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Just When You Thought It Was Over: Bikram Tries Again in the Court of Appeals

December 8, 2015



Exactly two months after the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals held that Bikram Choudhury’s sequence of yoga postures could not be copyrighted, Bikram is trying again in the Court of Appeals.

Bikram has filed a petition for a rehearing, asking the Ninth Circuit to rehear his appeal despite the decision already issued by a three-judge panel of the Ninth Circuit.

Luckily, such requests for rehearing are granted very infrequently by the Ninth Circuit.

In the unlikely event that the petition for rehearing is granted, Yoga Alliance will again participate as an amicus, or friend of the court, to keep the original decision intact. It is our position that yoga is for everyone; we oppose attempts to claim intellectual property over yoga. Copyrights on yoga sequences would stifle competition and impede the yoga community from practicing or teaching yoga without fear of legal repercussions.

If Bikram’s petition for rehearing is denied, the only option remaining to him would be to file a petition with the U.S. Supreme Court, which would be an even longer shot for Bikram. As always, we will keep the community posted on the developments in this case. Stay tuned for more updates.

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