You’ve heard of beating the rap? Well, a gynecologist in Pennsylvania has beat the rapper ― Dr. Dre, to be exact. Last week, Draion M. Burch ― aka Dr. Drai ― won a three-year legal battle that began when he wanted to trademark his name. That didn’t sit well with the N.W.A. founder-turned-music industry mogul, who tried to block Drai’s efforts, fearing people might be confused by their similar-sounding names. Burch, author of books like 20 Things You May Not Know About The Vagina, won in part by arguing that “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”.
Furthermore, Burch testified that trading on Dre’s reputation would be “a bad reflection on me as a doctor” because some of Dre’s lyrics can be characterized as misogynistic and homophobic. “I was just appalled how someone would think that I wanted to be them and I actually went to medical school,” Burch is quoted as saying. The board ruled that “[t]he issue is not whether purchasers would confuse the goods or services but whether there is a likelihood of confusion as to the source of the goods or services.”
The board dismissed Dre’s opposition, saying it found “no evidence of record” demonstrating that “consumers would likely believe the parties’ goods and services would emanate from the same source.” The decision doesn’t give Drai carte blanche to do whatever he likes. Forbes points out that Dre could have a good case, should the real doctor start rapping about chronic endometriosis or “or anything about a ‘G’ Thang.’” CNN notes that Dr. Dre ― whose real name is Andre Young ― hasn’t issued a comment on the decision.