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YogaGlo is Now Apparently Bullying Companies with ‘Glo’ in Their Name

in Business of Yoga, YD News

glo-your-own-way

Another controversy brews in the land of yoga intellectual property.

Remember when YogaGlo tried to stop everyone from making yoga videos that used similar camera angles? They sent cease and desist letters, threatened legal action against other online yoga businesses and even submitted for further patents. But the people prevailed, and with the help of a petition and the nudge of terrible press, eventually YogaGlo gave in and let it go. But, while the yoga video patent stuff doesn’t seem to be a big issue anymore, apparently their legal team is still keeping pretty busy. Now YogaGlo is out to lay claim to all the “Glo”s.

Their latest target is HeartGLO, a wellness and health-tracking company based out of San Francisco. According to HeartGLO, YogaGlo lawyers have contacted them for having a name too similar and want them to change it. From patents to trademarks, folks!

HeartGLO, their business threatened by a bigger and more powerful entity, is putting out the call for community and public support in fighting back. They’ve penned an open letter to YogaGlo and published it on their website explaining the need for communal support.

Yogaglo’s current tactic involves the use of their trademarks to suppress the free exchange not only of yoga-related content, but also all fitness-based content. We, HeartGLO Inc., are one of the unfortunate recipients of their newest wave of aggression. Our small digital health startup is not a competitor to Yogaglo’s online yoga platform. Further, our unique name, HeartGLO, is a prima facie distinctive mark, having already received trademark examiner approval. While the facts support us in fighting our case legally, we write this open letter because, as in the past, there are even larger issues that warrant our collective awareness and discussion.

HeartGLO has applied for their own trademark, which has been approved, but is now awaiting final confirmation due to YogaGlo’s objection and consequent dispute, according to their letter. But despite HeartGLO’s claim that there could be no mistake or confusion between the two companies, they say YogaGlo, whose tagline is, ironically, “everyone’s yoga,” is still bullying them and won’t budge: “Yogaglo, employing vast legal resources and a demonstrated propensity for litigiousness, could use procedural tactics to delay, fail to comply with their high burden of proof, or otherwise outspend us into a “win”.”

Yogaglo, dishonoring yoga with these tactics, uses them as a basis in an attempt to scare us into actually surrendering our unique, meaningful name. HeartGLO was inspired through true yogic practice, symbolizing our heart chakra’s radiance as we integrate mind, body, & soul. Despite our distinctness, and the basis for why we discuss yoga to begin with, Yogaglo’s aggressive lawyer has told us they’ll not engage in any compromise.

HeartGLO has not fully explained in their letter he exact demands from YogaGlo’s lawyers, though a name change is the expected requested resolution. But can YogaGlo really lay claim to all the “Glo”s of the world? Read the full letter from HeartGLO here.

Update 3/14:/15: YogaGlo not only holds a trademark for their name, they own trademarks for a whole slew of Glos, including PilatesGlo, FitnessGlo and the word Glo itself.

Here’s the full list (as far as we know):

Mark: FITNESSGLO S#:85209598 R#:4298658
Mark: CLICK & GLO S#:85649019 R#:4257758
Mark: YOGAGLO S#:85209595 R#:4166507
Mark: YOGAGLO S#:77507529 R#:3764227
Mark: DANCEGLO S#:86043023
Mark: GLO S#:85810776
Mark: PILATESGLO S#:86027684

Correction 3/14/15: It was previously reported that HeartGLO already owned their trademark. In fact, they have applied for a trademark and it has been indefinitely blocked by YogaGlo.

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Earlier

24 comments… add one

  • Yoga_Dude

    If someone names their company MonsterGLO, they will be royally screwed.

  • mike

    Good for HeartGlo. Stay your ground. Good for YogaDork for publishing this. Yogaglo is a predatory company; the anusara lineage runs deep over there. This type of bullying is the same thing that John Friend engaged in by trying to trademark everything and other aggressive tactics.
    Stay your ground, HeartGlo. You have your Trademark, it is distinctive. I doubt that Yogaglo will actually go through with their threats. They backed down already–they don’t have the balls to face a malicious prosecution/abuse of process claim if they lose (which they will). THAT would take this repugnant entity down.
    Consider a Kick Starter campaign for legal funds.
    Tell them to fucking bring it on.

