Here's another good likelihood of confusion test/example in a recent trademark application for a mark that you all might have heard of before.
On January 13th, 2021, Warner Bros. filed a trademark opposition against Lawrence Merle Nelson DBA William Brown MD, for his application to register “What’s Up Doc?” for “personal coaching services in the fields of self-empowerment (Class 41).” As you all know, Bugs Bunny aka Warner Bros is pretty famous for using that phrase since its appearance in cartoons in the 1940’s. Warner Bros owns the federal trademark to “What’s up Doc?” since 1988 in class 25 for T-shirts.
It looks like the trademark office did not believe that a likelihood of confusion exists between the applied for mark and Warner Bros, however Warner Bros is claiming the fame associated with their use of the mark established prior rights and that this trademark registration should be refused.
What do you think? Should Warner Bros trademark application for “What’s up Doc?” will T-shirts be able to stretch into class 41 and prevent Mr. Nelson’s application to use the mark for personal coaching services?
I don’t know about this one Warner Bros…. I agree that “What’s up Doc?” is almost always going to be associated with Bugs, however I am pretty sure Bugs is not a real MD and I would not expect Bugs or Warner Bros to be providing personal coaching services. This might be too much of a stretch. This reminds me of my previous post where I analyzed the trademark battle between Dr. Dre (the recording artist) and Dr. Drai, the OBGYN. In that case, the OBGYN won and was allowed to register his name “Dr. Drai” in class 41. We will see what happens here.