USPTO Grants Trademark Ownership of “Linsanity” to Jeremy Lin

By Joseph Mandour on January 5, 2012

Lawyer San Diego – The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) issued office actions recently showing that it will register the term “Linsanity” to NBA player Jeremy Lin.

The catchphrase had become the source of much talk and argument in the last year. With the meteoric rise of the young player from undrafted nobody, to starter with the New York Knicks, Lin gave the fans the chance to cheer for something different and unique. However, clearly there were other people who had aspirations of capitalizing on the newest NBA catchphrase. Lin’s filing came six days after a filing by a California man in early February, as well as additional filings by unrelated individuals on February 9th and 14th.

The USPTO typically grants trademark rights to users who file first. However, due to the fact that the LINSANITY trademark contains Lin’s name and is a clear reference to him, the USPTO has rejected the applications filed by persons other than Jeremy Lin.

Jeremy Lin is a California native who went to Harvard University and managed to garner a contract with the Golden State Warriors after graduating in 2010. Despite not having had a scholarship or any draft prospects after graduation, Lin achieved success against all odds.

One of just a few Asian Americans in the NBA, Lin seldom saw any court time and was assigned to the NBA Development League three times in his rookie season. He was later waived by the Warriors, and then the Houston Rockets, before being picked up by a third team, the New York Knicks. Lin joined the Knicks for the 2011-2012 season, and despite playing in the Development League for a good portion of the season, ended up leading the Knicks to a surprising winning streak at the end of the season. The subsequent global following has been labeled “Linsanity” by fans and has generated much talk in the last year.

The use of trademarked terms and catchphrases in professional sports has long been a huge moneymaker for owners, players and purveyors of sporting goods. Lin’s status on the court may be questionable next year, but he is still a huge draw with fans. And with the global success of Lin’s shoes, jerseys, fan gear and ticket sales, “Linsanity” will undoubtedly continue, at least for a little while longer.

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