Iowa Meditation Services Providers in Trademark Dispute

Nov 30, 2011 - LegalZoom News Sources
Two Iowa meditation centers are engaged in a trademark dispute.

The Maharishi Foundation - an Iowa-based non-profit organization devoted to disseminating the teachings of the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi - recently filed a trademark infringement lawsuit against the Meditation House, described on its website as a "center for healing" with locations in San Diego, New York City and Des Moines, Iowa.

In its complaint, the Maharishi Foundation alleges that the Meditation House's false advertising, touting benefits of meditation that are not true, will confuse consumers and dilute the value of Maharishi's trademarks.

While a disclaimer on the Meditation House's website states that the organization is not affiliated with the Maharishi Foundation, Maharishi's suit contends that consumers will nonetheless equate the two organizations because of the Meditation House's misleading marketing and trademark infringement.

The Des Moines Register quoted the complaint as stating, "The Meditation House's belief that the parties' respective meditation services are equivalent is based on a self-serving desire to appropriate the valuable goodwill associated with the foundation's brand for its own commercial gain."

In another example of litigation encroaching on businesses known for fostering tranquillity, the founder of Bikram-style yoga, Bikram Choudhury, recently sued New York City yoga studio Yoga to the People, contending its founder illegally mimicked copyrighted Bikram poses and techniques, according to local Manhattan news source DNAinfo.