Delhi High Court rules against yoga copyrights and trademarks

I don’t know if this will have any far-reaching ramifications, but there are reports from India out this week that the Delhi High Court has ruled against efforts to trademark or copyright asana and other yoga practices.

Here’s one report from IBN:

Exclusive rights over yoga and pranic exercises, which are derivatives of ancient technique of yoga in India, cannot be claimed under the Copyright Act, the Delhi High Court has held.

The court made the observations while rejecting the plea of Philippines-based Institute for Inner Studies seeking to restrain some persons from teaching the ‘asanas’ (postures) claimed to be developed by the founder of the institute.

The court relied upon the position of law on the matter in the US and noted that the court there had denied protection to Yoga asanas in case of Bikram Choudhary who is also teaching modern yoga techniques in the US.

The trademark issue was around the phrase “Pranic Healing.”

In general, courts in various countries seem to be moving away from allowing tight controls over yoga (as suggested in the above excerpt). I suppose we next should wonder what the Delhi High Court will say about yoga videos.

Posted by Steve


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Two Ashtangis write about their practice and their teachers.

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