If you’ve been on a subway or an airplane or a college campus recently, chances are you’ve seen someone wearing Beats By Dr. Dre headphones. But perhaps the ubiquity of his brand is making rapper/entrepreneur Dr. Dre overly litigious.

Dr. Dre’s company, Beats Electronics, which makes the headphones as well as speakers and other audio software, is on a trademark rampage, challenging anyone who tries to register a trademark for “beat” or “beats,” regardless of the context.

Many of the companies Dr. Dre is challenging are smaller, and seeking trademarks for things like software, greeting cards and clothing. But the big kahuna in Dr. Dre’s crosshairs is Sony Computer Entertainment, the subsidiary of Sony Corp. responsible for the PlayStation, which applied for a trademark on “beats” for its toys and computer and online games.

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has scheduled a trial in the Beats/Sony case, which has been delayed to give Beats time to conduct discovery.

Read more at the Wall Street Journal.


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