Osho Foundation International – reaction to US decision on ‘Osho’ trademark
The Osho International Foundation (OIF) Zurich, that is largely run by the Pune Meditation Resort’s management team, have lost the trademark of the word Osho in the US, in a court case spanning almost a decade. The Trademark and Trial Appeal Board in the US, where the case was filed, to quote, has found that “the term Osho is generic for the meditations devised by the mystic Osho and the meditation and religious movement arising from there. As a result defendant OIF cannot foreclose others from utilising the term OSHO to describe their own goods and services based upon such meditations and movements.”
The decision is the result of an opposition lodged by “Osho Friends International” against “Osho International Foundation” in a case registered initially in 1999.
Osho International Meditation Resort, Pune, responded with a press release that emphasises that this ruling is applicable only in the US and not in any other country, including India. Amrit Sadhana, part of the management team at the meditation resort, said that this decision will have no effect on Osho’s copyright, which is a different issue to a trademark case. The copyright, according to her, is protected by international treaties around the world. She said that OIF intend to appeal against the ruling at the earliest. She continued, “for more than 40 years the Osho Foundation has always acted – on Osho’s request to protect his name, his copyright and his work, and will continue to do so”. Taking exception to the ruling, the OIF press release states that the US decision turns “Osho” into the same category as computers and nose tissues.”