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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