Method and apparatus for yoga class imaging and streaming
The ability to view and participate in various types of instructional classes, including Yoga, remotely and on-demand has become increasingly popular and accessible. However, participating in instructional classes off-site does not replicate the same experience as participating in an instructional class on-site, live with an instructor. The claimed system and method allow the viewer participant to view and take part in an instructional class from any location and at any time without compromising the viewer’s ability to experience a participatory class experience. The system and method place the instructor at the head of the classroom with live-participants arranged between the instructor and the camera with a direct line of sight between the camera and the instructor allowing for the viewer participant to have unobstructed views while simultaneously allowing for the viewer participant to have live participants in the periphery, as if the viewer was attending a live class.
On September 23rd, Yoga International broke the news that they (among others) had received a cease-and-desist letter from another website which also offers yoga videos for streaming (soon revealed to be YogaGlo). It turns out, that YogaGlo had filed a patent application for their method of filming online yoga classes, and that some of YIâ€™s early content fell under the broad description in the patent application:
â€œ…instructor at the head of the classroom with live-participants arranged between the instructor and the camera with a direct line of sight between the camera and the instructor allowing for the viewer participant to have unobstructed views while simultaneously allowing for the viewer participant to have live participants in the periphery, as if the viewer was attending a live class."
â€œWe quickly realized the implications of this patent,â€ says Yoga International Executive Director Todd Wolfenberg. â€œIt is a landmark issue that impacts the future of how yoga is delivered, which increasingly includes online and video study. And if YogaGlo can patent one way of filming a class, pretty soon all possible angles could become patented. So this this isnâ€™t just about us, itâ€™s really about the entire community and the future direction of yoga.â€
The response was initiallyâ€”well, intense. Teachers and students alike were quick to comment, and took to both Yoga International and YogaGloâ€™s Facebook pages to express their concern and confusion. Many announced that they were cancelling their accounts with YogaGlo. As word spread, blog posts popped up on YogaDork and Elephant Journal addressing the patent application. Soon,Yoga Alliance stepped in to take action as well, creating a petition (which received over 14,000 signatures) urging YogaGlo to voluntarily withdraw the application.
Though the initial response was strong, the public outcry eventually died down. While many were offended by the audacity of the patent application, citing it as predatory, frivolous, or just an affront to yogic principles in general, the all around consensus from its critics seemed to be that the patent was too broad and far-reaching to ever be issued. Eventually, the outrage died down, and so did the blog posts and comments.
I mean, honestly, none of us really thought YogaGloâ€™s patent would be approved right? Except for it was. Wait, what? Uh-huh. In case you missed it, Yoga Alliance broke the news todayâ€”the day the patent was issued.
So What Happened Exactly?
As you might remember from a couple months back, YogaGlo applied for two really similar patents. Initially, both were rejected by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) based upon the existence of â€œprior artâ€â€”which is essentially evidence that the thing a patent is filed for already existed before said patent was filed. On October 7th, however, YogaGlo amended one of its previously rejected patent applications, adding the following caveat:That the camera used to record online yoga classes must “provide a participatory view [which means â€˜a view observed by a participant in the rear of the class,â€™ according to YogaGlo] from a height of about three feet.”
Apparently, that did the trick. On October 29th, the patent was approved.
Tomorrow i will be patenting the following:
Filming a filming class.
Filming a homework class.
Filming this post
Editor’s note: Due to potential patent infringements I was compelled to strike out the above text.