In the continuing saga of prospective legal proceedings between elements of the BKWSU and the only independent voice within the Brahma Kumari community, BrahmaKumaris.Info (see below), it has been revealled that a private company ‘Brahma Kumaris World Spiritual Organization, San Antonio’ has applied to register and own the US trademarks 77212561, 77212547, 77212153 for;
Brahma Kumaris World Spiritual University, on 21 June 2007
In what many are seeing as a personally motivated action, with international implications, committed without a broad base of organizational support or direct instruction from God.
“BKWSU” and “Brahma Kumaris World Spiritual University”, (the word university being an internationally protected title), have been registered for purely commercial classes in the name of “Lead Coordinator ... Colonel Hansa Raval, Morning Class, US Army (ret)”;
Provision of advertising space by electronic means and global information networks; editing and publication of advertising matter for others via the internet, specifically websites; operating an online shopping site in the field of spirituality and meditation.
The word mark “Brahma Kumaris” being registered for;
Books and printed publications in the nature of magazines, newsletters, booklets, pamphlets and brochures, all relating to spiritual and meditation issues; stationery; printed instructional and teaching material featuring spiritual and meditation issues. Provision of spiritual sacred text, specifically termed Murlis or Murli classes, for meditation students.
Provision of advertising space by electronic means and global information networks; publication of advertising matter for others via the internet, specifically websites; operating an online shopping site in the field of spirituality and meditation.
Although trademark applications are not automatically assigned by the US Patent and Trademark Organization, the Hindu community has not yet been consulted over the trademarking of its God’s name nor have these yet been inspected, attorneys acting on behalf of the San Antonio company and its director Colonel Raval are claiming direct and common law rights over them.
It would appear that this has been done without any license from the original rights holders or visible license from the parent’s organization. This action therefore affects all Brahma Kumari individuals, businesses and organizations, including the other independent North American based BK companies.
In preparation of further legal actions, few or any of these individuals or companies appear to have been consulted over how these actions might affect and reflect on their business and personal activities. Any individual objections to this company asserting rights over the generic and institutional term for all BKs should be sent to;
- United States Patent and Trademark Office
Commissioner for Trademarks
PO Box 1451