Carlynsanity - one reporter's quest for a trademark

Fri Feb 17, 2012 6:06pm EST
Email This Article |
Share This Article
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
| Print This Article | Single Page
[-] Text [+]

By Carlyn Kolker

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The 23-year-old New York Knicks star Jeremy Lin has become not only a sports legend but a major business opportunity for everyone who can come up with a pun on his name.

According to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office's online database, at least two people have applied for the name "Linsanity" for athletic apparel. Another wants a trademark for "Linsane."

All this got me thinking.

If everyone else is trying to get in on the Linsanity, why not me? I've already got Lyn, the crucial syllable, in my favor. How about "Carlynsanity"? Who knows, maybe one day it could be worth something.

The only thing I need now is a trademark.

Applying for the legal rights to a name involves registering with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. I go on to its website, find the trademark database and type in "Carlynsanity."

Joyous news: Nothing comes up. Another search tells me there is one active trademark for "Carlyn," covering bathroom fixtures.

Because U.S. law requires that all trademarks be associated with "goods and services," applicants must submit documents attesting that they already have goods or services in the marketplace, or that they have plans to make and sell something. "The touchstone for a trademark is its use in commerce," says intellectual property lawyer David Donahue with Fross Zelnick Lehrman & Zissu.   Continued...

A customer looks at a Jeremy Lin shirt in a Modell's store in New York's Times Square February 16, 2012.  REUTERS/Brendan McDermid