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Fraud

Fraud

Fraud

In many places even a valid trademark can be cancelled if the applicant committed fraud by saying something it knew or should have known was untrue or failed to provide the agency involved with information that might have affected the agency’s decision. In the case of alleged trademarks for Osho, OIF has to claim that “Osho” is used as a trademark and that OIF owns the trademark and has the exclusive right to use it in the marketplace, but neither of these things is true.

In the US case OIF had told the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) that it had received an assignment of trademark rights from Osho and referred to Osho as OIF’s “predecessor” for trademark rights. It later turned out that OIF had never received an assignment of any trademark rights from Osho. In fact, in spite of constant reference to “predecessors” for trademark rights in the recent litigation, it turned out that OIF had never received an assignment of trademark rights from anyone.

In order to file applications for trademark registrations various representatives of OIF (Pramod, Amrito, etc.) signed sworn statements claiming that no one but OIF had the right to use “Osho” in the US marketplace. They signed these statements, beginning in 1994, when they knew that Osho centers and individuals had been using “Osho” to describe their goods and services since 1989 at Osho’s own request. OIF never informed the USPTO of the existence of the US Osho centers and individuals or their activities.

OIF claimed that it reasonably believed that OIF had formed oral licenses with all centers in 1989, so that only OIF gained any rights by the centers’ uses. OIF was unable to provide any competent (legally admissible) testimony about this or to produce any document ever referring to an oral license between 1989 and 1998, the years OIF claimed they existed.

For the legal arguments on fraud in the US case see: Trial Brief of Opposer/Petitioner pp. 44–51; Reply Trial Brief of Opposer/Petitioner pp. 20–23.

 

 

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