The lawsuit seeks an order preventing Green from mentioning transcendental meditation studies in her advertising, to notify customers that there is no evidence of benefits for Vedic Meditation and to pay damages for false advertising and trademark infringement.
Green is fighting the lawsuit, saying the technique cannot be controlled by a single foundation.
‘‘I think it is incorrect, and contrary to the principles of the Vedic tradition, and does not seem to me to be the sort of thing a not-for-profit organization with spiritual goals should be doing,’’ she said.
Green’s attorney has argued the lawsuit is really a way for the foundation to gather evidence on Knoles. Its lawyers last month subpoenaed two California teachers who learned under Knoles, directing them to testify.
Knoles then filed paperwork to join the case last week, arguing the foundation’s trademarks are ‘‘generic and invalid’’ and have been used to violate U.S. antitrust laws. He’s seeking an order requiring the foundation to stop accusing him of false advertising.
Zaiger said the foundation would file a detailed response this week, saying it is simply trying to enforce its trademarks like any business would.
Jeffrey Harty, a Des Moines lawyer who has taught trademark law at University of Iowa, said the case was not the ‘‘garden variety’’ trademark dispute and that the ‘‘real fighting issues’’ appear to be false advertising claims involving statements that Vedic Meditation is the same or similar to the method taught by the Maharishi and was the subject of studies cited in promotional materials. The foundation will have to prove those statements are false and deceive consumers in order to prevail, he said.