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Online Yoga Drama Continued…YogaVibes Comments on Legal Threats, YogaGlo Patent

in Business of Yoga

patent-stampSo this YogaGlo patent, arewerite? The one that set off a firestorm, enough to have customers cancel accounts and yogis speak out in frustration followed by the Yoga Alliance getting off their butts for a surprising, atypical turn of superheroism (the petition is currently at almost 4,500 signatures). That one. It’s not the first time yoga businesses have tried to stamp out their competition (see: Bikram and hot yoga) and apparently, it’s not the first time online yoga classes have been the target of trademarking woes. It’s not just beer, folks.

Another successful online yoga website, YogaVibes, posted a response to the fracas on their blog today. They maintain that “there is plenty of room online to reflect the richness and depth of our community – no one site can fit everyone’s needs.” They also hint at how competitive this here world of online yoga can be.

While this appears to be the first time the yoga community at large has learned of another streaming company being served with a cease and desist letter, this is not the first time we have heard about this particular letter and patent, and we have navigated similar situations in the past. For example, at one point we had a section on our site labeled “My Yoga.” We were threatened with legal action for using this specific two word phrase if we did not immediately remove or rename that section. There will always be drama – all the more reason for accessible yoga!

They don’t say who threatened legal action, but you could probably guess who.

To be fair, when you’re starting a business or creating something unique you hope no one will copy and call their own, trademarking and patenting can be a helpful thing. However, in the spirit of yoga and namaste, as it were, yoga practitioners can be much more discerning when cutthroat tactics and legal action are called into play. Can’t we all yoga nice together?

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5 comments… add one

  • Eva

    The Yogaglo applications includes modifications to the set-up described in the patent, which makes it near impossible for anyone using the most obvious camera angle (straight on the teacher) to NOT interfere with the ‘invention.’ Amazing attempt at a unilateral land grab from a company claiming to have a mission to make yoga more widely available.

    FROM PATENT APPLICATION
    [0041] In the forgoing description, the method and apparatus of the present invention have been described with reference to specific examples or embodiments. It is to be understood and expected that variations in the principles of the method and apparatus herein described may be made by one skilled in the art and it is intended that such modifications, changes and substitutions are to be included within the scope of the present invention as set forth in the appended claims. The Specification and the drawings are accordingly to be regarded in an illustrative rather than in a restrictive sense.

    [0042] The following claims are thus to be understood to include what is specifically illustrated and described above, what is conceptually equivalent, what can be obviously substituted.

  • mike

    I trademarked my Yoga Studio name not so I can prevent people using it but to stop people from allowing ME to use it. I couldnt care less if someone used my name because I’M the asset, not my name.

    It all goes down to intention. Sadly the actions Yogaglo took against the Himilayan Institute says it all.

    It not hard to find a lawyer (especially in CA) who will convince their client that what they are doing is ‘just & ok’ & ‘protecting your assets’ & even warning Yogaglo that inevitably they might lose 10-15% of your subscriptions but gain an additional 30% of the ‘mass market’ of whom don’t care about the ethics of their decision to patent something they didn’t actually invent!

    Yogaglo has unwittingly signed up for years of litigation which is exactly what the lawyers want. I’ve seen this happen many many times & its only going to hurt them in the end I’m afraid.

    It’s not too late for Yogaglo to retract however sadly I think the damage is done. bummer because it was such a great site :(

    I wish all the teachers good luck.

  • mike

    oh! good news! you can oppose yogaglos patent here http://www.uspto.gov/patents/process/file/efs/guidance/epetition-info.jsp

  • Mike

    that is good news Mike. Thanks for sharing!
    also check bemoreyogic’s reply on this patent here: https://www.bemoreyogic.com/posts/be-more-yogic-s-response-to-yogaglo-s-recent-patent-war-on-yoga-videos

  • MyYogaWorks – YogaWorks’ online yoga platform also responded to the YogaGlo patent.
    http://myyogaworksblog.com/2013/09/24/the-yoga-community-responds-to-yogaglos-patent-request-2/

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