Dr. Dre’s wife, Nicole Young, has filed for divorce from him in California Court. While Gerben Law typically does not cover family matters, this case makes a very significant trademark claim.
In the complaint that Nicole Young filed in the Superior Court for the State of California, she makes the accusation that “Andre ‘Dr. Dre’ Young was caught secretly transferring valuable trademarks he owned with his wife Nicole Young, to a newly created asset holding company that he created and controlled after he expelled his wife from their home.”
This accusation suggests that Dr. Dre owned trademarks in his name personally and moved them out of his name and into a holding company in an attempt to own them 100% himself. However, Nicole is saying these marks are community property, part of their estate as a married couple, and that she has rights to the trademarks. The relevant accusation under California law says that “these valuable trademarks were filed during Andre’s years married to Nicole, which coincided with Andre’s years of rising success in the music industry. The trademarks are presumed to be community property pursuant to California Family Code Section 760.”
In total, there are five trademarks for “DR. DRE” and one for “THE CHRONIC.” We can verify with the USPTO that, in fact, Dr. Dre transferred these trademarks from his name personally to ARY Trademarks LLC on April 29, 2020. In the assignment document itself, Andre Young provided his signature on April 27, 2020.
From a trademark perspective, this case is very interesting because a court will be deciding what interest Nicole Young owns in the “DR. DRE” and “THE CHRONIC” trademarks.