|A man has reportedly filed a trademark application for "Linsanity." (Getty Images)|
From starting point guard to worldwide sensation to economic stimulus package?
Clearly, opportunity-seeking businessmen are out in full force looking for ways to capitalize on the astonishing rise to fame of New York Knicks point guard Jeremy Lin.
Lin, a Taiwanese-American Harvard graduate, narrowly avoided being cut by the Knicks before moving into the starting lineup, where he has boasted video game numbers and helped lead New York to five consecutive victories.
Bloomberg.com reports that Yenchin Chang, a California resident, has applied to trademark the word "Linsanity" -- a term that's been used to describe Lin's play and global impact -- but that a patent attorney said it will be difficult for Chang to profit off it.
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.In a lengthy profile, Ken Berger of CBSSports.com provided some of the indicators of Lin's global popularity, and they really are linsane. With popularity like that, Chang certainly won't be the only person looking to be "part of the excitement."
“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.
The major deals to watch will be who inks Lin as a celebrity endorser, and when. In an interview with the Toronto media on Tuesday in advance of Tuesday night's game against the Raptors, Lin referred a question about his endorsement opportunities to his agent, according to NationalPost.com. Does the big money wait to see if this is a fad? Do they bank on Lin having staying power because he plays for the high-visibility Knicks?
If you're Lin's agent, you have to get deals done as soon as possible to cash in when his value is at an all-time high, right? Missing out on a major immediate payday from this hype would be a significant opportunity lost.