Tuesday, February 28, 2012

The Jeremy Lin Domains Gold rush

What's in a domain? Esther Dyson once said that the value of the domain is all in our minds. But the name Lin Shu Hao , whether in our minds or not, is now a brand valued at millions of dollars.

Lin Shu Hao is the Chinese name for Jeremy Lin and according to Forbes, the name/brand is now worth $14million! The Lin Shu Hao brand is now 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.

The domain http://www.linshuhao.com/ is now up for sale. A visit to the domain indicates some Chinese Characters and the words This domain is for sale in English. Many domain investors are busy registering various combinations of Jeremy Lin's names hoping to cash in on the Taiwanese American's buzz and rise to stardom. This kind of speculative activity always accompanies trends or buzz surrounding major events and people. It was even seen when Whitney Houston died and speculators vigorous acquired Whitney Houston domains hoping to cash in on the sudden interest. The speculative registrations also accompanied the Tebowing craze that swept the US last year. In many cases, some of these are passing trends and  many of these domains become worthless after a year or so.The domain jeremylin.com is not attracting as much interest as the Chinese variant. My theory is that many English speaking domain investors(mostly Americans) were not aware of the Jeremy Lin's Chinese name and the name was quickly snapped by a Chinese registrant :) who is now almost smiling all the way to the bank. He/She is receiving numerous offers per day for the domain. This is one of the domain names that could sell for a million dollars or more. JeremyLin.com is owned by an American domain investor.

 According to Taiwan's China post, 
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.

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