One “doctor” is known by his stage name, Dr. Dre, and is heavily involved in the music industry, a Grammy award winning-rapper, and known worldwide. The other, Dr. Drai, is a board certified osteopathic doctor and OB/GYN in Pennsylvania. Both “doctors” have been involved in a trademark dispute over the rights to use their name.
The Pennsylvania OB/GYN wanted to trademark his name Dr. Drai for medical educational and entertainment services, health care consulting, and related books. However, Dr. Dre, the music icon, was not happy with this and tried to prevent Dr. Drai from getting a trademark for his name because Dr. Dre believed consumers would be confused between to two doctors.
However, the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) dealt a blow to Dr. Dre. The TTAB evaluated various factors in determining the likelihood of confusion between the marks. Frist, TTAB found that the marks Dr. Dre and Dr. Drai were similar and weighed in favor of a finding of consumer confusion. Next, TTAB evaluated the strength or fame of the prior mark. However, Dr. Dre’s mark was found to only be famous in connection with music—not the medical field.
Crucial to the determination of different services was that Dr. Drai would use his mark in connection with osteopathic medicine, obstetrics and gynecology—areas that are completely different than Dr. Dre’s area—music. Therefore, the Board found that the goods were not related. So, this factor favored the Pennsylvania Dr. Drai.
The Board concluded that there is no likelihood of confusion between Dr. Dre and Dr. Drai. Even though the marks might be similar, the goods and services offered by Dr. Dre (music related) and Dr. Drai (medical related) are too different and outweigh any similarity in appearance.