Miami Heat advance while Lin wins

By Pankaj Ladhar of Manos • Alwine P.L.

Congratulations are in order for the NBA’s biggest “big three,” who advanced to their second consecutive Eastern Conference Finals with a 105-93 win over the Pacers on Thursday night – and for the biggest single one-man story in the league this year — Jeremy Lin, the last applicant left standing in the battle to secure trademark rights to the term “Linsanity.”

Until February, few people apart from friends, family members and die-hard basketball fans even knew Jeremy Lin existed. He played collegiate ball at Harvard, which this year made its first appearance in the NCAA basketball tournament since 1946. He was not selected by any team in the 2010 NBA draft. The Knicks, who picked him up off waivers a few days after this current NBA season started, became his third NBA team in just 18 months.

Until February, in fact, the term “Linsanity” simply didn’t exist at all.

Then it did. And then it was everywhere. And soon after that, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office was flooded with applicants vying for the right to trademark “Linsanity” and put it on just about anything and everything they could possibly sell.

Since Lin filed his own application with the USPTO on February 13, his attorneys have been conducting a “cease-and-desist” campaign that successfully convinced all but about a dozen other applicants to drop their pursuit of the trademark rights. And finally this Thursday, the USPTO rejected the remaining applicants — leaving Lin alone in his quest for the trademark rights.

While the USPTO has not officially granted Lin the trademark for “Linsanity” yet (which is why we can still use it but probably won’t ever use it again after concluding this post) — future use of the term without Lin’s permission will likely constitute violations of U.S. trademark law and give rise to trademark infringement lawsuits.

Source: The Huffington Post, “‘Linsanity’ Trademark Fight Ends — Jeremy Lin Is Last Applicant Standing,” Ron Dicker, May 24, 2012