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.
At least one prestigious Black college is pressing hard to recruit Olympic Gold medalist Gabby Douglas -- but at least one person in our newsroom doesn't get why she'd WANT to go there. A mind is a terrible thing to waste.
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16-year-old Gabby Douglas is officially being recruited by one of the most prestigious black universities in the country ... Spelman College ... and TMZ has learned the school president has even flown to London to get a leg up on the competition.
We've learned ... Spelman -- an all-girl college in Georgia -- wants Gabby in a bad way ... and sources at the University tell us the Team USA gymnastics superstar has become the number 1 recruit ... by far.
In fact, the President of Spelman, Beverly Daniel Tatum (not pictured below), went out to London and made sure Gabby got a Spelman gift bag ... containing a congratulatory note, school t-shirt and a CD containing a song produced by the college.
Tatum also released a statement to TMZ ... in which she acknowledges the school would LOVE to get its hands on the gold medal winner:
"A young woman who has demonstrated the drive and discipline needed to achieve world-class excellence is likely to have what it takes to be successful at Spelman, and we would welcome her interest in the college."
Spelman is no joke ... both Martin Luther King Jr. and Bill Cosby have daughters who attended S.C.
8/6 -- Hawkins spoke to reporters about her financial history in London yesterday ... saying, "It's my story, it's part of me. I'm not even embarrassed about it."
She added, "It shows that even though I didn't like to have to do it, I'm glad there was something there for me to be able to protect my home."
Just a few months before Gabby Douglas won her gold medal -- and opened the door to countless opportunities that will undoubtedly score her millions of dollars -- her mother filed for bankruptcy ... TMZ has learned
According to documents filed earlier this year in Virginia, Natalie Hawkins filed for Chapter 13 ... which is far less severe than Chapter 7. The docs state Hawkins has assets totalling $163,706.10 and debt totaling $79,754.14.
Her creditors include: Capital One -- $1,534 Student loan -- $4,350.23 Sprint -- $158.78 T-Mobile -- $413 Orthodontist in Iowa (where Gabby trained when she was 14) -- $408
With the Chapter 13 filing, Hawkins has agreed to a monthly payment plan. She began making payments of $408/month back in February ... to a trustee who will divvy it up among her creditors.
However, with Gabby’s new found fame and the potential to make a bloody fortune, it's likely her mother will never have to worry about bankruptcy or money problems ever again.
What do corn flakes, milk and Gabby Douglas have in common? They'll all be featured on Kelloggs cereal boxes this fall ... 'cause the Olympic champ just inked a major endorsement deal with the cereal company!
After sweeping the women's All-around gymnastics final and being the first African-American to win a gold medal in the category ... Gabby went on the "Today" show Friday and announced the major cereal deal.
The 16-year-old will be the face of Kelloggs Corn Flakes starting this fall, so every American can wake up feeling like a champ.
This is the first of many deals Gabby is likely to sign on to ... she made history with her gold medal and she's still young enough to compete in the 2016 Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil ... which could mean many more deals to come.
Fun Fact: Kelloggs also tapped Michael Phelps to be on their boxes back in 2008 after he killed in in Beijing.
Condoleezza Rice is a big fan of U.S.gymnastics superstar Gabby Douglas ... telling TMZ she's "thrilled" for the 16-year-old's "momentous accomplishment as the first African-American" to win a gold medal at the Olympics in the all-around competition.
Rice says she's been following the ENTIRE U.S. Women's Gymnastics team at the 2012 Games ... telling us the girls have been "incredible" to watch.
"Proud of their team gold and thrilled for Gabby Douglas and her momentous accomplishment as the first African-American to win the individual all-around gymnastics title, " Rice says.
She adds, "These young women are full of grace and poise."
Not to gloat, but ... THE USA IS BETTER THAN EVERYONE ELSE ON THE PLANET IN WOMEN'S GYMNASTICS!!!!
The U.S. women's gymnastics team didn't just win GOLD in the team competition ... they CRUSHED the competition ... slaughtering Russia by a whole 5 points.
Just to compare, China beat the US back in 2008 by 2ish points ... in what was then considered to be a pretty dominant performance. So, 5 points is HUUUUUGE.
It's a big deal ... the team -- made up of Jordyn Wieber, Gabrielle Douglas, Alexandra Raisman, Kyla Ross, and McKayla Maroney -- was favored to win ... and they didn't disappoint, scoring 183.596 today. Russia came in at 178.5 (suck it).
Romania won bronze.
The last gold medal was won at the Atlanta Games in 1996 -- with the team of Amanda Borden, Amy Chow, Dominique Dawes, Shannon Miller, Dominique Moceanu, Jaycie Phelps ... and of course ... Olympic hero Kerri Strug.
It's a beautiful day for America. Now excuse us while we set off some fireworks, wrap ourselves in the Declaration of Independence, and drive our Chevy into the sunset.
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