Your comments about the Pilates trademark decision
Thanks to everyone who sent their comments for posting. All comments have been posted, whether favorable or unfavorable to the decision. Nothing has been edited, except to remove e-mail addresses and telephone numbers to protect privacy.
From: John Wahl, Date: Sat, 28 Oct 2000
A stellar day for the entire Pilates community. The whole world will benefit from Ken Endelman's steadfast pursuit of justice in this matter. A very special "Good on ya!" to Gordon Troy, Larry Stanley and all the attorneys involved for the superb job and the countless hours expended by all involved in securing this correct decision. Thank you.
John R. Wahl and Jan G. Dunn
From: Sandy and Cathy Fallon, Date: Sat, 28 Oct 2000
Dear Mr. Endelman,
I just received Balanced Body's email about the decision in the Pilates trademark case. I must write to congratulate you, and to thank you for all the work you have done to free the Pilates name and work. I studied for many years with Kathy Grant and taught for her at her studio while I lived and danced in New York. I also watched other friends, also Pilates teachers, be subjected to the wrath of the "Pilates Studio". I have observed this saga from the sidelines all these years, wondering if I should bite the bullet and train with Sean Gallagher just so that I could call what I taught by its real name. Till now I have chosen to steer clear of the whole thing. I am so relieved that I waited it out, and am now free to pursue my training where and with whom I please. I applaud the dedication and perseverance of all who were involved in the case.
Thank you again.
Cathy Hazeltine Fallon,
Certified teacher of the Alexander Technique, and (someday soon) PILATES (did everyone hear me?!!)
From: "Robert Turner", Date: Fri, 27 Oct 2000
Organization: Turner Physical Therapy
It is with great pride, indebtedness and gratitude that I congratulate you on your victory! For many years, I have been using the Pilates Method of exercise as tool for rehabilitating injured dancers, performers and athletes. I have found it to be an incredible form of exercise for developing core strength, coordination and stamina for my clients. For years I have had to answer questions about the litigation and have always been hesitant to outwardly use the name Pilates. Having a full Pilates studio, as soon as my clients walk in, they ask questions about the equipment. Now, without fear of legal action, I can honestly describe the method and the equipment that make up a large portion of my practice. As an aid to rehabilitation, Pilates has been instrumental in the quick and complete recovery of my clientele. Thank-you for your persistence, as well as your financial support of this issue. Thank-you to all that have been involved in this issue. As an affiliate of Polestar Education, I believe we may now continue the trend toward increased education of instructors so that others may benefit from the Pilates method. I am convinced that Joseph Pilates would have wanted others to carry on his work and incorporate the latest scientific research into his technique.
PT OCS Turner Physical Therapy
From: Jane Erskine, Date: Fri, 27 Oct 2000
Ken, you are the only one who could have made this happen. Every Pilates instructor owes you an enormous debt of gratitude. For everything you've done, your perserverance and the huge investment of time and money, we thank you forever. This goes to Gordon too. sincerely,
From: "Craig and Chrissy", Date: Sun, 29 Oct 2000
Thank you Ken Endelman for freeing the word Pilates and allowing us to effectively describe what we do. I am so glad that Joseph Pilates can now continue to get credit for the fantastic method he created. In his book Your Health, he states that "this is the exercise that people will want and need in the new millenium". Now here we are, and he was right. We are thankful to Ken and Balanced Body® for making it possible to continue to give Joseph Pilates credit for what we do.
MPT The PowerHouse Institute
From: email@example.com (Robin Latshaw Collen), Date: Sat, 28 Oct 2000
My deepest gratitude to you and all the effort you put into this. While I have always believed fully in my training under Elizabeth Jones Boswell (in Houston)--even if I couldn't call it the Pilates Method--you have now given more public credibility and praise to her work, to the work of many others, and to my own training. You have accomplished a great public service.
From: Marggi, Date: Sun, 29 Oct 2000
Dear Ken: On behalf of Pilates' instructors who have trained and worked with the likes of Michelle Larsson, Phoebe Higgins, Kathy Grant, Kelly Kane, Moira Stott and many others, thank you for having the integrity and tenacity to pursue the righteous use of the Pilates Method. There are many teachers who have trained long and hard and who are competent Pilates instructors faithful to the tenets that Joseph Pilates developed. Continuing to build on his classic foundation, they work within that framework to benefit the public ---- utilizing and refining the method to assist their clients. We appreciate your taking this stand.
