Many people on both sides of the Pacific Ocean have reveled in the phenomenon of Linsanity, but only one man will own the catch phrase’s rights, Jeremy Lin.
On May 26th, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office awarded the phrase to Lin, whose incredible rise from an undrafted rookie to the star point guard of the New York Knicks catapulted him into a global icon. Lin filed the case in February after a man with no ties to the Lin family filed the Linsanity trademark.
“It’s not only Linsanity, but all Lin-related trademarks,” Pamela M. Deese, a partner in the law firm Arent Fox LLP who is working on the player’s behalf, said in a telephone interview. “Having a clean plate with rights in place makes it a lot easier to negotiate licenses and endorsements deals.”
Lin’s capture of Linsanity is a huge boost for the 23 year-old point guard, who has quickly become one of the most popular players in the NBA. He signed an endorsement deal with Volvo in March and there is currently a documentary in the works about his journey from an under-recruited college player to an NBA star.
Lin is currently recovering from knee surgery that ended his season prematurely on April 1.
But, Lin’s legal battles aren’t quite over yet. Lin, a restricted free-agent, is awaiting an appeal filed by the NBA players’ association to allow teams who acquired a player off waivers to retain their Early Bird Rights. Lin was picked up on December 27th by the Knicks after the Houston Rockets released him. Before that, he was let go by the Golden State Warriors in pre-season.
The decision is important for both the Knicks and Lin. If the union wins their appeal, the Knicks will be able to re-sign Lin without using their mid-level exception, which means the Knicks could go above the salary cap to extend Lin to a multi-year deal. Without being forced to use the mid-level of Lin, it would also mean that the Knicks could use the exception to sign another player — a dream scenario for a team that lacks depth.
The decision will be made by the NBA on June 13th.