Latest News on Osho Trademarks After Osho leaves his body in 1990, efforts began to monopolize and own Osho’s work, Osho meditations and “Osho”. For approximately ten years, starting in 1992, Osho International Foundation (OIF), Zurich filed applications with the United States Trademark office to register marks for the word “Osho”, Osho’s meditations, and other things related to Osho such as one version of His signature. In doing this, OIF, Zurich claimed to own and control “Osho”, Osho’s meditations, and all of Osho’s work. January 19, 1990 - Osho leaves his body April 25, 1990 – Rajneesh Foundation in Poona changes its name to Osho International Foundation, registered in Bombay. Later Rajneesh Foundation Europe also changed its name to Osho International Foundation, OIF. So there became two different Foundations- one in India and the other in Zurich with the same name. July 1, 1992 – OIF files trademark application in USA: “Osho” under the category of Books and printed materials for education purpose in the field of religion and philosophy 1997: March 17 – OIF files two more trademark applications in USA: “Osho” under the category of pre-recorded audio and video tapes in the field of education, religion, philosophy and science “Osho” under the category of providing religion, philosophy and science information via a global computer network December 29 – OIF files one more trademark application in USA: “Osho” under the category of books and printed materials for education purpose in the field of religion and philosophy Between 1999- 2001: OIF files seven more trademark applications for various meditations: Osho Active Meditations Osho Nadabrahma Meditation Osho Kundalini Meditation Osho Natraj Meditation Osho Gourishankar Meditation Osho Zen Tarot Osho Transformation Tarot Osho Meditation Resort Osho Multiversity Osho Times March, 2000: Based upon its claim to trademarks and copyright ownership, OIF, Zurich launched a legal action against Osho Dhyan Mandir, New Delhi, in an effort to prevent them from using the word, “Osho” in the domain name www.oshoworld.com. The Arbitrator M. Kellery Tillery Esquire gave the verdict on July 28, 2000 and decided in favor of Osho Dhyan Mandir. http://www.oshofriendsinternational.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=61&Itemid=116
November, 2000 – Osho Friends International (OFI) files a petition to cancel the trademarks. January 2, 2001 – OIF files a motion to dismiss the notice of opposition filed by Osho Friends International (OFI) The grounds of opposing the trademark applications were : OIF attained trademarks by misrepresenting the facts before USPTO. Osho being a generic word cannot be trademarked. Meditation is in use since centuries so cannot be trademarked. January 13, 2009: The verdict given by United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), on 13 January 2009, said that Osho and His works cannot be trademarked. http://www.oshofriendsinternational.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=68&Itemid=125 2010: In December 2010, Osho Lotus Commune, Cologne, Germany filed a request in the Trademark Registry of EU in Alicante, for Declaration of Invalidity of “OSHO” trademark that was registered by Osho International Foundation (OIF), Zurich. Swami Ramateertha of Osho UTA, Cologne shared that from the very start after Osho’s leaving the body in 1990, there was a meticulous strategy to establish control over the Osho Centers. Rules and guidelines were given that were coming from fear and control rather than from love and trust. If I had followed those ‚rules’ or guidelines I am absolutely certain the Osho Uta Center would no longer exist today. It is interesting that for seven years after Osho leaving His body, there was never ever a talk about a trademark. (even though preperations for estblishing a trademark were made made behind peoples back since 1994 or 1995) Then suddenly appeared the letter of understanding (LOU) for centerleaders to sign. It was the start of creating a legal bond between Centers and OIF that would enable to legaly rule and control the centers with the help of an Osho Trademark. It became more and more obvious that the Osho trademark, was not so much to control the outside world but to control the Osho centres and the meditation techniques to make money. It is basically a device to keep control and to make money. With the centres they also really wanted to make sure that they have a say and control over centres in different countries. It is ll done under the name of wanting to keep Osho’s vision a 24 carat gold which is that they wanted to keep the gold for themselves. Many people have decided not to open up Osho meditation centres because they did not want to sign those agreements. So basically, accepting the trademark means being under OIF’s call. It was totally in contrast to what Osho said publicly. Osho made it very clear that He wanted His centres to be totally independent and at the most - as he called it - spiritually affiliated. Osho said this to me personaly after the world tour in Kullu Manali, in an interview for the German Osho Times. He clearly expressed that centralization makes people lose their individuality because they cannot stand on their own and they have to listen and look for directives. In that sense the whole thing that has been done is completely opposite to Oshos direct input. During Poona I days and in Rajneeshpuram, there was no legal control. There was of course, Sheela’s input in the centres but that was also because she was coming from Osho, as sent by Osho and whatever she did, she did. Especially in the interviews she said that she was Osho’s secretary; she was using her position to install her regime. That experience is an important point to see: You have to trust your own intelligence and your own sense of freedom and your own sense of imbibing Osho’s vision rather than listening to other people telling you what Osho wanted. Especially said in private over which others have no control and don’t know what He has been saying. Even in the course of the time it was obvious that Osho’s guidance changed while He was already no more in the body. Osho wanted the people who are involved with the centres to grow themselves. And if they were controlled and told what to do or what not to do, their own growth will be limited. You can do things but if it does not come out of your own freedom, your own initiative, your own understanding, you will be just a priest and carbon copies. You will be talking the stuff that is being repeated, you will