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Ball Don't Lie

A shameless businessman wants to trademark “Linsanity”

Eric Freeman
Ball Don't Lie

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A young Jeremy Lin fan shows complete disregard for U.S. patent law (David Sherman/Getty).

Jeremy Lin has proven himself as a basketball player, and in doing so has become an out-of-control cultural sensation. The rush is in full effect, with ridiculous jersey sales, plenty of magazine covers, and media coverage that would make LeBron James blush. It's all getting a little too big, to the point where people are latching on to the story with little regard for anything other than making an extra buck.

[Photos: Knicks fans show plenty of love for Jeremy Lin]

That's exactly how one enterprising California businessman has approached Linmania. If you've spent any time reading up on Lin over the past week, you've probably heard the term "Linsanity," which is now so ubiquitous that it would be nearly impossible to trace it back to its origins, sort of like the phrase "ex-squeeze me" or the opinion that sliced bread is the best thing ever. Nevertheless, Yenchin Chang of Alhambra, Calif. (a town near Pasadena in Los Angeles County), has attempted to trademark "Linsanity" as his own. From Scott Soshnick and Mason Levinson for Bloomberg (via PBT):

Chang, who like Lin is of Taiwanese descent, said he isn't affiliated with the 23-year-old, Harvard University-educated player who has guided the Knicks to a five-game winning streak after being released by the Golden State Warriors.

"I wanted to be a part of the excitement," Chang, who attended East Los Angeles College and who works in the import/export business, said in a telephone interview. "I'm very proud of Jeremy."

Milord A. Keshishian, an attorney with Milord & Associates, a patent, trademark and copyright firm in Los Angeles, said in a telephone interview that the law "doesn't bode well" for anyone trying to make money through a Linsanity trademark. "This looks like a bad-faith attempt to profit from Jeremy Lin's recent acclaim," he said of the trademark applications.

Chang said he would be willing to sell the trademark if he gained it and Lin wanted it. "I'll think about it when that time comes," Chang said. "Right now, I just want to have some fun with it."

Ah, right, because who hasn't wilded out by getting involved in the bureaucratic hell of the U.S. trademark process? In fact, I was already planning on hitting up my local patent and trademark office with the bros on Saturday night to meet some fine honeys and check up on the progress of my filing for a slinky that adapts like a Furby. Look for it in stores around Christmas 2015.

[ Dan Wetzel podcast: The impressive rise of Jeremy Lin]

If you can believe it, Chang was actually the first of two people to file for "Linsanity" trademarks, which should tell you something about the motives involved. These people can talk about having fun as much as they want, but it's fairly clear that they're just trying to leech off the Lin story to help themselves. There's no appreciation here, only avarice.

In related news, my trademark claim for "Vinsanity" was finally approved this week after a 14-year appeals process. I can't wait to get the royalty checks from this year's top Vince Carter T-shirts.

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