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India all set to show yoga power

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  • Swami Jnaneshvara Bharati
    http://www.siliconindia.com/nextpage.asp?newsno=28381 Tuesday, June 07, 2005 NEW DELHI: India s more than 4,000 year-old yoga traditions may witness some
    Message 1 of 1 , Jun 8, 2005

      Tuesday, June 07, 2005

      NEW DELHI: India's more than 4,000 year-old yoga traditions may
      witness some high-octane trade disputes sometime from now, business
      daily Economic Times has reported.

      The Union government is building its muscles to bust the market
      monopolies on yoga that Western practitioners have been securing
      through copyrights, trademarks and patents. Yoga is a flourishing $27
      billion-a-year business in the U.S.

      To start with, the government is making a digital database of 1,500
      yoga postures and their therapeutic properties that can be used to
      overthrow the 134 patents on yoga accessories, 150 yoga-related
      copyrights and 2,315 yoga trademarks the U.S. Patent Office has
      granted so far, sources said.

      This database, comprising body-cleansing practices, breathing
      exercises, yoga symbols called mudras, postures and special practices
      such as floating in water, will be digitally documented in five major
      international languages so that it can be shared with prominent
      patent offices around the world, the report said.

      This is to prevent the grant of trademarks, copyrights and patents on
      yoga in the future. The database would also help avoid costly
      litigation to reverse the rights already granted. To reverse them,
      India has to move the World Intellectual Property Organization

      The National Institute of Science Communication and Information
      Resources (NISCIR), under the science and technology ministry is
      developing this nearly ten million page digital database for the
      Department of Ayurveda, Yoga, Naturopathy, Unani, Sidha and
      Homoeopathy under the health ministry.

      Many of these rights have been secured by non-resident Indians like
      Bikram Chowdhury, who used a copyright on his book in which he
      described his sequence of yoga postures to prevent others from
      teaching them, although the postures themselves were not under any
      form of protection.

      He got protection for a sequence of 26 postures called `asanas' to be
      performed at a particular atmospheric temperature. While the postures
      are straight out of India's tradition, the temperature requirement,
      the ambience and accessories such as the mat spread on the floor are
      his own, as justifications for the protection, an official source

      The government now fears that someone may get market monopoly for the
      Buddhist way of meditation called `vipassana' and transcendental
      meditation taught by UP-based Maharshi Vedic University. There is
      another problem the government is facing now, with no easy solution
      in sight. "There are instances where people have been registering
      yoga-related domain names only for selling them later at a huge
      profit," the official said, the report added.
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