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Yoga Wars? India’s Patent Police are for Peace, Probably

in Business of Yoga, World News, YD News, Yoga Origins

The Washington Post has joined in on the ‘Yoga Wars’ debate (who named it this anyway?) It’s been said the battles began when sweaty star Bikram Choudhury moved to patent his sequence of 26 poses back in ’04. Since then we’ve been hearing more and more about India reclaiming their ancient heritage by documenting yoga, ayurveda and other traditional practices in a gargantuan digital library – 34 million pages so far! We talked about this before (Read: Patently Preserved: India Will No Longer Let You Steal Their Yoga).

“Yoga is collective knowledge and is available for use by everybody no matter what the interpretation,” said V.K. Gupta, head of the digital library, which was set up by the ministries of health and science. “It would be very inappropriate if some companies try to prevent others from any yoga practice, even if they call it some other name. So we wanted to ensure that, in the future, nobody will be able to claim that he has created a yoga posture which was actually already created in 2500 B.C. in India.”

What we gather from this, is that they’re not trying to spank Westerners for stealing, mostly, but rather protect yoga by keeping it universally free…? As always, would love to hear your thoughts.

Once again, our dreams of bringing pOga* to the masses have been shattered.

*(the freestyling street yoga on a pogo stick! When plain old walking just isn’t enough. Bounce into bliss!)


5 comments… add one
  • strangely_brown

    A patent provides its owner with the right to prevent other people from making/doing/using/etc. the invention. In order to be granted a patent, one of the things you need to do is prove that your invention is novel. That is, it’s something actually “new” to the world. By establishing the digital database, patent examiners will have a convenient and reliable source on which to rely to determine whether these inventions are actually novel. Additionally, if there are other interested parties who oppose a related patent, they will be able to submit strong evidence that the claimed invention already existed in the prior art.

  • Yoga should be universally free! I’m on board with India.

    BTW – based on what strangely_brown said above – I think you might have a case in proving that pOga is novel.

    I’ll be bouncing off to bliss now.

  • I have to agree with India on this. I think it’s cool that people come up with their own styles of yoga, but I really tire of those who feel like it’s okay to franchise it out. How do you “invent” something that is ancient? Aren’t you merely discovering what already exhists? Enjoy it and share, I say.

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