  • Jacob

    Most of Yogaglo’s glo marks are “Intent to Use” which means that Yogaglo isn’t even using them currently — but has laid ownership claims over nevertheless. When a company files an Intent to Use application, they must show bonafide use in commerce 6 months after an allowance. This requires an Affidavit under oath showing that they are truly using the marks in every single way they claimed they would (which in Yogaglo’s case is usually everything under the sun). Otherwise, It’s Fraud! Yogaglo has already filed TWO 3-6 month extensions on this time grant for its mark “Danceglo” and will likely keep up that delay strategy for “Glo” as well b/c they don’t appear to actually use them. While HeartGLO also seems to have filed an Intent to Use, they were indeed using just months after filing with their live iOS App. Clearly Yogaglo is just sitting on all these glo marks, not even using several, and like a tyrant blocking all other uses of glo — even those that U.S. trademark examiners have specifically allowed as distinctive marks like HeartGLO, The Glow Effect, and others! This is legal manipulation and entitlement at its worst. Very disappointing from a company that claims to teach yogic values.

  • S.

    A very simple solution to stop YogaGlo’s perceived ownership of Yoga: non action. By not clicking on their website and supporting their products, they will not have the money to pay attorneys fees to bully others. Yoga was given to us from Lord Siva. For those who try to exploit and capitalize on this God given resource are subject to harsh karmic law. I urge all of you to not patronized this company and encourage your friends and students to do the same. Also, don’t support teachers who feature themselves on this website. Instead, save your money and do Yoga practice at home from what you have learned from your teachers. This is the true Yogic way.

  • satya

    Intellectual (and other types of) honesty does not seem to be Yogaglo’s strong suit, despite their quest for intellectual property rights. Abandoning their patent wasn’t a magnanimous act. They would have been facing serious sanctions had they tried to enforce it. They knew this, but, like I said, intellectual honesty isn’t a big factor over there. Hence, the rather quiet abandoning of the patent. You see, they had no right to ever apply for a patent. You have to certify that you have not disclosed your “invention” publicly more than a year prior to your application. Otherwise it is considered prior art. You have to disclose any prior art you are aware of too. Yogaglo didn’t tell the patent office that they had published videos on their own website that would have invalidated their patent (ironically, John Friend is the teacher in the damning video). Here’s a link to an amusing article on the same:

    https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2014/10/octobers-very-bad-no-good-totally-stupid-patent-month-filming-yoga-class

  • Or better yet, boycott the “yogaglo teachers” in real life. Here’s the list (mostly just recycles anusara bunnies, anyway):
    Alex van Frank
    Amy Ippoliti
    Annie Carpenter
    Carole Westerman
    Chelsey Korus
    Dr. Chris Chapple
    Claire Missingham
    Darren Rhodes
    David Harshada Wagner
    Dice Iida-Klein
    Dr. Douglas Brooks
    Elena Brower
    Felicia Tomasko
    Giselle Maria
    Jason Crandell
    Jo Tastula
    Jodi Blumstein
    Katherine Priore
    Kathryn Budig
    Kia Miller
    Marc Holzman
    Marla Apt
    Mary Taylor
    Noah Mazé
    Richard Freeman
    Rod Stryker
    Sally Kempton
    Seane Corn
    Sianna Sherman
    Stephanie Snyder
    Steven Espinosa
    Tara Judelle
    Taylor Harkness
    Tias Little
    Tiffany Cruikshank

  • Angela

    Wow, that list includes nearly every celebrity yoga teacher I can think of… Is everyone part of some greedy, corrupt system? So disheartening.

  • satya

    @bradd graves: Done and done.

    Thanks for the heads up.

  • While interesting to see how each of these attempts to “own” yoga on some level, I also find it disheartening. Owning everything, at least in a legal sense, seems to be important in today’s world.

  • Jacob

    Most of Yogaglo’s glo marks are “Intent to Use” which means that Yogaglo isn’t even using them currently — but has laid ownership claims over nevertheless. When a company files an Intent to Use application, they must show use 6-8 months after an allowance. This means they must file an Affidavit under oath showing that they are truly using the marks in every single way they claimed they would. Otherwise, its fraud. Yogaglo has already filed TWO 3-6 month extensions on this time grant for its mark “Danceglo” and will likely keep up that delay strategy for “Glo” as well b/c they don’t appear to actually use them. HeartGLO also seems to have filed an Intent to Use and indeed could show use just months after filing with their iOS App. Yogaglo is just sitting on so many glo marks, not even using them, and like a tyrant blocking all other uses of glo marks — even those that U.S. trademark examiners have specifically allowed as distinctive marks like HeartGLO, The Glow Effect, and others. This is legal manipulation and entitlement at its worst. Very disappointing from a company that claims to teach yogic values!

