Linsanity isn't what it was, but it's all Jeremy Lin's now. The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office rejected the remaining applicants for the Linsanity trademark, leaving Lin as the sole candidate, his lawyer, Pamela Deese, told The Huffington Post Thursday night.
While the Knicks guard has not officially been granted the trademark yet, there's no one left to oppose him. So that means anyone using Linsanity without his permission likely will soon be violating trademark law -- and also would owe the NBA's overnight star a cut of the revenue.
"We're delighted," said Deese, of the Arent Fox firm in Washington. "This is the right result."
Lin's ascent from Harvard-schooled benchwarmer flopping on his brother's couch, to leading scorer and pop culture phenom in February sparked a rush of applications to trademark "Linsanity." Lin officially applied Feb. 13 to protect all kinds of merchandise, from beverage sleeves to underwear, records show.
Lin's lawyers scared off about half of the applicants with cease-and-desist letters, but nearly a dozen apparently persisted. Unlicensed vendors emblazoning "Linsanity" on T-shirts, hats and just about anything else where the word would fit generated untold amounts of money. Even medical marijuana dispensaries sold Linsanity pot.
The trademark office also was working on preventing variations of Lin, or phonetic versions like Lynn, to be used in a familiar slogan or term attached to the player, according to Deese.
In legal terms, the trademark office issued an examiner's action to the applicants of Linsanity and other Lin-related marks, notifying them that they will go scoreless in their attempt to register the trademarks.
The hoopla surrounding Linsanity receded as Lin's turnover count mounted and his left knee caved to the rigors of a lockout-shortened season. He sat out the Knicks' first-round playoff loss to the Miami Heat while recovering from surgery to repair a torn meniscus. Over the entire regular season, however, his name value still propelled his jersey to the No. 2 seller in the NBA behind 2010-11 MVP Derrick Rose.
The Huffington Post emailed a U.S. Patent and Trademark Office spokesperson after business hours for confirmation, but didn't immediately hear back.