Jeremy Lin domain name for sale in China
February 21, 2012, 12:05 am TWN
BEIJING--The Chinese domain name bearing the name of New York Knicks sensation Jeremy Lin — www.linshuhao.com — has been registered in China and is being touted for sale.
The website quotes Forbes as describing “Lin Shu-hao” as among the fastest-growing brands in the world, currently valued at US$14 million. The brand is weighed the same as that of Los Angeles Lakers shooting guard Kobe Bryant, both of whom are ranked by Forbes as among the top six athlete brands in the world.
A simple English message below the Chinese ad on the website states: “This domain name is for sale.”
An attempt to contact the registrant was met with the message: “Too many bidders right now. Please state your budget or we won't reply.”
The war on Lin's intellectual property (IP) rights is among the latest buzz surrounding the sudden rise of the Taiwanese-American star. Lin's attorneys have reportedly applied for trademark rights to the term “Linsanity,” which covers the use of all things “Lin,” according to the Huffington Post.
Andrew Slayton, Lin's former Palo Alto high school basketball coach, also reportedly bought the domain name Linsanity.com in 2010, according to foreign wire service reports.
The IP war has since reached China as businessmen there sought to cash in on the player's fame.
Some have offered 260,000 yuan (US$41,293) to buy the Chinese domain name, the Chinese news website Tiangjinwe.com reported.
In light of possible violation by “linshuhao.com” of Lin's trademark in the United States, a Chinese attorney said that there is insufficient evidence to support the argument, pointing out that there are many ways to spell Lin's Chinese name.
Lin jerseys, be they counterfeit or authorized, are hot sellers in China, with prices ranging from 30 yuan to 2,300 yuan.
A search for “Linsanity” products on Taobao, a fast-growing online retail business owned by China's Alibaba Group, returned with more than 2,644 results, including Lin branded cellphone cases and hats.