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Saturday, April 12, 2003


I've been following the Bikram yoga IP dispute Donna spotted Thursday ("Hot, sweaty and scandalous," Salon) for awhile, since the studio being sued is the one five minutes from my home where I've practiced for some seven years. (More: "Yoga's Bad Boy," the Yoga Journal; "Yogis Behaving Badly," Business 2.0.) The case has some fascinating issues—the worst kind for litigants, of course. Bikram wants to create a Starbuckian experience of consistency and quality. But while Starbucks might be able to halt unauthorized sales of "Frappuccino," does this mean it can dictate and profit from all sales of blended coffee, syrup and ice? Things are further complicated by the ancient and spiritual nature of the yoga asanas. As for me? I'm off to stretch and sweat.

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