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“Linsanity” Reaches the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office

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Jeremy Lin by DvYang on Flickr

Jeremy Lin by DvYang on Flickr

Jeremy Lin, the basketball player who has breathed life into the New York Knicks lately, has moved to trademark “Linsanity,” the word that has come to symbolize his emergence onto the NBA scene.

Lin’s lawyer filed a trademark application on February 13, but that still wasn’t before two other people attempted to capitalize on the Linsanity first. A week before, Yenchin Change of Alhambra, California, who appears to have no connection with Lin, was the first to apply to register Linsanity; that application was followed a couple days later by Andrew W. Slayton of Los Angeles, California. As reported by Bloomberg:

An Andrew Slayton who said he used to coach Lin in high school told the New York Post that in 2010 he registered the domain names and, where Lin-related merchandise is being sold.

Those previous applicants are looking at an uphill battle to have their trademark requests granted, particularly now that Lin has filed his own.

As we’ve discussed here on the blog with regards to a media company’s failed attempt to trademark Casey Anthony’s name:

Since trademarks function first and foremost as a source indicator, this lack of connection is usually the kiss of death for an application.  Section 1052(c) of Article 15 the U.S. Code, which protects individuals’ privacy and publicity rights, specifically prohibits the registration of a trademark that “[c]onsists of or comprises a name, portrait, or signature identifying a particular living individual except by his written consent.”

Lin burst into the national spotlight on February 4, when he came of the bench in a game against the New Jersey Nets, scored 25 points, and dished out seven assists. He is the first Harvard University graduate to play in the NBA since the 1950s and is the first Chinese- or Taiwanese-American to play in the professional basketball league ever.

Along with leading the Knicks to more victories and possibly even into the playoffs, Lin’s play has increased ticket sales as well as television ratings.

And he will likely soon be the brand new owner of a trademark for Linsanity.

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February 24th, 2012 at 1:00 pm