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Gabby Douglas

College Kid Took My Nickname

8/18/2012 5:30 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

If Gabby Douglas wants to cash in on her "Flying Squirrel" nickname ... she's gonna have to battle a college kid who locked up the trademark while Gabby was still competing in the Olympics.

TMZ has learned ... Fordham University business student A.J. Rotonde filed to trademark the phrase on August 6 with the U.S. Patent and Trademark office for a mere $325.

Rotonde tells us he decided to scoop up Gabby's handle after watching her destroy the competition in London.

A.J. has NO connection to Gabby or U.S. gymnastics, but tells us he plans to slap "Flying Squirrel" on T-shirts and other merchandise -- but before he cashes in the USPTO has to approve his application ... which could take several months.

Gabby can still challenge A.J.'s filing and apply to trademark the phrase herself.

A.J. tells us he'd be happy to sell the TM back to the gymnast ... for the right price, of course.

We called Gabby's camp to see if she's going to go for the block -- but so far, no response.

For more sports stories, check out tmzsports.com!

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Easy fix to this... boycott buying anything this opportunist tries to sell with her nickname on it. Instead, Gabby should come up with another trademark and make sure the public knows the difference. He'll only make millions banking on someone else's name if the public buys into it.

705 days ago


Just throwing this out there. Here in Richmond, VA (very close to where Gabby is from), the minor league baseball team is the "Flying Squirrels". They have T-shirts and hats and even a stadium with the logo on it. SO it seems to me that both of them are put of luck.... already trademarked!!!!!!!!!

705 days ago


Don't pay him a dime and challenge him in court so he has to pay for his attorney. He doesn't deserve the trademark.

705 days ago


Another low life loser looking to cash in on the sweat and tears of a 16 year old girl who spent the last 10 years of her short life working hard day after day to achieve her goals, she made her mark in history. This s*** bag wants to steal her fame. What a pig.

705 days ago

the original bellaluna    

What a jerk. The patent office should deny his request.

705 days ago


It doesn't matter. NIKE or some other big Company will sign her, give her a new catch phase, and this ******* will bust his Nuts with his squirrel t-shirts. Hate blacks, but as soon as there is a $$$ to be made, whites are all on it. Go Gabby GO!!!!

705 days ago

Annmarie F.    

Love seeing this college kid having his hand on the pulse..... Way to go being a step ahead.

I love a young smart entrepreneur!!!

705 days ago

Annmarie F.    

Love seeing this college kid using his mind and being a step ahead of the game!

Great for the young entrepreneur!

705 days ago

Annmarie F.    

Great for this college kid having his hand on the pulse.... way to be a step ahead!

Love a young entrepreneur!!!!

705 days ago


The Flying Squirrels are a Richmond, VA baseball team. It's not like the name is solely her property.

705 days ago


wow, gonna show my age here.. would have thought that the cartoon Rocky the Flying Squirrel would have gotten the patent 40+ years ago

705 days ago


There are already numerous live trademarks for "Flying Squirrel" across different design codes and usage purposes.

If anyone should be trademarking "Flying Squirrel" it should be the creators of Rocky and Bullwinkle. When I heard Gabby referred to as "Flying Squirrel" I didn't associate it with a real live flying squirrel, I immediately thought of the cartoon character.

Even if the USPTO approves this, he won't make much money from it. After all, Gabby could also trademark the name in conjunction with her image and have a totally different product. If he thinks he can use "Flying Squirrel" on t-shirts in conjunction with pictures of Gabby, he is in for a rude awakening. Besides, who is going to buy a t-shirt that just says "Flying Squirrel"? Really lame.

705 days ago


Smart move.

However when I think of a flying squirrel I think of the Rocky / Bullwinkle show with Rocky the Flying Squirrel.
Not some skinny black kid hopping around.

Today, DreamWorks Animation via Classic Media owns the catalog to the cartoon. They're the ones who have the rights.

705 days ago


Damn parasite...

705 days ago


Wish I'd thought of that, smart businessman.

705 days ago
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