jueves, 11 de junio de 2009

In-conclusion PUNE 8 February 6 - 12, 2009
■ Vinita Deshmukh
While the photographs of the
spiritual mystic Osho may
have been stripped from
every visible place in the
Osho Meditation Resort
headquarters in Koregaon
Park, the fight to hold on to exclusive rights over the name
`Osho’, his meditation techniques, his works including
lectures, books, audio and video tapes. his Zen tarot card
reading and meditation centres went on for nine long years.
The rights, which were self-stylishly adorned by a
firm, called Osho International Foundation (OIF) with its
headquarters at Zurich was run by western disciples of
Osho, some of them belonging to the management that runs
the Osho commune in Pune. The OIF lay claim to all that
Osho stood for, soon after his death in 1990. For this, the
OIF had filed for patent at the Chicago based official patent
registration office in the USA. They had been granted some
patents, and some were pending.
This self-seized monopoly had several implications. It
meant that permission was required and fees were charged
if any disciple opened an Osho Meditation Centre. Until
then, any individual could open centres. Swami Chaitanya
Keerti,former spokesman of the Osho Commune who is
based in Delhi and led the fight against patenting of Osho
reasons why no one can monopolise Osho. He cites an
excerpt from Osho’s discourse `Om Shanti Shanti’ wherein
Osho has stated that, ``Things can be copyrighted, thoughts
cannot be copyrighted, and certainly meditations cannot be
copyrighted. They are not things of the marketplace. Nobody
can monopolize anything. But perhaps the West cannot
understand the difference between an objective commodity
and an inner experience. For ten thousand years the East
has been meditating and nobody has put trademarks upon
Website monopoly denied
States Swami Chaitanya Keerti, ``Soon after “Osho”,
left His body in 1990 Osho International Foundation OIF
Zurich attempted to hijack the legacy of Osho . On the basis
of these registrations the Zurich entity started to monopolise
Osho and His heritage of meditations. The Zurich entity used
these maneuvers to harass and force many centers around
the world. Many Osho centers closed their centers to avoid
dealing with the threats of legal actions by OIF using their
purported claims of ownership of trademarks, copyrights
In March 2000, a web site www.oshoworld.com
dedicated to making a huge volume of Osho discourses
freely available on the internet, was served with a notice and
pulled down from the net. The Zurich based foundation tried
to force Osho Dhyan Mandir to abandon the domain name
www.oshoworld.com and transfer its ownership to them.
The Osho Dhyan Mandir sought legal intervention.
In its verdict on July 28, 2000 the National Arbitration
Forum of USA decided in favour of Osho Dhyan Mandir and
stated that :
“To grant ( OIF, Zurich’s ) request for relief would be to
permit virtual monopolisation on the Internet by the Osho
International Foundation ( Zurich entity)...While making no
judgment on the relative merits or validity of the world’s
religions or spiritual movements or any leader thereof...
permitting this would be as improper as doing the same
with Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Zorastrianism, Hinduism,
Buddhism, Taoism, Confucianism, Shintoism or any of the
several hundred other of the world’s religions and/or spiritual
Despite this verdict, many Osho Meditation Centres all
over the world were being pressurised to eight pay fees or
close down, states Swami Keerti.
Osho Friends file for cancellation of copyright
When the Zurich entity continued to work towards
legal ownership control of Osho movement and centers
around the world Osho Friends decided in 2000 to file for
cancellation of the said copyright. Swami Keerti states that
``Chicago law firm of DLF Piper Rudnick came forward with
its whole hearted support to the Osho Friends, in the cause
for freedom of spirituality and meditation.’’
OIF loses the case on January 13, 2009
Tho Osho International Foundation (OIF) had to finally
bite dust on January 13, last month, when the official patent
outfit of the USA, gave a verdict against any such copyright
and declared that `Osho’ is a generic name as it is used
for various purposes and hence cannot be copyrighted.
The judgement interestingly compared it with the case
of `Montessorie’ - the lady whose missionary zeal was
primary education. In that case too, copyright was denied
as the word `Montessorie’ had become synonymous with
education. Similarly, in a strongly worded unanimous verdict
Soon after spiritual mystic Osho
died in 1990, a foundation called
Osho International Foundation (OIF)
based in Zurich applied for trademark
registrations (patenting) of the
name `Osho’ at the Chicago based
patent and trademark office. They
sought exclusive rights for the name
Osho as well as for his publications,
meditations, therapies and meditation
centres, which were named after him
or created by him. Some of the patents
were accorded to them. This implied
that OIF had to be paid heavy fees if
anyone wanted to start a meditation
centre or even upload anything about
Osho on the Internet. This led to mass
protests from Osho followers all over
the world, led by former spokesman
of the Osho Commune, Swami
Chaitanya Keerti, based in Delhi now.
In the year 2000, a group called Osho
Friends International, with Swami Keerti
in the lead, hired American lawyers
and filed a case with the United States
Patent and Trademark office (USPTO)
petitioning against patenting of Osho.
After nine years, last fortnight on
January 13, USPTO gave a judgement
against patenting of Osho, stating
`Osho’ cannot be a patent trademark
as it is used to describe various
things like his teachings, meditations
and names of centres. It compared
it to a case relating to `Montessorie’
wherein it had declared that the
name is synonymous with primary
education and hence is `general.’
While followers of Osho all over the
world are rejoicing, the Osho Commune
headquarters in Pune has termed the
judgement akin to downgrading down
Osho to ``tissues and computers.’’
An overview of this interesting
case that has its roots in Pune
Osho is Mine,
Yours, Everyone’s

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