Jeremy Shu-How Lin is a 23 year old American professional basketball player with the New York Knicks, living the American Dream.

The 2010 Harvard University graduate reached a partially guaranteed contract deal with his hometown Golden State Warriors, but seldom played.

But then the New York Knick came by.  Due to the many injuries Lin unexpectedly came into play. In the five games in which he could start, he scored more points than any player ever did in his first five appearances in the NBA, the top basketball league in the US. And they were some crucial scores as well. Single-handedly he helped the Knicks go through a difficult period.

Almost overnight he became one of the most popular players in the NBA. It even earned him a fabulous nickname: Linsanity.

But now – of course – smart entrepreneurs have been quick to capitalize on Lin’s popularity. Just days after Lin began his streak of top scoring games, two people filed trademark applications for “Linsanity” for use with athletic apparel. And more with undoubtedly follow.

It’s a difficult question whether such trademark applications are to be considered filed in good faith. Bascially, it’s people trying to earn a buck on the accomplishments of others. Another question is whether Lin himself should have the (sole) right to his own nickname. A nickname, he did not come up with himself, by the way.

Interesting IP questions. is curious to hear your opinions on this.

© photo by Ramey Photo

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Erwin Hauër

“Hope is not a strategy.”



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