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337Settlement between Bikram and Open Source

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  • Swami Jnaneshvara Bharati
    May 6, 2005
      The article below is from:

      For more info on Open Source Yoga Unity:

      Yoga Lawyers Attain Enlightenment
      Jeff Chorney
      The Recorder

      The lawyers who got all twisted up over ownership rights to a series
      of yoga positions can relax: They have a settlement, avoiding an
      expensive trial.

      Open Source Yoga Unity, a nonprofit collective of yoga teachers, had
      sued well-known practitioner Bikram Choudhury after Choudhury sent
      cease-and-desist letters to yoga studios that he believes were
      ripping off his intellectual property.

      Choudhury is the most recognizable proponent of so-called "hot" yoga,
      also known as Bikram yoga. He has registered a copyright for a
      sequence of 26 asanas, or poses, to be performed in a heated room.
      (Most yoga is unheated.)

      Choudhury says other teachers have stolen his techniques and wants
      them to stop using his name and his sequence unless he gives

      Magistrate Judge Joseph Spero led settlement talks Tuesday. The
      details are confidential, according to Michael Page of Keker & Van
      Nest, who represented Open Source.

      "We have reached a mutually satisfactory resolution and we look
      forward to working together in the future to continue bringing the
      benefits of yoga to the world," Page said.

      Susan Hollander, a partner at Manatt, Phelps & Phillips who
      represents Choudhury, said she was pleased with the settlement.

      The case appeared headed for trial last month, when U.S. District
      Judge Phyllis Hamilton ruled on summary judgment motions. Although it
      was a mixed ruling, Hamilton leaned in favor of Choudhury, saying
      Open Source had not provided persuasive authority that a compilation
      of yoga asanas cannot be protected under the copyright laws in the
      same manner as other compilations.

      The case is Open Source Yoga Unity v. Bikram Choudhury, 03-3182.