American Yoga Teachers Still Trying To Lock Up Yoga Moves With IP

from the make-it-stop dept

Back in 2004, we first noted the rather disturbing trend of US-based yoga instructors who were trying to franchise their operations trying to copyright or patent yoga moves and prevent competitors from teaching them. Over the years, the problem has gotten worse. Back in 2007, we noted that there were approximately 150 yoga-related copyrights, 134 patents on yoga accessories and 2,315 yoga trademarks -- and the numbers have surely gone up since then. Last year, we noted that India was trying to put together a big database of yoga information, to try to make sure there was clear prior art to stop these instructors from locking up thousands of years of knowledge.

Reader Vidiot was the first of a few of you to point out that American Public Media's Marketplace Morning Report has an update on this story, and it's basically more of the same. American-based yoga instructors are still trying to lock up various yoga moves... and the Indian government is still rushing trying to block them. Unfortunately, it seems like things haven't really changed much, though I'm guessing that the article is wrong in saying that it's yoga "moves" that are being patented. In the past we noted that instructors were trying to copyright the moves, but patent certain accessories. Either way, it seems ridiculous that any basic yoga moves should be restricted at all -- with or without prior art. How you move your body certainly should not be subject to intellectual property protections, and it's sad that the Indian government needs to get involved at all.

Filed Under: copyright, patents, yoga


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  1. icon
    JNomics (profile), 13 Jul 2010 @ 3:19pm

    By this logic, what is to keep a tennis instructor from seeking IP protections for a particular serve motion or volleying technique? The notion is absurd and reflective of the problems inherent in a society that does not have proper understanding of IP's purpose or structure. Sad.

    JNOMICS

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