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Osho’s Meditation Techniques

Osho’s Meditation Techniques

In 1999 OIF attempted to register trademarks in the US for the names of Osho’s meditation techniques: Dynamic, Kundalini, Nadabrahma, Nataraj, Gourishankar, and for the phrase “active meditations.” The trademark office refused to register any of these because they were merely descriptive and didn’t indicate OIF, Zurich as the source of a product or service. The trademark office went on to point out that OIF, Zurich could not own meditation techniques that have been in widespread, uncontrolled use for many years.

OIF, Zurich dropped the attempt to register the names of the mediations and came up with what it thought was a way to get sannyasins to help OIF, Zurich gain control of the meditation techniques. OIF, Zurich began telling sannyasins, often through its agent Global Connections in Pune, that people could help keep Osho’s meditations “24-karat” by adding the prefix “Osho” to the names of the meditation techniques: Osho Dynamic, Osho Kundalini, and so on. OIF, Zurich’s idea was that since they were pretending to own the name “Osho,” they would also pretend to own any meditation technique with “Osho” as part of the name. Many people began to use Osho as a prefix in the meditation names, not realizing why OIF, Zurich was trying to make this change.

Of course, even if OIF, Zurich did own all rights in “Osho” (which it clearly does not) that would not give OIF ownership or control of meditation techniques that have been in the public domain for many years. OIF, Zurich is well aware of this, but there may be sannyasins and others who are not, so OIF, Zurich continues to claim to own and control the techniques. If fact, OIF, Zurich goes so far as to claim that one of the main purposes of trademarks is to “protect” the meditation techniques.

The reality is that Osho placed the meditation techniques in the public domain during His lifetime, and no one can change His decision. Osho began teaching meditation techniques to people in meditation camps in India in the 1960s to 1970s. He encouraged, even insisted, that people take the techniques and teach them to others. He asked people to open meditation centers were a large part of the program was teaching and doing these techniques. Individuals took the techniques to other kinds of centers and programs and taught them in college classes or in business settings. While all of this was happening, Osho exercised no legal control over His techniques and didn’t assign any kind of right over the techniques to anyone else. Now, over 40 years down the road, no person can claim ownership of those techniques. Osho gave them as a gift to the world, and once the goose is out of the bottle, you can’t get it back in and have the techniques belong to one entity.

Osho’s decision and actions meant that the meditation techniques could not be controlled or “protected.” This never bothered Osho, and there’s no reason why it should bother us. Osho gave certain warnings about not misusing the techniques, which we would do well to pass on. Beyond that, there’s nothing we could do, even if it was appropriate to try and control the techniques in a way Osho never did. The meditation techniques are in the public domain where Osho wanted them to be.

OIF, Zurich has products that are CDs of music to do the meditation techniques by. After its trademark applications for the meditations were denied, OIF changed the names of those CDs to “Osho Dynamic,” “Osho Kundalini,” and so on.

In the US trademark case Pramod (Klaus Steeg) testified that the names of Osho’s meditation techniques had always included His name as a prefix. Pramod claimed that before the name change in 1989, the meditations had been consistently called Rajneesh Dynamic, and so on, instead of just Dynamic Meditation. He never explained why, if this was true, OIF tried to register plain “Dynamic Meditation” as a trademark in 1999.

In 2000 and 2001 OIF, Zurich filed new US trademark applications for “Osho Kundalini” and “Osho Nadabrahma.” Every trademark application says the mark will be applied to specified goods or services. The applicant must claim that it has the exclusive right to sell the goods or services in the marketplace. The services OIF, Zurich applied for under the names of Osho’s meditations were:

Education services, namely, conducting individual sessions, workshops, retreats, seminars, groups, courses, training in the field f the teachings of the mystic Osho” in International Class 41.

Spiritual counseling and meditations,” in International Class 42.

In other words, OIF, Zurich claimed that the Osho centers have no legal right to use His meditation techniques in sessions, etc. OIF, Zurich gave the date of first use of these meditations as 1978. (It had to go back and change that after it added “Osho” to the names of the meditations, since Osho wasn’t used until late 1989.) The important point is that OIF, Zurich openly admitted that the meditation techniques had been used in the US from at least 1978 onward. OIF, Zurich was not formed until 1984 in Switzerland, and it had never received any assignment from any person, center, or foundation of rights in Osho’s meditation techniques in the US.