Thankfully and with best regards,
Marggi Vangeli Owner,
Bodies in Balance A PILATES STUDIO
From: "Susan Heart", Date: Fri, 27 Oct 2000
This is fabulous news. Thank you - everybody involved. Now all of us hard working Pilates trainers can say the `P' word proudly and loudly. PILATES!!!!
From: "liz and joe", Date: Fri, 27 Oct 2000
Subject: I am ecstatic
I am ecstatic about the court's decision. Now I can finally teach the Method without fear of lawsuit. And so many more people will benefit from this, as a result, around the world, as the information can now be disseminated freely.
Thanks to the hard work and persistence of the folks who fought the court battle, the world can receive the legacy Joe Pilates left.
From: "Colin Schmidt", Date: Fri, 27 Oct 2000
Fabulous!!! It's about time! It's also wonderful to see that teachers like Ron Fletcher - who see Pilates work as an organic, malleable, kind of work are being endorsed. It's hard to imagine Joe Pilates would have wanted or expected his work to remain entirely static.
From: "Litvin, Prof. Richard", Date: Mon, 30 Oct 2000
As a student of Pilates (under a Gallagher-trained teacher), I am glad to see that the trademark seems to be gone. But this could be a Pyrrhic victory for those who appreciate Pilates if it means that people seeking to learn are at the total mercy of an unregulated market. How are we to know who has sufficient training and skill to teach Real Pilates.
Now would be an excellent time, in my view, for the opposing parties to get together and seek to establish a cooperative licensing and certification program, and to petition the various states for authority. If Balanced Body, and Gallagher, and Physical Mind, and whoever else has a real developed program could get together, not to close up the market, but to provide real customer protection and licensing, it would be in the long run interest of all.
Associate Professor of Law, and Pilates enthusiast
From: "Allan Menezes", Date: Tue, 31 Oct 2000
What a fantastic victory! Well done!
Even though this decision may not affect studios outside the USA, it is still a moral victory for studios worldwide. Your drive and persistence with this issue has been remarkable. The Pilates community owes you a great deal.
Regards Allan Menezes
Pilates Institute of Australasia
From: Carrie Shanafelt, Date: Mon, 30 Oct 2000
To Whom it may Concern: My opinion is a mixed one since I am certified through Pilates, Inc. and I am a studio owner. As a studio owner, it has been tricky at times dealing with when to use the name and when not to use it. Since I am certified through the Pilates, Inc. and I know Sean, I was tested by Romana and taught by Romana and Sari, I understand why they were trying to protect the name and the method. I do not think Joe Pilates would be happy with all of the exercises being taught as Pilates. He developed a method that works. I am not saying that methods based on his work are bad. They just are not his method. I do not like that there is potential for a free for all with Pilates. Weekend certification programs cannot possibly provide enough information to teach a method that is complex. Potential clients could associate the wrong idea of Pilates with these weekend certified teachers. My concerns are out of respect to Joe and I hope others who go through any type of certification will learn enough about Pilates and Joe Pilates to feel that respect as well.
Sincerely, Carrie Shanafelt
Certified Pilates Instructor Owner, Forte', LLC
From: "Belsize Studio", Date: Sun, 29 Oct 2000
Ken Endelman and Balanced Body,
Congratulations on your long awaited victory in the court case. This was not only your victory and not only an American issue - it's of international importance - so thanks for the hard work and persistence. from Avigail Ben-Ari at Belsize Studio London, all our teachers, and on behalf of thousands of clients who attended Belsize Studio in the last 10 years, benefiting and enjoying the Pilates technique and Balanced Body equipment and the thousand who will in the future.
Belsize Studio - Pilates London
From: Susufm , Date: Sat, 28 Oct 2000
Hooray for Balanced Body! As I have recently opened my own Pilates studio, the lawsuit was of interest to me. I am one of ones who started taking Pilates when I was 14, used the method all through my dance career, and have trained to teach it for over five years. I am very qualified to teach this method even though I never received a certification from Sean Gallagher. Now I can finally call what I do Pilates. But here is my concern. I recently heard of someone locally teaching a mat class with a book in her hand. How do we do quality control now that everyone can call it Pilates? The public should also know who is qualified and who isn't. Thank you.
From: Linda Tatman, Date: Sat, 28 Oct 2000
Dear Balanced Body,
As a Pilates enthusiast who regularly works out on a personal reformer, I am delighted to hear about the outcome of the lawsuit. Keep up the terrific information that you impart about this wonderful form of conditioning...I truly believe that without Pilates and my reformer and clearly explained tapes by Elizabeth Larkam, I would not be continuing to engage in my first love, running. After suffering from back complications a few years ago, my doctor recommended that I work out with a ballet company physical therapist who had her clients work out on reformers...I was given a "second chance" and have been forever grateful. Thank you, thank you!
