People Are Already Scrambling to Trademark ‘Linsanity’

As the Knicks go to Linfinity and beyond, some entrepreneurial fans are hoping to cash in.

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Jeremy Lin #17 of the New York Knicks shoots over John Salmons #5 of the Sacramento Kings at Madison Square Garden on February 15, 2012 in New York City.

While Jeremy Lin is busy leading the New York Knicks on its winning streak, at least two people have filed trademark applications at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office for the term “Linsanity,” Bloomberg reports.

The day after Lin made the first of his five consecutive starts February 7, Yenchin Chang, a 35-year-old from Alhambra, Calif., filed his application. Chang told Bloomberg he wants T-shirt and apparel rights for the popular catchphrase so he can be “part of the excitement.” He said if the time comes, he’d be willing to sell the trademark to Lin. At the right price, of course.

(MORE: Linsanity! How Jeremy Lin Changed Basketball Culture)

A Los Angeles-based trademark and copyright attorney, Milord A. Keshishian, told Bloomberg the trademark application seems like a “bad-faith attempt to profit from Jeremy Lin’s recent acclaim.”

But Chang’s not the only one who’s spotted an opportunity and lunged for it. Andrew W. Slayton of Los Altos, Calif. made the second filing two days later, on February 9. Slayton, who claims to be one of Lin’s former high-school coaches, registered two domain names, Linsanity.com and thejeremylinshow.com (both domains are currently parked), in 2010 and has been selling T-shirts featuring the catchphrase since then, Bloomberg reports.

(PHOTOS: The Rise of Jeremy Lin)

Given the sensational interest in Lin, Washington-based attorney Gary Krugman told Bloomberg it is in Lin’s best interest to file his own application and challenge Slayton or Chang’s trademarks if approved. “I have a feeling both of these guys are small operators,” Krugman told Bloomberg. “If Jeremy comes in with a big law firm they won’t be able to hang with him.”

The NBA’s first  Taiwanese-American player has graced the covers of the New York Post, Sports Illustrated and the Asia cover of TIME this past week after sinking a 3-point game winner that brought the Knicks their sixth consecutive win. According to ABC, the 23-year-old’s success has had a dramatic economic impact on the NBA. Sports business consultant Marc Ganis of Chicago-based SportsCorp told ABC he estimates the newcomer’s success will be worth $10 million to $20 million a year for the league.


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