For those of you who don’t follow the great sport of basketball, there is a new powerhouse player taking the game by storm, and his name is Jeremy Lin. Lin was born in Los Angeles, California and grew up a stone’s throw away from Trademarkia headquarters, in Palo Alto, CA. After graduating from Harvard University in 2010 he picked up a spot on the Golden State Warriors basketball league before moving on to play for the New York Knicks for the 2011-2012 season. After not receiving much play in the beginning of the season, he has become the key to some crucial victories by the Knicks, and “entrepreneurs” are catching notice.
To date, there have been eight separate trademarks applications for “linsanity” filed with the United States Patent and Trademark Office; none of them older than three weeks since the publication of this article and three of them in the same class, for clothing. Even more interesting, it would appear that one of these was filed by the newly famed player himself! It will certainly be interesting to see how this plays out, for while Jeremy Lin has applied, his application is not the first to have been submitted and thus will not be the first to be examined by the attorneys at the USPTO. While one would certainly assume that the Knicks’ number 17 would have more claim to the name than anyone else, this may not actually be true.
“It’s possible no one can get it, because its likely that some fan or the media actually coined the term.” Says Mitesh Patel, a California licensed trademark attorney, “If that’s the case, [Jeremy Lin] wouldn’t be able to trademark the word because, while it refers to him, someone else made it popular.”
Whatever the case may be, it seems that only time will tell whether or not trademarking “linsanity” will pay off. Already, merchandise pertaining to the point guard player is flying off the shelves and fetching some very eye-catching prices, like this Jeremy Lin rookie card for $21,000. As we all know, a trademark typically takes one year to receive registration, so it looks like any sort of exclusive rights to the name will have to wait until next year’s basketball season comes around. Hopefully Mr. Lin can get a slam dunk with the United States Patent and Trademark Office as easily as he can on the court!