Yoga IP suit settled

Denise Howell, fortunately, caught and reported in on the settlement
of the extraordinary Bikram Yoga intellectual property lawsuit over the
rights to “hot yoga.”  (It is always best of course that matters
settle, but I can’t help but think that this outrageous dispute would
have made for a fabulous trial.) 

From the Hindustan Times story:  “Bikram Choudhury, who
trademarked his name and copyrighted his techniques, had been sending
‘cease and desist’ letters ordering studios to stop teaching the same
form of yoga that his private school has used to train more than 2,000
yoga instructors who have opened more than 1,200 Bikram studios in the

Some of the studios formed a cooperative and sued Choudhury, claiming yoga cannot be copyrighted.

The settlement is confidential, but three people involved in the case,
speaking on condition of anonymity, confirmed that Choudhury has agreed
not to sue the 50 members of the San Francisco-based yoga cooperative
for copyright violations. And cooperative members have agreed not to
advertise the trademarked name ‘Bikram’ without authorisation by

The settlement avoids a June 20 trial that might have settled the legal
question of whether Choudhury’s copyrighted package of 26 poses and two
breathing exercises, performed in a certain sequence, could be legally
protected in federal court.”

The AP, if you are wondering, ran a photo with its story.

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