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Lin Endeavors to Safeguard Trademark Interests
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The American public and media are gripped by Lin-mania with the written and visual media going overdrive over his superlative performances for the Knicks this season. Fans of the star player include Obama and Palin. Price of tickets increase by as much as 45% in matches that he plays in – and even though it is most uncharacteristic and atypical for a person of Asian descent to make it as a professional basketball player in the US – there is no doubt that he has taken the sport by storm and his mania, is sweeping US. The kid spells money and everyone wants a piece of the pie.

Jeremy Lin, a simple religious humble man, was happy playing the game and deeply thankful to God that such an opportunity was given to him. Was it not a little while ago that he was sleeping on his brother’s bed in a one room condo? Even in his wildest dreams he would not have imagined the sudden super stardom thrust upon him.

It suddenly dawned on him that his name spelt big bucks and those around him, without his knowledge or consent, were raking it in by the shovelful. Well advised by those in the know, he has now applied for trademarks rights to his name, perhaps prompted by the information that one of his high school coaches and another man, Mr. Chang from California had applied for trademark registration for the word “Linsanity”. There are many new words that have cropped up in the lexicon following Lin’s instant celebrity and Linsanity is one of them. Lin should now be protected by law from the commercial use of his name without his consent. Of course, Messrs Chang and Stanley will challenge this in court, there’s far too much at stake.


Even though his former coach, Mr. Slayton, claims that he had registered the domain in 2010, way before Lin became the sensation he is and much before the word was coined. But the merchandise he is selling leaves no room for doubt that he is cashing in on the players name.

There is no doubt that the matter will go to the courts, as big bucks are involved. But the rules are favoring the star. Will Chang and Slayton continue to benefit from Lin’s success?   It seems highly unlikely that they will get away with manipulating the rule book. Both Chang and Slayton must realize that they are treading on dangerous waters, for it could cost them a fortune in damages if it can be established that the connection between the merchandise sold and the celebrity is easily assumed by the general public – given that his name, the number and color of his jersey, everything that he says or does, is on everyone’s lips, that shouldn’t be too much of a difficulty.

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