Posted by Mark J. Miller on June 26, 2012 01:01 PM
The fever pitch of Linsanity has died down a bit since mid-February, when every move New York Knicks point guard Jeremy Lin made was scrutinized and revered. His spot on his brother’s couch was ballyhooed as the mark of a man who overly impressed with himself and his status as an NBA player. His entire manner was an antidote to the general self-promoting boorishness that is generally expected from his fellow NBA players.
Plus, the guy went to Harvard! And helped build the Asian market even further and bring in more bucks for the sport! Not to mention being the very model of a modern Asian American. What else could the league ask for?
A few others, of course, saw Lin’s rise as a big opportunity to make some money for themselves as well and went ahead and filed for the “Linsanity” trademark. As we recently noted, Lin — who is not yet confirmed to be returning as a Knick — did the same in an attempt to keep himself from potentially seeing his own name on hot pads and t-shirts and ice-cream flavorings (and, naturally, make a few dollars down the road as well).
Now, after his lawyers sent cease-and-desist letters to a slew of others, only five individuals who don't answer to the name "Jeremy Lin" are still hoping to get the "Linsanity" trademark. According to the New York Times, they all recently received letters from the patent office with refusals. They each now have six months to provide more information and an argument on why they should be given the rights to the term.
“Linsanity is a distinctive term with a distinctive meaning and is closely associated with Lin himself, rather than any other individual or business entity,” commented Jonathan Moskin, a partner in trademark law at Foley Lardner, to the Times.
Now that the trademark is all Lin’s (although he's so far tolerant of linsanity.com, for instance) if he wants to make any big bucks off the term, he’ll have to get things rolling again on his healing knee and hope that he can set a flame even moderately close to the bonfire he had raging in February, no matter if he ends up re-signing with the Knicks or playing somewhere else. Although the Knicks can't afford to lose Lin or Linsanity, the ball is in the young player's court.