Food fight over ‘yogi’
Six years after the death of spiritual leader Yogi Bhajan, three legal battles are under way in Oregon and California over the use of the name “yogi” in food products and ingredients.
In the late 1960s, India-born Yogi Bhajan founded a Sikh community in the United States, which created Golden Temple, a cereal and tea producer in Eugene that became an anchor of the local natural foods industry.
In May, Golden Temple sold its cereal division to Hearthside Food Solutions, a manufacturer based in Illinois. Now Golden Temple officials say their sole focus is on growing Yogi Tea, a natural tea business with 50 employees in Springfield and about 100 employees in Europe.
But the outcomes of the trademark disputes could throw a wrench in those plans.
See also: Yogi Bhajan’s legacy in question, and The Disturbing Mainstream Connections of Yogi Bhajan