From the facts OIF has admitted it is completely clear that OIF, Zurich could not possible own exclusive rights to use Osho’s meditation techniques. OIF could not have rights superior to the rights of centers that used the techniques for at least six years before OIF, Zurich was even founded. Some US Osho centers, on the other hand, have been conducting sessions, workshops, retreats, etc, using the meditation techniques since at least 1978, so OIF, Zurich’s claim that it had the exclusive right to use the meditation techniques was unfounded.

None of the applications for trademarks of the names of Osho’s meditations were approved for registration before the action to cancel all trademarks claiming an exclusive right to use “Osho” was filed in the US. All applications to register the names of Osho’s meditation techniques as trademarks in the US were cancelled as descriptive in the Trademark Board’s decision. In spite of this lack of registration and the evidence OIF, Zurich has admitted that shows it could not have exclusive rights to use Osho’s meditation techniques, OIF continues to this day to claim ownership and control of the meditations.

On its website at Osho.com, OIF has this statement:

All trade names, trademarks, service marks, logos and trade styles on this site are owned by Osho International Foundation. Proper use is limited to use in connection with the products and services of the mark owner and no other use is permitted without the owner’s prior written permission. The following marks are owned by OIF, Zurich: OSHO and the OSHO SIGNATURE DESIGN, OSHO ACTIVE MEDITATIONS, OSHO KUNDALINI MEDITATION, OSHO GOURISHANKAR MEDITATION, OSHO NADABRAHMA MEDITATION,OSHO NATARAJ MEDITATION, OSHO DYNAMIC MEDITATION, SPIRITUALLY INCORRECT,OSHO REBALANCING, OSHO DIVINE HEALING, OSHO CRANIO-SACRAL BALANCING, OSHO TIBETAN PULSING, OSHO MYSTIC ROSE, OSHO TIMES, OSHO ZEN TAROT, OSHO TRANSFORMATION TAROT, OSHO MEDITATION RESORT, OSHO MULTIVERSITY, NO-THOUGHT FOR THE DAY AND THE SWAN LOGO.

Please Note:

No permission is required to use any of the marks as an accurate factual reference to the practice or teaching of Osho Meditation techniques, provided you as user accurately identify yourself by your own name (not including Osho as part of the name).

The only restriction is that if you are teaching or presenting Osho Meditations publicly, you need to ensure that what you are offering is as described and presented in detail on the meditation area of osho.com, with its correct title, for example, Osho Dynamic Meditation, and is accompanied by the music specifically created for that meditation.

http://www.osho.com/main.cfm?Area=Magazine&Sub1Menu=&Sub2Menu=&Language=English.htm&CFID=28808299&CFTOKEN=87403953

This claim to control the meditation techniques or the name you can use for the center that is presenting the techniques is completely false. No one is required to use “Osho” as a prefix with the meditation techniques if they don’t choose to. During Osho’s entire life the meditation techniques were called Dynamic Meditation, Kundalini Meditation, and so on. Osho never thought it was necessary to use His name as a prefix. OIF, Zurich is trying to get people to do this as a backhanded way of trying to claim ownership and control of the techniques that Osho never gave to them or to anyone else. OIF, Zurich knows it doesn’t own these techniques, but is hoping that others don’t know that.

This claim to control the meditation techniques or the name you can use for the center that is presenting the techniques is completely false. No one is required to use “Osho” as a prefix with the meditation techniques if they don’t choose to. During Osho’s entire life the meditation techniques were called Dynamic Meditation, Kundalini Meditation, and so on. Osho never thought it was necessary to use His name as a prefix. OIF, Zurich is trying to get people to do this as a backhanded way of trying to claim ownership and control of the techniques that Osho never gave to them or to anyone else. OIF, Zurich knows it doesn’t own these techniques, but is hoping that others don’t know that.

Most of the so-called trademarks in OIF, Zurich’s list above have not even been the subject of trademark applications, let alone been registered atleast in US. These claims by OIF, Zurich are a major bluff intended to convince the unwary that OIF, Zurich owns and controls Osho’s meditation techniques, and can, therefore, control the activities of Osho centers. There misrepresentations about ownership of the meditation techniques are false.

Osho’s meditation techniques are today what they have always been since Osho created them: free for every spiritual seeker who wants to use them. According to Osho, they are an expression of Existence that moved through Osho and are intended to help people move into deeper states of meditation and consciousness. The meditation techniques are not anyone’s property or anyone’s power base. They belong to all.

This means that the meditation techniques can’t be “protected,” it also means they can’t be exploited, commercialized, franchised, controlled, or restricted. Osho knew what He was doing.

 

 

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