Andre Romelle Young, the Compton-born rapper / entertainer / entrepreneur who is more commonly known by his alias, Dr. Dre, has finally lost his multi-year dispute against Dr. Drai.
Dr. Drai, whose real name is Draion M. Burch, is a Pennsylvania-based OB/GYN who has made TV appearances and has also authored books on sexual health. In 2015, Drai filed to have his name trademarked in 2015 as “Doctor Drai OBGYN and Media Personality.” Drai desired to trademark the name “Dr. Drai” due to his medical and motivational speaking services, as well as his books, videos, podcasts, and other works that he publishes.
Around the same time, Dre filed to block Drai’s application on the grounds that it could falsely suggest a connection between them and could cause confusion between the two brands. Drai himself was served with a “cease and desist” notice. Dre claimed that his name is “sufficiently related” to “MP3 files, magazines, audio books, a series of books, and other types of public performance.” Dre also claimed that Drai intended to “trade on the goodwill generated by” his well-known name.
Drai has explained that he has not been trying to conduct his business using Dre’s popularity or reputation, as such practices would be “a bad reflection on me as a doctor.” He believed that the rapper’s history with misogyny and homophobia would actually hinder his business, stating that “[B]eing part of the LGBT community, I cannot be associated with that . . . . I [also] cannot be associated with anyone that has any kind of misogynistic speech because it’s a bad reflection on me as a doctor.” Drai further defended himself, stating that customers would be unlikely to mistake himself for Dre as “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.”
Last week Thursday, the USPTO’s Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (T.T.A.B.) dismissed Dre’s challenge, detailed in a 49 page opinion, which means that Drai has finally won the right to keep using his name. In part of its ruling, the TTAB mentioned that Dre was so well known and had not presented enough evidence that people would be confused between Dre and Drai.
Aside from being an actual doctor, Drai has authored books such as “20 Things You May Not Know About a Vagina” (and other books with a similar title), writes advice columns for different publications, and coins himself as one of America’s Top winning health experts. According to his website, Drai prides himself in caring for women’s health, and his late grandmother, who lost her battle with ovarian cancer, plays a big role in the way he practices medicine.