Doctor wins trademark fight against Dr. Dre
Rap mogul took Bedford OB-GYN to court over name
From Mirror staff reports
Rap mogul Dr. Dre’s debut solo album in 1992 included the single “Nuthin but a G thang.”
But the pronunciation of the rapper’s name is also an “OB-GYN thing” for Bedford gynecologist Dr. Drai, who won a trademark battle against the rapper and record producer Dr. Dre, whose real name is Andre Young.
Dre, now 53, opposed trademark application of Dr. Draion M. Burch, a UPMC Bedford Memorial hospital gynecologist and nationally recognized educational speaker who styles himself as “Doctor Drai.”
UPMC Bedford Memorial staff said Burch was not in the office but was on call Thursday. He could not be reached for comment.
Burch’s website advertises that he’s a sex expert and media personality, nationally recognized author, speaker, consultant and go-to media expert on women’s health and transgender health issues.
He is known by the shortened version of his first name, and in 2015, he sought trademark protection for it.
Dre objected, arguing that because Drai’s media appearances and speaking events take place in a “non-medical setting,” they constitute entertainment, according to The Associated Press. His lawyers told a panel at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office that consumers were likely to mix up Dre and Drai, whose names are pronounced the same way even though they’re spelled differently.
The trademark panel rejected that argument, saying in its May 3 decision that Drai’s “entertainment and educational motivational speaking services, which are specifically limited in content to osteopathic medicine, obstetrics and gynecology, are a subject matter which is obviously far removed from music.”
Dre’s lawyers also argued that Burch’s use of Dr. Drai “implied a false suggestion of a connection” between the two.
But the gynecologist said he applied for the trademark simply because “that’s my name.”
Drai testified that he didn’t want to be associated with Dre because “it’s a bad reflection on me as a doctor,” according to the trademark panel’s decision.
Dre is an original member of rap group N.W.A who released his debut solo album, “The Chronic,” in 1992. He’s also the co-founder of headphone maker Beats Electronics, which Apple acquired in 2014 for more than $3 billion.
Drai frequently appears on TV and radio, travels the lecture circuit and blogs on his website. His books include “20 Things You May Not Know About the Penis” and “20 Things You May Not Know About the Vagina.”