An update on the present court cases regarding firstly the European Trade Mark case, and secondly, the Swiss Government’s Provisional Ruling on Osho International Foundation, Zurich.
There was a meeting for all German Osho centres at Osho Parimal on July 25 and 26, 2014.
As requested by the participants, Ramateertha was asked to give an update on the situation in the Osho Trademark Case – specifically the recent court ruling on the matter in Spain.
Ramateertha said that the dismissal by the Spanish Court of his request to cancel the Trademark had come as a great shock, and that the grounds for the Court’s decision were, in his view bizarre. (The case had gone against Ramateertha and his associates).
In the grounds for its ruling, the Court had claimed that the evidence submitted was so complex that it was not possible to properly assess its relevance. Seeing that the court itself had initiated a full four rounds of discovery in the case – the normal number would be no more than two – this conclusion seems to be nothing less than a mockery. With this as the starting-point, the court then ruled that the Trademark should be permitted to continue to exist, based on the simple prima facie fact that it has already existed for fourteen years.
In its substantiation the Court also argued that Osho was not a man of the calibre of a Buddha or Jesus, but that he rather belonged to the same category as individuals with trademarked names like Moshé Feldenkrais or Ron Hubbard (Scientology), and that his methods could thus very well be afforded the protection of a trademark.
In the reasons laid out for their decision, the Judges did not even mention the actual subject of the dispute, which was that the name Osho stands for a person and his vision and not for a commercial good. Ramateertha said that there would be an Appeal.
Regarding the situation in Berne, Ramateertha claimed that Osho International is over-indebted by more than nine million Swiss francs, and that the Foundation’s status as a charity was revoked by the Swiss tax authorities in 2012. Ramateertha further claimed, there is concrete evidence indicating that money that was actually due to the Foundation has been redirected into other channels – possibly into private companies of which former Foundation board members are beneficiaries. This had indeed led to the provisional suspension of the Board Members and the freezing of OIF’s accounts by the Swiss authorities. A Government administrator was appointed to take care of the most immediate necessities of the Foundation. The suspended Board has now been given the opportunity by the Swiss authorities to respond to the accusations, and everyone involved is eagerly awaiting their response.