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Gabby Douglas

College Kid Took My Nickname

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

0815_gabby_douglas_getty
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!
121 COMMENTS

No Avatar
31.

Joe    

totally not cool of that loser to try to cash in on her. piece of garbage ! Gabby worked hard for everything she presently has. She deserves this ! Not the other person !

611 days ago
32.

Poule    

This guy is an idiot who thinks he is smart.

611 days ago
33.

Pando    

No different than the forward-thinking people who used to lock up popular URL names when the internet was first getting started. I'm sure for a price he'll release the TM to her. That is one smart business student. Maybe not the most ethical thing but since when has business been ethical?

611 days ago
34.

Jmarie09    

Id like to see how the actual flying squirrels feel about this seeing as how they technically had the name before Gabby or the D-bag trying to make money off of her and the flying squirrels.

611 days ago
35.

Cran    

The audacity, arrogance and selfishness you have shown A.J. should be rewarded and it will be for sure. A predator like you who sits waiting to steal others success is always going down. You are an ass of the first magnitude and kind of creepy too.

611 days ago
36.

Scott Christopher     

A.J. is an ass!
if gabby fights it she will win.
by the time the license is approved "flying squirrel" will mean nothing without her pic and her approval.
he wasted 325.00.
what a loser-trying to get one on a 16 yo sports superstar!
karma is a bitch!

611 days ago
37.

Dave Gershenson    

They all might want to check out the Richmond Flying Squirrels minor league baseball team on that trademark issue...been around for several years.

611 days ago
38.

ruth    

this is why business ethics needs to be taught in colleges-this is an unethical move--i think i will get out my voo-doo powers and fix this kid now.

611 days ago
39.

arale norimaki    

Ellis Coleman

As Coleman descended behind the other wrestler's shoulder, he grabbed him around the chest and took him down. In a sport that doesn't get a lot of mainstream attention, Coleman provided just that.

"It's my nickname ("Flying Squirrel), and I kind of go with it wherever I go. And I actually bought a pet flying squirrel," Coleman said at a news conference Wednesday.

The pet squirrel is in Colorado Springs, where he trains, and is named Rocky. Coleman said he bought him for about $500.

"Some company came into the mall we were at in Colorado Springs, and they were selling them. And I had to buy one," said Coleman, who is from Oak Park, Ill.

So where do you keep a flying squirrel?

"I keep him in a cage," Coleman said. "He just hops around all the time."

611 days ago
40.

Rico Suavy    

I like flying Beaver better.

611 days ago
41.

GoodOnPaper    

i'm sorry, but you shouldn't be able to trademark words .... it's ridiculous. flying squirrel was pretty derogatory to ms. douglas anyway - she doesn't need it.

611 days ago
42.

Ashlyn    

The guy sounds like a douchebag. He clearly trademarked the name in hopes Gabby will buy the name back. Lame.

611 days ago
43.

buzz kill    

Rocky and Bullwinkle are going to be pizzed.

611 days ago
44.

♥TMZ but ...    

why would she want that nicname anyway there is nothing appealing about it

611 days ago
45.

Alice    

People do this all the time. The minute something sounds popular they will buy a web domain and/or copyright and sell it to those who want to use it. They'll ask for insane amounts of money for them as well. And it's ridiculous. Not surprised to find out this guy is a business student. Must have realized it's easier to catch a flying saucer than it is to get a job in that field.

611 days ago
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