From: "Linda Foster Fitness Express", Date: Mon, 30 Oct 2000
CONGRATULATIONS ON THE VICTORY AND ON YOUR TENACIOUSNESS!
IN ITALY WHERE I LIVE AND OWN A PERSONAL TRAINING STUDIO WHICH OFFERS PILATES TRAINING, PROMOTION WILL BE MUCH EASIER.
PILATES IS VERY NEW TO THIS COUNTRY AND IT HAS BEEN DIFFICULT ENOUGH TRYING TO INFORM THE PUBLIC AS TO THE NATURE THIS TYPE OF PHYSICAL CONDITIONING. HAVING TO CREAT A WAY OF SAYING PILATES WITHOUT SAYING PILATES REALLY COMPLICATED THE MATTER!
NOW WE CAN SIMPLY EXPLAIN WHAT WE DO...PILATES.
From: Stanton Lore, Date: Fri, 27 Oct 2000
Subject: not a guarantee of competence
The freedom to use the Pilates name will surely allow many less-than-professional instructors to cash in on the popularity of Pilates. becoming a certified instructor should be a lengthy and not inexpensive process. i fear that people will pay for the real thing and receive far less.
Brenda Moore-Sandova, Date: Fri, 27 Oct 2000
Congratulations and many thanks to you for your long struggle on this issue. For putting so much of your time and effort into this, I know that you will always be remembered in the Pilates arena.
I am elated beyond words that this is finally over. Thank you for the hard work and time you have given to reach this milestone. We all appreciate what you have done for us.
Fitness Director Garden of the Gods Club
Colorado Springs, CO
From: MJSade, Date: Fri, 27 Oct 2000
I am concerned about the public finding authentically trained teachers. I have seen Pilates from a gym in Florida and found it very scary that the teacher trainer lacked true knowledge and experience of the Pilates techniques and method. The trainers were not taught how to teach Pilates but only to teach a series of exercises or tricks. I seen clients getting hurt and performing Pilates with no form and rushing thru exercises. I feel bad that these clients think this is Pilates. This should be public concern.
This is what scares me about Pilates not being regulated. Any one can teach it and those who teach it unqualified and carelessly are going to give Pilates a BAD NAME.
This is a very deep concern of mine. I wish they could come up with a better solution so the name "Pilates" is used (not abused) respectfully. Now everyone can call their exercise Pilates (meanwhile teaching an aerobics class which I have seen also.) Now people will get the video or take a weekend course and teach Pilates. It is wrong when people who never took Pilates from a trainer can teach it.
I feel this is wrong and not fair to the public to be ripped off. The public will pay a lot of money and not get proper training when they think they are. We need Public awareness so they know who the true qualified trainers are before getting hurt or not seeing results. We need to work together so Pilates remains a healthy lifestyle and a good name.
I feel bad for those trainers who have dedicated their lives to teaching GREAT Pilates. I have seen great trainers and bad ones. I hope the great ones keep succeeding and don't lose their businesses they worked so hard for. The Great trainers do it for the love of Pilates and others are going to do it for the money.
From: "Jatta Koivulehto" , Date: Sun, 29 Oct 2000
Congatulations! I am happy for you! Releasing Pilates was just right.
Also here in Finland we have a problem with someone who wants to own Pilates. She has registered Pilates name and -education for herself. It happened quietly and under cover, so that when people got to know about it, the registration had already been fixed.
I took part in her lessons during two years. The more I got to know about Pilates and the motives of this other person - the more questions rose into my mind - the more it started to "smell". She wants to have Pilates name and -method here under her overwhelming control. She sells it renamed under her own method. I felt misled and cheated and I was angry.
There are also Pilates trainers in Finland who now can«t go on their practice to share their knowlidge and skills. Problems that you know well. You understand how releaving and refreshing your news is to them also.
I am looking forward something to happen in Finland aswell. Soon.
I«m into Pilates
From: "fitnessafter40 ", Date: Sun, 29 Oct 2000
Dear Ken,Well, this news is absolutely fabulous. Bravo - and thank you - for all of your hard work and perseverance on behalf of all we Pilates teachers and our clients. May this wonderful practice continue to grow and benefit even more people around the globe.
