Patent Trolls Generating Negative Karma
September 26, 2013 9:35 AM   Subscribe

Yoga International, publishers of a similarly-titled magazine, recently migrated to an all-online content. As part of their new technology platform, they have been providing online yoga instruction utilizing a visual recording of a standard yoga classroom set-up. YogaGlo, providers of on-line yoga classes, sent Yoga International a cease-and-desist letter claiming that their recently filed patent application covers the type of view being filmed for an on-line yoga class, and that Yoga International is in violation.

Yoga Alliance, a not-for-profit trade association representing yoga teachers, schools, and studios has provided a nice perspective and is organizing a petition drive.

(Nota bene: Patent trolls and how to respond to them, have been discussed on the blue before, as one could imagine)
posted by scblackman (21 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
 
The legal system reminds me so much of ancient Rome. On the surface there is a veneer of justice, but it's really a matter of who has the money, who has the cunning, and who has lots of fiends.
posted by EnterTheStory at 9:45 AM on September 26, 2013 [6 favorites]


That patent application is amazing and a must-read. Please tell me that POV porn has been similarly patented.
posted by Behemoth at 9:51 AM on September 26, 2013


but it's really a matter of who has the money, who has the cunning, and who has lots of fiends.

I think this is a typo, but either way it's true.
posted by nooneyouknow at 9:52 AM on September 26, 2013 [10 favorites]


*Is* there an existing patent for video presentations online? *Is* it specific to yoga?

Patent trolls exist because many patent granting courts/admins/whatevers grant this kind of ridiculous patent in the first place.

So my take is that the patent administrations are the cause of patent trolls.

(I'm working on a patent application for white text with yellow highlights on a blue background at the moment...)
posted by CrowGoat at 9:54 AM on September 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


Previous IP shenanigans in yoga.

(Though that's honestly minor compared to Bikram Choudhury's other (alleged) transgressions.)
posted by kmz at 9:56 AM on September 26, 2013 [2 favorites]


How can a patent apply to the content on that is being streamed (Yoga) rather than the mechanism, which in this case involves little more than the placement of a camera?

Theoretically they could circumvent the patent by no longer calling it Yoga right?
posted by PenDevil at 10:05 AM on September 26, 2013


Yeah, once yoga becomes a commercial endeavor, it immediately descends into ugly controversy. I think this may have been posted on the Blue a while back, and it really disturbed me, the way business interests were threatening to interfere with the way Ashtanga was being taught.
posted by mittens at 10:06 AM on September 26, 2013


Thank goodness that someone is protecting our precious Yoga resources!
posted by blue_beetle at 10:10 AM on September 26, 2013


Christ, what an ashram-hole!
posted by etherist at 10:13 AM on September 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


Theoretically they could circumvent the patent by no longer calling it Yoga right?

Maybe just play a rimshot after each posture so that it is protected as parody?
posted by mittens at 10:28 AM on September 26, 2013 [3 favorites]


So much for karma.
posted by arcticseal at 10:31 AM on September 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


The best parts of the patent application are where they try to make a case for this being yoga-specific (which it isn't, really), rather than generally applicable to recording a class of any type:

[0023] ...The floor itself is preferably made of 5'' wide white oak wood. If the planks of the wood floor are too thin then the viewing experience is a little too busy and gives a feeling of simply being a gym floor, as opposed to a larger wood panel floor that provides a more substantial feeling of a more sophisticated and welcoming setting. The elements of the studio construction thereby provide a proper atmosphere and ambiance for the yoga video participant.

posted by cjelli at 10:45 AM on September 26, 2013




Part of the appeal of yoga is its unifying power, which promotes harmony both within one's self as well as between people, communities and our environment.
posted by ersatz at 11:38 AM on September 26, 2013


Yeah, once yoga becomes a commercial endeavor, it immediately descends into ugly controversy. I think this may have been posted on the Blue a while back, and it really disturbed me, the way business interests were threatening to interfere with the way Ashtanga was being taught.

Looks like you needn't be disturbed anymore - last month it was announced that the Jois Yoga studios discussed in that Vanity Fair article are closing and the Jois Foundation with shift to a non-profit education focus.
posted by dnash at 12:12 PM on September 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


Well, the C&D letter isn't much of a deal yet. It's just saying "Hi there, I'm the biggest asshole alive, how are you?"
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 12:14 PM on September 26, 2013 [3 favorites]


I will spare you what I think of the organization nudging its way into schools.
posted by mittens at 12:14 PM on September 26, 2013


EnterTheStory: "The legal system reminds me so much of ancient Rome. On the surface there is a veneer of justice, but it's really a matter of who has the money, who has the cunning, and who has lots of fiends."

EnterTheStory, I and these five knife-armed friends of mine would like to pointedly disagree with you on that point. What say we meet outside Capitol Hill next March 15?
posted by IAmBroom at 1:13 PM on September 26, 2013 [2 favorites]


As the CEO of lululemon athletica, I would like to say on behalf of myself, the board, and our investors, that we deplore this attempt to commercialize the sacred traditions and practices of yoga.
posted by Alexander J. Luthor at 1:58 PM on September 26, 2013 [3 favorites]


There are really quite a lot of douchebags in the yoga business.
posted by kjs3 at 3:02 PM on September 26, 2013


Namaste.
posted by sixpack at 3:41 PM on September 26, 2013


« Older In Utero, in utero   |   The Privilege to Play Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments