While the Taiwanese NBA basketball player Jeremy Lin has rapidly risen from obscurity to superstar, the ‘Linsanity’ has also gone wild in mainland China. The Lin-Mania brings tons of business opportunity to the store owners at Taobao, the biggest China online shopping site similar to ebay. Many knockoff merchandise of Lin such as iPhone cases, the #17 New York Knicks jerseys, t-shirts and hoodies are selling like hot cakes. Besides that, Lin’s Chinese name has also being quickly registered as trademark …
There are many different kinds of Lin knockoff products on sales right now. The most popular one must be the Lin’s New York Knicks Home/Away jerseys. The sales of the jerseys can be reached up to 400 online transactions per day. The selling price is around 30 yuan (US$4.7) to 130 yuan (US$20.6), depends on the quality. Since every customer is so eager to get a piece of Lin jersey, online sellers are pushing the garment factories for speedy production. The lowest manufacture cost for these knockoff is about 7 yuan (US$1.1), the quality can reached up to 90 percent compare to the real one. The official Lin jersey from NBA store, which made by Adidas will cost US$60. Moreover, Lin iPhone cases are another hot selling items on Taobao. The cases have various design with Lin’s name and his portrait printed on it. Each one cost about 29 yuan (US$4.6) to 70 yuan (US$11.1). Some sellers even offer custom made service for non iPhone users at a much higher price.
Additionally, Lin’s Chinese name has become the hottest property among Chinese people too. A Chinese sports product company has registered “Jeremy S.H.L” and Lin’s Chinese name in simplified character as a trademark in 2011. The company owner said she believes Lin trademark might be worth a lot of money some day. The registration fee only cost her 4,460 yuan (US$708). But With Lin’s market value keep on soaring, many local companies might be preparing to spend a considerable amount to purchase the trademark from the owner. Another business man has registered the URL ‘www.linshuhao17.cn’ and ‘www.linsanity17.cn’ at merely 80 yuan (US$12.7) each per year. He has already received a lot of calls asking the purchase of the domain name. One of the buyer is willing to pay 170,000 yuan (US$26,988) for the re-sale.
Trademark squatting was a problem in China, aided by agencies and domestic users who register hundreds of trademarks in the hope of turning a profit. These people who are out there snatching up intellectual property, by owning it as an investment. Recently, retired NBA legend Michael Jordan had filed a lawsuit against a Chinese sports company, over the unauthorized use of his Chinese name in China. As for those knockoff merchandise, NBA and Adidas, even Jeremy Lin himself, might need to spend more effort for knocking it out. Fake NBA merchandise has been in the market since long time ago …
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