asserts, was not enough to relate the services associated with their respective brands. A consumer seeking health care from or to schedule a talk with Burch, which range from $1,000 to $5,000, would likely exercise enough care to realize they are not paying for one of Dr. Dre’s services.
Although intent isn’t necessary to find a wrongful appropriation of an established trademark, Burch argued that he had no desire to be associated with Dr. Dre because it would reflect poorly on him as a doctor, citing Dre’s consistent use of misogynistic and homophobic lyrics. Burch also argued that consumers wouldn’t confuse the two names because, “Dr. Dre is not a medical doctor nor is he qualified to provide any type of medical services or sell products specifically in the medical or healthcare industry.”
Refered to as Drai by his family and friends, the nickname carried over to his medical career as his professors, colleagues and patients call him Dr. Drai. In addition to his medical practice, Burch cultivated his brand well before the trademark dispute as a motivational speaker, an author of books such as “20 Things You May Not Know About The Vagina” and “20 Things You May Not Know About The Penis” and as an online personality.