Jeremy Lin is all out to protect ‘Linsanity.’ The Knicks sensation recently applied for trademark rights to Linsanity, The Huffington Post learned recently after acquiring his application.
One of Jeremy Lin’s attorneys confirmed it. “We’re prepared to protect his intellectual property rights,” stated Pam Deese at the Washington, D.C., law firm of Arent Fox. The lawyer refused to comment further.
Jeremy Lin coughed up $1,625 for the filing fee, to cover use of the trademarked term on all manner of apparel, including underwear. In an itemized listing of merchandise, the filing seeks to protect its use on whatever, from action figures to beverage sleeves and backpacks.
In the document, Jeremy Lin filed his application on Feb. 13, several days after two California men jumped in the cash-in race to trademark Linsanity. But according to The Huffington Post, Washington, D.C., trademark attorney Josh Gerben said that those claims will superficially lead into a procedural air ball, costing the two men time and money.
Jeremy Lin’s move with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office could also put heat on an online business of one of the men, Andrew Slayton. By selling “Linsanity” T-shirts on his Linsanity.com website, Slayton is being reckless and irresponsible with certain protections, Gerben explained. He believes the marketing tactics of Slayton and his website conceivably violate the trademark rights of the New York Knicks and the publicity rights of Jeremy Lin, whose unexpected success with the Knicks has created the term Linsanity.
Andrew Slayton reportedly acquired the domain name Linsanity.com in 2010, but the goods he’s selling appear up-to-date. A number of the T-shirts have the same blue and orange coloring like that of the Knicks’ uniforms. Even the colors of the website are also blue and orange. The #17 that appears on one of the shirts is undoubtedly Lin’s number for the Knicks. And the site’s copy mentions the “Garden,” short for Madison Square Garden, where the Knicks play. “It’s clear that he is trying to sell merchandise using the New York Knicks brand,” Gerben said. “He should be very careful.”
Besides the probable trademark violations, Andrew Slayton, a Los Altos, California, resident who once coached at the high school where Jeremy Lin played, is also in danger of breaking California’s “right to publicity” law. The law shields celebrities from the commercial use of their names without them giving the green light. Slayton told the New York Post that he believed Jeremy Lin is not aware of his Web ventures.
An attempt by Huffington Post to reach Andrew Slayton through the website resulted in the following email message: “We would be happy to clarify any facts for you about the site on background, but are not interested in doing on the record interviews at this time.”
NBA senior vice president and chief intellectual property counsel, Ayala Deutsch, wrote in an email recently: “The NBA is pursuing enforcement — in the US, China and other countries — to address the sale of counterfeit ‘Lin’ jerseys and other unauthorized merchandise using NBA intellectual property. We also are coordinating with Jeremy Lin’s representatives regarding their efforts to enforce against the unauthorized use of his name and image.”
Andrew Slayton’s inventory listed on the site includes $20 shirts decorated with LINsanity, LIN.Y.C., LIN YOUR FACE #17, I <3 LIN and just LIN baby.
Now that Jeremy Lin stepped up to defend his name, Andrew Slayton is on dangerous grounds according to Gerben. “Legally, he’s on shaky ground,” Gerben said.