So 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?