Fitness After Forty
From: "Anastasia Palmer", Date: Mon, 30 Oct 2000
Can you say, elitist activity???I am so turned off by the way everyone in the pilates industry has turned the whole thing into a SNOB WORKOUT. If it is such an amazing thing that is so good for the human body, why not make it affordable to everyone???!!! Especially those of us who would like to teach it, but can't afford to get the certification because it is so prohibitively expensive. I say who gives a hoot about the judge's decision Anything with such an elitist attitude will surely not survive.
An anti-pilates supporter
From: "Amy Havens", Date: Mon, 30 Oct 2000
Thank you Ken and everyone who got this issue truly aligned and back in its place. I agree, I think Joseph Pilates would want, and encourage, everyone who is teaching his method of superior body conditioning to use his name and spread this knowledge worldwide!!!
Pilates trainer in Alameda, CA
From: "Linda", Date: Sun, 29 Oct 2000
The court decision good for the public? No, only good for some people's pocketbook.
The training of teachers has and will continue to decline with those wannabes offering "certification" for $$ and a few weekends. ie Pulstar. I have first hand seen the poorly trained "certified" teachers of late.
Though I believe the suit was not totally right, I am sad to see the all the instructors that are correctly trained, to date, can not come together and insure the future instructors are trained correctly.
Why not admit that the suit was just over money not the integrity of the Pilates Method.
Linda McNamar (correctly) certified Pilates teacher
From: "Susan Upson", Date: Mon, 30 Oct 2000
Thanks for fighting the good fight, Ken! (and others). Maybe now we will see an increase in affordable Pilates (equipment, instruction, resources for learning) since no one has to be afraid to use the name anymore for fear of lawsuit!
From: missmann, Date: Sat, 28 Oct 2000
hello. congrats on your litigation!!! and in only five years! i wonder if they'll appeal for the next twenty?
i do not agree with instructors making up their own exercises and calling them "Pilates." I wish the Pilates method would stay the Pilates method without the uninvited influence and spin of each individual instructor. I hope that the gallagher group at least maintains the integrity of the method in regards to the actual original exercises.
nevertheless, i fear without the efforts of the "revolutionary" Pilates-descendants, the taste for and the continuation of Pilates' method would have been lost years ago. and the manufacturing of equipment has been remarkable and innovative while still offering the original designs. for that, and just surviving litigation, i congratulate you.
From: "Cari Riis", Date: Mon, 30 Oct 2000
I am happy to learn that the word Pilates will be available for all Pilates instructors to use, no matter where they trained. I completely agree with this decision and am relieved, as an instructor myself.
Thank you for your steadfast efforts.
From: Jane Erskine, Date: Fri, 27 Oct 2000
We all knew this day would come, we just never knew when. It is encouraging for a cynic like me to see the forces of good triumph over a greedy toad like Gallagher. 3 cheers for Kenny and Gordon who stuck it out and never gave up! Kudos also to all the teachers who provided their assistance and knowledge to the battle. Cary Regan, and all the rest, THANK YOU!!!!
From: CSTilford@aol.com, Date: Sat, 28 Oct 2000
Thank you for sending this wonderful news to me! I have long thought it ridiculous that the Pilates name could not be used. Thank you so much for all your time and effort in this matter. Keep up the good work!
Carol Tilford ACE/AFAA/YOGAFIT Fairfax Station, VA
From: "Martin, Carolyn (ITS)" , Date: Fri, 27 Oct 2000
Subject: COURT DECISION
I am so glad to see the courts finally make a logical decision. I can't wait to see the options that will materialize from this decisions. Great job to Balanced Body for not giving in and to those who fought for Balanced Body!! Carolyn
From: Jibasmil, Date: Fri, 27 Oct 2000
I studied Pilates in New York over 40 years ago with a woman (Carola Trier) who had herself studied with Joseph Pilates. I would love to do Pilates stuff now that I'm a lot older and a lot achier, but I can't afford it! Does anyone know of inexpensive Pilates anywhere?
From: "val", Date: Sat, 28 Oct 2000
was amazed to hear this because a group from California (LA) came here to Melb Fla to open a studio and insisted only they are certified to teach Pilates, and I could not use it with my Massage clients, they must come to their studio, all very james bond wierd secret stuff. Does this mean as long as we learn the technique we can use it where-ever and whenever? I think Pilates should be offered everywhere, including the public school system, it would save a lot of backs. Their are plenty of bodies for everyone, why do people get weird and greedy?
Valentina Boonstra L.M.T.
From: "cdgoelz", Date: Sun, 29 Oct 2000
Thank you for representing the small independent instructor. Pilates has always been known as a form of exercise that can be filtered through many processes.
