When last we heard of Andrew Slayton, he was selling Jeremy-Lin themed t-shirts for $16 on his website. We didn't name the website at the time because it felt a little too venal, all this capitalizing on the bootstraps tale of a Harvard youth overcoming impossible odds to make his way in the world. But what was the point? You knew we were talking about linsanity.com, where you will now find Lin-themed t-shirts selling for $20, a price increase that can only be explained by runaway Linflation.
I called Slayton on Feb. 10 to ask him about his new venture. He didn't seem like a bad sort, and having been a hanger-on at Lin's high school practices and games, he at least had a personal connection to the guy currently on the cover of Sports Illustrated. But just as it wasn't kosher for us to carry water for Slayton's site, I didn't think it appropriate to mention another thought I'd had: When would someone apply for the trademark on "Linsanity?" I didn't want to give Slayton any ideas, although he had registered his website back in July 2010, which meant he'd been sitting on "Linsanity" since at least that far back.
Later that day, I checked the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office database. There were no pending applications for a trademark on "Linsanity." They must not have been in the system yet because Slayton had already submitted his application the day before. This is the same Slayton who told me a day later that he was "enjoying this as much whether I make money off it or not. If make money, it'll be awesome, and if I don't, hey, I created some fun stuff that my friends really dig."
Uh huh. Well, Slayton already paid $275 to file his application. Lord knows how much he'll have to pay if he becomes linvolved in litigation with Lin. Of course, he probably doesn't have to worry about that. On Feb. 7, two days before Slayton filed his application, Yenchin (Matthew) Chang out of Alhambra, Calif. beat everyone to the submit button, according to Bloomberg:
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.
"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.
Oh, you're part of it now, pal.