  • Jacob

    Most of Yogaglo’s glo marks are “Intent to Use” which means that Yogaglo isn’t even using them currently — but has laid ownership claims over nevertheless. When a company files an Intent to Use application, they must show bonafide use in commerce 6 months after an allowance. This requires an Affidavit under oath showing that they are truly using the marks in every single way they claimed they would (which in Yogaglo’s case is usually everything under the sun). Otherwise, It’s Fraud! Yogaglo has already filed TWO 3-6 month extensions on this time grant for its mark “Danceglo” and will likely keep up that delay strategy for “Glo” as well b/c they don’t appear to actually use them. While HeartGLO also seems to have filed an Intent to Use, they were indeed using just months after filing with their live iOS App. Clearly Yogaglo is just sitting on all these glo marks, not even using several, and like a tyrant blocking all other uses of glo — even those that U.S. trademark examiners have specifically allowed as distinctive marks like HeartGLO, The Glow Effect, and others! This is legal manipulation and entitlement at its worst. Very disappointing from a company that claims to teach yogic values.

  • Jenn

    Your money speaks louder than our voices now-a-days. Use your money loudly and do some research to see where it truly is going. Support your local yoga studios!

  • Nik

    There is an online petition regarding this issue on change.org, urge you to read, sign, and spread the word!

    https://www.change.org/p/yogaglo-derik-mills-yogaglo-stop-suppressing-free-speech-and-free-use-of-yoga-fitness-information

  • I’m smilin’ my best White Glo smile at this inanity. See link above.

  • I’m smilin’ my best White Glo smile at this inanity. See link above.

    I am one pissed off An-glo! And I intend to spray paint this in Day Glo everywhere!
    I will make a sign with this font (http://www.letterperfectinc.net/moonglo.htm} and put it up at night under artificial light (http://www.moongloworklight.com/

  • S.

    The choice is clear: when you want to do yoga online, GLO to another site that isn’t trying to exploit yoga for financial gain.

  • Katie

    There are One Thousand plus “glo” marks in existence as registered U.S. Trademarks so clearly Yogaglo doesn’t own glo even if they have a couple of glo marks. 4 out of 1451 marks does not glo ownership make : http://tess2.uspto.gov/bin/showfield?f=toc&state=4808%3Aw3mkzo.2.51

  • Kelly Randall
  • Northern Harrier

    I emailed YogaGLO this morning and said they had to stop this or I would cancel my subscription and stop recommending the site to students. This is the response I got back (very quickly):

    We appreciate you reaching out. That post is false and misleading.

    They applied for a trademark that we have owned for years and it was public knowledge that we owned it for years.

    We simply replied to their application for a trademark that we own. That is not harassment or bullying. Owning a trademark is not a violation of free speech. It is curious they would claim a trademark violates free speech when they themselves applied for a trademark.

    Unfortunately, as in the post that you reference, there are people and websites that believe they are reporting facts but have not checked facts before publishing misinformation.

    Warm regards,

    Celia S.
    YogaGlo Support Specialist

  • Jay

    Northern Harriet – Yogaglo DOES NOT have a registered trademark on HeartGlo. There are thousands of “glo” marks, and HeartGlo is a distinct mark in both the eyes of Trademark law and the individual TM Examiner that approved HeartGlo by determining the same. By filing frivolous legal actions, as Yogaglo seems to frequently be in the habit of doing, that are not grounded in law – it is they who fail to use trademarks as the law intends, and instead abuse them unjustly to block the free-use and open-sharing of yoga & fitness content by others.

  • Jay

    Sorry about the caps Northern Harrier, didn’t mean to sound agitated about your comment – thanks for sharing it! It’s just frustrating that Yogaglo tells these types of lies to people like you who legitimately question them on their own business ethics in practice. Habitually filing legal actions just because someone uses glo or talks about yoga is hardly Yogic behavior. It’d be great if we could just weed out companies who don’t practice what they teach.

  • Northern Harrier

    No worries, Jay, I was annoyed by their email too and was curious what the response would be on this end. I am going to keep an eye on how this plays out and decide what to do. Unfortunately, YogaGLO is one of the few resources I can afford to study with senior teachers on my measly part-time teaching income. I would be sad to lose the resources so hope we can pressure them to stop doing crap like this.

  • Catherine

    Northern Harrier, check out Ekhart Yoga online and Ester Ekhart. She’s awesome, and the site has a lot to offer. Hopefully, YogaGLO doesn’t figure out a way to take her out.

  • Ralf Leeb

    How about GLO duck yourself.

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