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Stop the Linsanity: Trademark battle over Jeremy Lin’s name ends

Thanks to the New York Knicks player Jeremy Lin’s skills, fans and simple last name, people and companies around the United States were able to create a fun term to describe his increasing popularity. The player was an overnight sensation who was the team’s leading scorer after being discovered sitting on a bench playing for Harvard. Although the hype has died down, the value of his name has not.

Once “Linsanity” hit the airwaves, individuals scrambled to trademark the word. However, Lin’s attorney said Lin himself will likely be awarded with the privilege by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office because it has made him the only candidate. He turned in an application in February to make sure the name was protected from being used in merchandise including clothing, accessories and other items.

In fact, Linsanity was being used to sell more interesting and items such as medical marijuana. Revenue from products using the name came quickly, and his jersey was the second-highest seller in last year’s season.

If the decision for the trademark is approved, Lin will make an undisclosed amount of money off anyone using the term. According to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, it has already sent letters regarding the situation to the applicants who will not receive the trademark privilege.

To help stop the sale of Linsanity products, Lin’s lawyers have been sending out cease-and-desist letters, though some have ignored the threats. Now, the vendors risk facing lawsuits or paying a large amount of money.

Lin’s attorney said he and his client are both happy with the decision by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, adding they feel the trademark is in the correct hands.

Source: The Huffington Post, “‘Linsanity’ Trademark Fight Ends — Jeremy Lin Is Last Applicant Standing,” Ron Dicker, May 25, 2012

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