by William Lee Rand
Attempts to trademark some of the Reiki names which have been in common use by all of us for many years is being made. Contrary to rumors being spread, the terms have only been applied for and have not completed registration yet. Therefore, we still have time to stop the applications and prevent them from being trademarked.
Carell Ann Farmer was the fourth master to be initiated by Phyllis Furumoto. She was present at the first master meeting in 1982 and at the meeting that formed the Reiki Alliance in 1983. She has some very interesting things to say about what happened that pertain directly to the trademark issue and the validity of the Grandmaster title.
Click here to go the the letter: Origin of Grandmaster Title
Editors note: This occurred in 1997-98 and is no longer as big an issue as it once was.
An attempt to trademark the terms "Usui System" and "Usui Shiki Ryoho" (Usui System of Healing) is being made by Furumoto Inc. in the USA. These Reiki terms are currently in use by over 1/2 million people in the US and by many others outside the US. They have been in use for over 70 years, ever since Dr. Usui rediscovered Reiki. Because of this, they are in the public domain and no one has the right to trademark them. However, if the trademark office is not informed of their current and past use, it is possible that Furumoto Inc. could receive a registration for them. This would give her the power to decide who could or couldn’t use them. We feel that all Reiki practitioners should have the right to use these terms.
If you would like to protest the trademarking of these terms, write a letter to the below listed office explaining that you use these terms in your Reiki practice, how long you have used them and that it would be detrimental to your Reiki practice for someone to have exclusive use of them. Also include the above details, any other information you think would be pertinent and a copy of any certificates, flyers or other literature you have with these terms on them. The more people that write protest letters, the better, so please ask all your Reiki friends to send letters. There is urgency, so please send your letters as soon as possible.
We were informed that the trademark attempt includes a claim to original use of the terms related to Reiki starting in 1980. If you are connected to Reiki teachers who used these terms prior to 1980, including Mrs. Takata, and can document prior use, with certificates, flyers, etc. please consider sending this information to the International Center for Reiki Training, 29209 Northwestern Hwy., #592, Southfield, MI 48034 so we can include it in a formal protest if needed.
Include this information for USA:
Serial # 75-290069 "Usui System"
Serial # 75-290071 "Usui Shiki Ryoho"
Letter of Protest
Assistant Commissioner for Trademarks
Box AC Office
2900 Crystal Drive
Arlington, VA 22202-3513
Also please send a copy of your protest letter to:
The International Center for Reiki Training
21421 Hilltop St., Unit #28
Southfield, MI 48034
We will compile all the letters for a formal protest if needed.
In Canada, the following terms have been applied for:
App. #. 0850,564 "Usui System of Reiki Healing"
App. #. 0850,563 "Usui Shiki Ryoho"
App. #. 0850,562 "Usui System of Natural Healing"
App. #. 0850,561 "Reiki"
To protest the trademarking of these terms in Canada, send your letters to:
Canadian Reiki Association
Box 40026, RPO Marlee
Toronto, Canada M6B 4K4
The Canadian Reiki Association is working with a lawyer and will consolidate the letters and send them in together - which is apparently the best way for Canada.
Also, please send Reiki to this situation. As we work together, we will preserve the right for all of us to practice Reiki freely and use the names we have always used.