Jeremy Lin Joins The Linsanity Trademark Scrum, Files His Own Application

from the ownership-society dept

This one was probably inevitable after the reports broke of two random trademark applications for "Linsanity" -- the phrase popularly associated with unexpected sports phenom Jeremy Lin. It appears that Lin has filed for his own trademark on the term. Again, this isn't surprising, but I actually wonder if even he has a legal right to it. It doesn't appear that he's the one who came up with the term, and while there might be a publicity rights issue, I'm not sure he gets to claim ownership of it just because it refers to him. I could easily see him seeking to block the use by others, but does he really need to lock it up himself as well? It's too bad that's the state of society today, where it's not just about blocking someone else's bad trademark filing, but it has to be met with another one.


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  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 21st, 2012 @ 12:14am

    All original ideas need to be immediately donated to the collective. No one should be allowed to profit off an innovative thought, invention, or creation.

    This is wrong.

     

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      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Feb 21st, 2012 @ 1:07am

      Re:

      I think you mistake the ability of one person to find a way to profit from something with a granted monopoly that excludes others from doing the same thing as something good.

       

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      Mike Masnick (profile), Feb 21st, 2012 @ 1:41am

      Re:

      All original ideas need to be immediately donated to the collective. No one should be allowed to profit off an innovative thought, invention, or creation.

      Kinda funny that I actually disagree with almost everything in that sentence. I don't believe in "donating to the collective." I believe strongly in private property rights. And I'm a huge fan of helping people profit from innovative thoughts, inventions and creations -- just not using bogus artificial monopolies to do so. But you know this.

      But, tell me, when did Jeremy Lin create the term "Linsanity"?

      Thanks.

       

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        The eejit (profile), Feb 21st, 2012 @ 3:23am

        Re: Re:

        He created it out of being a basketball sensation who's also Taiwanese.

         

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        Anonymous Coward, Feb 21st, 2012 @ 3:27am

        Entitlement culture

        It's the entitlement culture: if you work hard to do something, you should be entitled to special government-supported monopolies (disclaimer: I am not in agreement).

        Jeremy Lin did invest a lot of work (presumably) to become the good basketball player he is, and enable the term "Linsanity" to mean something special --- therefore, by entitlement logic, he deserves, er, something. Maybe we should invent a new kind of IP just for him.

         

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          James Plotkin, Feb 21st, 2012 @ 5:19am

          Re: Entitlement culture

          I understand your sentiment. It gets on my nerves in some contexts as well.

          What if you were to think of it less as an entitlement culture and as more of a reward culture (particularly in this instance). Lin HAS worked hard to achieve what he has. It's less offensive to view this as a reward than an entitlement...though I agree you can see it either way. to me it's a glass half empty or half full scenario. If you don't like P the glass is half empty, if you do...well, you see where I'm going with this.

           

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      James Plotkin, Feb 21st, 2012 @ 5:14am

      Re:

      The very nature of a trademark is to distinguish the wares or services (or on this case person) it is associated with from others.

      Don't you think you're being a little too radical here? sounds like the Borg.

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 21st, 2012 @ 12:25am

    Apple is filing a patent for Linsanity on a mobile device in 2014. Book it.

     

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    F!, Feb 21st, 2012 @ 12:35am

    Let's flood the trademark office...

    Everyone file a TM application for "Linsanity"!

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 21st, 2012 @ 1:06am

    Finally insanity caught up with reality.

     

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    G Thompson (profile), Feb 21st, 2012 @ 1:07am

    That's Linsane!

    Talking about L/Insanity putting a HUGE chink in the Armour of common sense.

    http://randazza.wordpress.com/2012/02/20/max-bretos-owes-no-apology/

    The world is mad... (or is just the USA and this weird sport called basketball) ;)

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 21st, 2012 @ 2:10am

    Sadly, the term "linsanity" has been used often enough in reference to Lindsey Lohan.

    http://perezhilton.com/2010-09-28-lindsay_lohan_wants_spray_tan_lawsuit_dismissed#.T0NtUfE geKI

    While I doubt she would claim trademark on it, it is clear that this term actually refers to someone else. It would be somewhat disappointing not to be able to refer to Ms Lohan using this term.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 21st, 2012 @ 3:55am

    Linux will have a hard time because of all of this.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lincity

    Lincity is a game, and I know that "Lin" is common among Linux users.

     

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    martyburns (profile), Feb 21st, 2012 @ 5:06am

    Could start a trend..

    Watch out! Barbra will be coming for 'The Streisand Effect' soon!

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 21st, 2012 @ 5:21am

    There is fundamentally nothing wrong with receiving a trademark on a name so long as it is used in commerce in conjunction with the sale of specific goods and/or services, use being a mandatory condition for all trademarks.

    See, 15 USC 1502 (Title 15 generally being referred to as the Lanham Act)

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 21st, 2012 @ 6:59am

    I would rather Jeremy Lin have the rights to the term, than anyone else.

     

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    GMacGuffin (profile), Feb 21st, 2012 @ 7:41am

    5 Applications, 4 "Intent to Use"

    Just checked USPTO. There are currently five pending applications and all but one are 1B "intent to use" apps, with one of the first two reported being a 1A (use in commerce) application (meaning he didn't know what he was doing, or had already printed the t-shirts). Most are for apparel; one for sports player management.

    It's not really a matter of who coined the term, but rather who was first to use it in commerce in a particular field to identify their goods or services (so theoretically, the jewelry and sports management and one of the apparel applicants could all use the mark if they didn't intend to expand into other fields).

    After that, it gets complicated and grey, and there are areas of TM law (like domain cybersquatting) that statutorily recognize personal names as a basis for rights to the mark.

    So in the end, my guess would be it will boil down to a "Dude... seriously" test, the "seriously" being that Jeremy Lin is the dude gets to use the mark after it all shakes out -- he being the subject and all.

     

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      dwg, Feb 21st, 2012 @ 3:45pm

      Re: 5 Applications, 4 "Intent to Use"

      It's not about who coined it: if it's attached closely enough to a famous person's own name, then the person gets to decide who gets to register the mark. You can...if he agrees. If not, not.

      And it's not about first in commerce, completely: it can be about first to constructively use (i.e., file an "intent to use" application) if no one has a use date preceding.

       

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    GMacGuffin (profile), Feb 21st, 2012 @ 7:59am

    In the same vein, if I were to register the TM "Streisand Effect" for services (or for clothing: "Streisand Affect") you can bet that Streisand would get the mark over whomever coined the term ... er, Mike.

     

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    Anonymous Anonymous Coward, Feb 21st, 2012 @ 8:03am

    Publicity Rights????

    Just where did this concept come from. I have always been under the impression that once one became a 'public figure' one lost a certain amount of privacy. Now, created out of someones pure imagination, there is a right to control that loss of privacy? I object.

     

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    Mateo Jose (profile), Feb 21st, 2012 @ 8:11am

    What is Jeremy Lin?

    And why is it in the news everyday? Quite annoying.

     

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      The eejit (profile), Feb 21st, 2012 @ 9:18am

      Re: What is Jeremy Lin?

      He currently has the best debut season in NBA history, averaging higher thanboth Michael Jordan and "Magic" Johnson in the NBA for the opening 5 games, and is set to score the most points in na single season by a Point-Guard.

       

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    Josh (profile), Feb 21st, 2012 @ 8:21am

    Is it too much to hope for?

    Maybe he just wants the trademark so he can use it defensively, like Google and many of their patents.

     

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