U.S. Courts Declare "Pilates" Generic, Not a Trademark.
District Court Judge Miriam Cedarbaum rules that pilates, like yoga and karate, is a type of exercise and not a trademark.
October 20, New York City, NY -- After a long and acrimonious law suit, the "Pilates" trademark, registered in the United States by Sean Gallagher's Pilates, Inc., was overturned by U.S. courts on Friday, October 20, 2000.
"For those of us in the industry who have built our businesses on the work of Joseph Pilates, the court's decision is certainly welcome news," says Lindsay Merrithew, president and CEO of the STOTT group of companies.
The 93-page court opinion, invalidating Gallagher's trademarks for Pilates exercise services and Pilates equipment, supports what most pilates professionals know to be true: "Pilates is a generic term" used to describe a method of exercise and type of equipment originated by Joseph Pilates.
"Because the Pilates trademark has been expunged, STOTT's contemporary approach to the teachings of Pilates, which has taken years to develop, may now be referred to in the U.S. as simply 'STOTT PILATES' - just as it is referred to in Canada and the rest of the world," says Moira Merrithew, STOTT program director.
The STOTT group of companies was founded in 1987 by Ms. Stott and Mr. Merrithew with a mission to promote the benefits of pilates exercise worldwide. STOTT provides teacher training-certification, manufactures contemporary pilates equipment, produces videos and manuals, and operates two studios.
December 6, New York City, NY -- Persuant to the judgement laid down on October 20th, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York denied Pilates Inc.'s motion to extend the time for filing an appeal. It therefore appears the ruling is final and there can be no appeal of the October 20 decision .
To read the entire court decision, download this pdf file