US denies granting yoga patents

The United States has denied granting patents and trademarks for the ancient Indian practice of yoga.

“Recent media reports alleging that such patents exist are inaccurate,” the US embassy in New Delhi said in a statement.

The US government has conducted a search of all patents issued and no patents on yoga, “asans” or exercises had been identified, it said.

The practice of yoga dates back thousands of years in India, where it was practiced by dreadlocked, ash-smeared holy men before becoming hugely popular in the West, particularly among celebrities and tourists to the sub-continent.

The US statement follows Indian health ministry officials saying last week that New Delhi was scrutinising yoga-related patents and trademarks granted by the United States to have them invalidated.

Searches of the database of the United States Patent and Trademark Office had showed dozens of yoga-related patents have been granted, including one for a breathing exercise, and more than 1,300 such trademarks have been registered.

In the past, India has managed to turn over patents on the yellow spice turmeric, a traditional antibiotic, and on the leaf of the neem tree, which has antiseptic uses.

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Religion News Blog posted this on Monday June 11, 2007.
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