From: "Sandy Jardine", Date: Sun, 29 Oct 2000
Way to go. I am so thrilled with this result. I think this will give greater access and, I am glad its over. Now the focus will be on helping people.
From: "Romney South Ltd.", Date: Mon, 30 Oct 2000
Thank you for sending me your news and product information. I have loved the Pilate reformer and loved owning my own in the U.S.. I now live in New Zealand and was lucky enough to meet a lovely couple by the name of Robert and Bette Hunt. They own a beautiful lodge not far from my home and had two reformers in their spa. I was able to purchase one but it is much shorter than I am accustom to and I am therefore struggling with the proper way to do my exercises. Do you know of anyone in New Zealand who is an instructor in Pilates, or do you know of any way that I might start the process of becoming an instructor. I am approximately three hour from Sydney Aus. and could travel once a month. Thank you again for including me on your information e-mailings.
Nelson New Zealand
From: Drucie Wingard, Date: Tue, 31 Oct 2000
Subject: GREAT NEWS!!!!!
Ken Endelman, YOU'RE THE BEST!!!
I was absolutely thrilled to receive the email regarding the Court's decision. Thanks for all you hard work and determination!!!
From: "Tamara Di Tella", Date: Wed, 1 Nov 2000
CONGRATULATIONS FROM ARGENTINA!!!
We are firm believers in Pilates in this far away country and wish to celebrate with you as part of the world wide Pilates community.
Tamara Di Tella SPA de TAMARA DI TELLA Laprida 1120 Cap. (1425)
From: Frank Whitaker , Date: Thu, 02 Nov 2000
Subject: Re: Pilates Trademarks Overturned
I CANT THANK YOU ENOUGH FOR BRINGING THAT ACTION AND SEEING IT THROUGH,
There is really too much globalisation of names and greedy grabbing of ideas which should be shared and not monopolised. Pilates was bright enough to have decided whether the name shouldbe patented or not and the fact that he didn't shows that he wished his work (which is BRILLIANT) to be as widely known and used as possible. All power to that judge's wig and pen(oops, forgot you guys dont use that paraphenalia over there!)
All the best for the open Pilates future.
from Frankie in the UK
From: "suz bond", Date: Thu, 02 Nov 2000
Congratulations for all your hard work and success. From Susie Bond Physio and Pilates Instructor, The Pilates Centre Mosman Sydney, Australia
From: Mario Talamona, Sent: Wednesday, November 01, 2000
Copenhagen, 1.11.2000. Receiving the e-mail about your victory was great news and I congratulate you. It is honestly a reliefe that we can now call the method we teach it's own name!! Thank You!! Yours
From: Heather@georgia.com, Date: 9 Nov 00
I have mixed feelings about the court decision as well. As a newly certified instructor through The Pilates Studio (Sean Gallagher), and having studied with Romana, Sari and other wonderful teacher trainers, I am not sure what this means for us. I believe that competition is healthy, and now that more people can call what they teach "Pilates," we will have increased competition. My feelings are over three main topics: the quality of The Pilates Studio certification, sullying the Pilates name, and what "true" Pilates is anyway.
On my training: I feel I received good, though not excellent or ideal, training. It was an honor to study directly with Romana and other excellent instructors like Juanita Lopez and Roxane Murata. However, I feel we should have been more educated about human physiology, at least some basics. I also feel that working for free and then for minimum wage during our apprenticeship (teaching clients who were paying $50-65 a session) was not right. In that sense, I don't feel that my certification was worth the nearly $4,000 I spent on it.
On sullying the name of Pilates: I once took a class at my gym called "Pilates MATS." The instructor had over 20 people in the class, of various ages, physical conditions, and levels, and was doing what we consider "Advanced" Pilates exercises. This was also of concern for she had no knowledge of people's injuries or abilities (besides that, the room was almost dark). I worry that people not well-trained (i.e., weekend seminar and you're a certified instructor) will give Pilates a bad name. I DO NOT, however, believe that "Pilates-based" instructors are necessarily not well-trained. Good training can make good instructors, regardless of whether they are "true Pilates" or not.
This brings me to my final thought: I have looked at Pilates' writings, and what I was taught differs significantly from what his own words and photographs depict. So what is "Pure Pilates?"
Finally, I am glad that Sean was beaten. He deserved it. I think he is a scoundrel.
From: Nancy Ham, Date: Tue, 14 Nov 2000
The results of this court case are fabulous! A real victory for the many teachers and promoters of Pilates method of exercise and equipment, and especially a victory for the public! Thanks for the update!
Dr. Nancy Hamel