Yogi battle intensifies


Three legal battles are under way over who can use the word “yogi” in food products and ingredients, six years after the death of Golden Temple creator Yogi Bhajan.

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Three legal battles are under way over who can use the word “yogi” in food products and ingredients, six years after the death of Golden Temple creator Yogi Bhajan.

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.

For instance, if Yogi Bhajan’s widow, Bibiji, prevails in arbitration in Portland with Golden Temple over trademark issues, she will license the brand to another tea manufacturer — not Golden Temple, her attorney Surjit Soni said.

“Golden Temple will not be allowed to use it,” he said.

Read more at The Register-Guard.

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