be just like parrots. Yes,there was a trademark, in Cologne about Zorba the Buddha Osho discotheque. But there is a very big difference when you trademark the name of the business or you trademark the name of a master. In my understanding a trademark ‚Osho’ simply does not exist! It ist he name of a person: Osho! There are many cases where people tried to trademark names, for example, the name Dalai Lama or the name of Jesus Christ, and all those petitions or attempts to trademark those names failed because these names cannot be trademarked. Even the idea, to try to trademark them is ridiculous. At a certain point, a representative of the inner circle openly admitted to me that because they had troubles, the lawyers suggested to them to start creating the trademark. That is something wich I deeply resent, because it is a lie to say that Osho wanted a trademark! This is really how, when the master is out of the body, people start creating their mission and their own ideologies and their own interpretations. I guess we will never know who Jesus really was, because we only have second hand information and experiences. Probably he was a very very cute, loving and juicy guy but we only see him hanging on the cross. It is very clear that the name Osho has never been a trademark in the first place. There was nobody there in the beginning to object but now it has been objected and it becomes clear that an Osho trademark does not work. In case Osho really wanted the trademarks why did He not do it between 1987 and 1990 when He was in Poona. One of His lawyers who was in Poona at that time and working for Him said that He never talked about the trademark at least as long as He was in the body. And His public statements about the trademarks are very clear. It is a stupid idea to try to trademark a name or the meditations because they belong to everybody, not the privilege of certain group to take power of it. The expression to keep something 24 carat gold, the very fact that you try to trademark it, contradicts the gold. For example, people who are against death penalty going as far to say that I shoot everybody who wants death penalty. That is the intelligence of this roof. You have to make a choice, either you have freedom and then you will have the possibility for love, for growth, for expansion as an individual or you decide for control. Control always means the end of growth. Control always means that you cannot flower. The trademark itself would be of no help at all in publication or distribution of His discourses or translations. What for? Nobody is bothered with the trademarks. People are concerned with Osho’s words, with the discourses and what He has put out into the world. In that sense that is important. All the rest is just power politics which is the normal thing that happens after the master has left the body. Then the religion starts and the people start considering themselves as the heirs to the heritage. Osho has made it very clear that all His sannyasins are His successors. He has given the responsibility to each individual and each person that feels connected to Him. There is no way that they can claim to be the successors. For once they have an advisory function, that’s it. And as such they will be really welcomed and it would be great that they create opportunities to learn or to understand what it means to run a centre or what would be the ingredients, because it comes from a completely different plane if you start sharing what you have received rather than coming and commanding how to do things and if you don’t do it this way, you will be out. This whole idea of banning people, of people not being able to meditate in the Samadhi is just sick. It is coming from a normal priest mind that allows people who follow the rules and if you don’t go with the rules then you will be banned. It’s a very stupid game. OIF, Zurich and these people who control it have given out the impression that they are the successors of all that is concerned with Osho but every sannyasin is a successor of Osho. So it is for all sannyasins and all Osho centres to have their own individual responsibility to live their life insired by the message of Osho in whatever way that they feel is right. That is the only way to spread his message. This is what attracted me to Osho. I never felt any missionary activity happening around Him. It was the beauty and the whole climate that attracted me. So that is everybody’s responsibility or everybody’s gift that if he falls in love with the vision and if he understands what is being transmitted through His words and makes a part of his life, that in itself I trust will be more than enough to spread Osho’s vision or His love all around. It will be through your own taste, though your own breathing that will transmit and not through any legal papers. It will be through each individual sannyasin’s own colour, own taste, own fragrance that His message will spread. In Germany there are people so much interested in Osho’s active meditations, especially the young people they don’t want to be repressed, they want to live and find for themselves what they want to do. In that sense there is an incredible opening for what is happening through Osho. As far as misuse of Osho is concerned and often quoted by OIF and Pune guys that the name Osho may be used for whore house or toilet paper, it’s ridiculous. How long it will stand. Even if you changed Kundalini meditation this way or that way, it will last for a few minutes but it will have no momentum and power in itself. The meditations themselves the way they are designed are so clear. For sometime it might work but it will collapse. That is the difference with what is false: The false will have momentum for sometime but it will fall flat. Even if someone calls a whorehouse Osho whorehouse for five minutes, it will have no momentum, it will not be attractive. I think there is a strategy there, you start creating outside enemies, any fascist regim does it. By creating outside enemies, you start creating rules and they control the inside. And that is the strategy behind it. This is all just political games and is stupid. People are not so adamant about using that name for those practices. Especially if they do meditate, sooner or later, it’s the essential that matters. After Osho left the body there was a sign in the Multiversity saying that if you move to the west beware not to set up any competitive business. What a strange kind of mind. We felt so loaded and so incredibly enriched, so the idea of competition was