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Jeremy Lin wants to own the term 'Linsanity'

By Mason Levinson and Scott Soshnick

Bloomberg News

POSTED:
LAST UPDATED: 05:20 a.m. HST, Feb 23, 2012


Jeremy Lin, who has rejuvenated the New York Knicks over the past two weeks, moved to take control of the catch phrase that’s encapsulated his meteoric rise, filing an application on Feb. 13 with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, according to the agency’s website.

The filing over the term Linsanity came six days after Yenchin Chang, a 35-year-old Alhambra, California, resident with no ties to Lin, became the first to apply for a Linsanity trademark, according to the website.

A second filing was made on Feb. 9 by Andrew W. Slayton of Los Altos, California, and on Feb. 14 there was another filing by Yoonsoo Stephen Kim of Duluth, Georgia.

“We’re prepared to enforce his intellectual property rights,” Pamela M. Deese, a partner in the law firm Arent Fox LLP, said in a telephone interview, confirming that she had filed the application on Lin’s behalf.

Trademark applications generally take about three months to be examined and published, according to Gary Krugman, a partner at the Washington-based firm of Sughrue Mion. As Lin, 23, is the subject of the phrase Linsanity, he would probably be successful in opposing an application filed earlier than his own, Krugman said.

“Nobody can register a mark if it falsely suggests a connection with a person or an institution,” Krugman said in a telephone interview. “I would guess that Jeremy Lin would be able to oppose on the grounds that Linsanity points uniquely and unmistakably to him.”

Harvard Graduate

Lin, the first Harvard University graduate to play in the National Basketball Association since Ed Smith in 1953-54 and the first Chinese- or Taiwanese-American ever to play in the league, drew widespread attention coming off the bench Feb. 4 to score 25 points and hand out seven assists in a win over the New Jersey Nets. As a starter, he led New York to six straight wins, boosting television ratings, ticket prices and worldwide interest in his game.

Lin’s agent, Roger Montgomery, also filed his own Linsanity application on Feb. 14, one day after Lin’s. An e-mail seeking comment from Montgomery about the reasoning behind his separate filing wasn’t immediately returned. Deese declined to comment about Montgomery’s filing.

Chang said he “wanted to be part of the excitement” in making his own filing. 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 Linsanity.com and thejeremylinshow.com, where Lin-related merchandise is being sold.

Lin’s filing seeks to use Linsanity for goods such as bags, cups, clothing, toys and beverages.

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