irrelevant in the first place. If a beautiful woman trusts her own beauty she does not need to compete, she just enjoys that she is lucky enough to be so beautiful. This is all just coming from the mind, from fear. Its fear that creates the whole urge for control and power. On the contrary, in Poona I days, Osho would tell people to go and spread His message. I went to Poona in 1976 and whatever happened there was so incredible. When I went back to the west, I did not want to miss that quality in my life so I started creating the possibility for meditations and things to happen. But that has never come out of any order. It came out of my inner drive to create a life that I find worth living. There was no competitive spirit, not even the idea. It was in the seventies and Ma Laxmi was the secretary at that time. I never had to deal with anyone once. He asked me to open up the centre and that was it. They never came and said, are you running the centre this way or that way or what you have to do in the centre. Osho knew about the centre and so many German friends were coming to the centre and then to Poona. He talked of visiting the centre, still there was no interference from the ashram. There was a centre handbook, I remember, but it was never part of any legal contract! It was like I had the first hand experience and we were following our own feelings. There was no idea of any centralization or never to establish a centralized system of centres. We as the people of the centre were supporting each other and we were meeting and hanging out and working together. It still happens in Germany. The centre meeting is an initiative of the centres and we meet at all different places once every year but never centrally organized. Now Osho International wants to tell the centres how to run the centres and in the guidance are given all the rules and regulations that centres must follow. They want it to be part of a contract. Sharing is very different, for example, people come to Cologne and they ask me how do you do this and how do you do that and I tell them how we do things and then they can, according to their own situations because each one is different. This kind of sharing is very valuable, to tell people that this is the way things have been done that has worked. To share that experience and share Osho’s vision. But that’s a completely different attitude. This way you are giving something back that you have received. But it is cunning thing to make people sign a paper: is a power game and that is how religion works. It never happened that way with Osho. In Poona I when He gave the names it was free and He wanted actually for the centres to use His name as much as possible. It was the same during Poona II. During His world tour He was giving centres and institutes till 1990. People never had any obligation when they got the name. So this is a completely new set of ideas and mind that started setting in after He left the body. If you start a trademark normally, you have a certain, finished product that gets trademarked. and you are the source of it. But what actually happened is, that Osho was all over the planet already and people were living His vision. It was being used in all the different places. Now trying to monopolize these and make it a single source is just not possible in the very nature of things. They are being used all over the place. It is peoples individual expression of their love for Osho and their way to live his vision. It would be same as if the German Mercedes was trying to monopolize the word car. Its ridiculous. Osho’s words, His expressions has been there all over the globe. Then in retrospect to go and say it was a trademark all the time is simply cheating on the love of people for Osho, on their expression and their understanding of Osho’s vision. When the trademarks are gone all centres will be free to use the name and if they like they can even go and register the name along with their own centre name. It would identify which source the centres are coming from and identify each centre. And OIF have equal right on that. They will have equal right to work for Osho’s vision as much as any other centre This is how in my understanding it was envisioned when Osho created the Poona Commune: that it is not in anyway the Vatican of the Osho movement. It is a meeting place of friends, even today. He never created a hierarchy for the time he would not be in the body anymore! In that sense and He made it very clear when the inner circle started that the inner circle has only a practical function as far as the running of the commune is concerned but it has no spiritual authority as such. Later, they slowly moved into these areas of Sannyas trying to become more and more of a spiritual authority. When I went to Ramana Maharishi’s place, 50 years after leaving his body, where you still can feel Ramana’s energy at the heart and yet the people who run the place, do it the way they feel is the best way to do it. In Poona, what they should do is run the place, but to make it a hierarchical system and to put yourself on top and to declare yourself as the successor of Osho is simply a very stupid game. So many people feel ispired by Oshos words and His vision and meditaion is becoming more and more important. But in Germany, centres are not growing. The trademarks are totally restricting the work of the centres. Contrary to what OIF would like the world to believe that the trademarks will protect the name and will be helpful for the work and that Osho always wanted these trademarks, actually in Germany, at least, the trademarks have restricted the work of Osho. People write to UTA and they say how can we open up an Osho centre, how can we design, how can we have the name this way or that way but people do not want to be part of an organization. They don’t want to go from one religion which is the catholic or the protestant church to the next one. So they don’t want to sign even they love Osho’s meditations, even though they love the inspirations of His words. There are quite a few people, few independent spirits who don’t want to come under the dictum of an organization. Without freedom love is not possible. Sannyas is an inner working, inner expression of love for life rather than making it a formal thing. Sannyas is something, that happens everyday new. It lives now, it lives every morning new and from that side it will be everybody’s individual responsibility for their own lives if they find that source and inspiration that Osho is, how to live it and how to share it.