They call her the "Flying Squirrel," but if gold medalist Gabby Douglas wants to profit from the nickname, she's going to have to battle the college student who snatched up the trademark first.
Yep, enterprising Fordham University business student A.J. Rotonde had the foresight to trademark "Flying Squirrel" before Douglas was able to. He spent $325, which is considerably less than he wants from Douglas if she'd like to buy the trademark from him.
Rotonde still has to wait for the U.S. Patent and Trademark office to approve his application, but once that happens, he plans to plaster "Flying Squirrel" over all sorts of (presumably shitty) merchandise.
And this is why you should always remember to trademark your nickname before someone else does.
But Douglas isn't the only Olympic athlete involved in a trademark dispute. Charming meathead swimmer Ryan Lochte wants to trademark his catchphrase "Jeah."
According to the trademark docs, Ryan wants to use the word on sunglasses, workout DVDs, gift cards, mugs, drinking glasses, trading cards, calendars, posters, swimsuits, swim caps, sports hats, and water bottles.
In fact, Lochte's already getting the party started on his website — selling "Jeah"-themed tees, hats, and sunglasses.
"Jeah" is hardly an original creation, however. Lochte modified it from rapper Young Jeezy's "Chea." (Basically he changed the "ch" to a "j" and called it unique.)
And even "Jeah" isn't a Lochte original, according to MC Eiht, who says he coined the phrase in 1988.
Why try and trademark something his ass didn't even create? I am mad that he isn't giving me proper recognition for taking my saying. He is just disrespectful.
Lochte's manager says his client has been using "Jeah" for years and did not crib it from MC Eiht.
This all seems kind of silly, but remember that even gold medalists aren't set for life. On the other hand, Douglas and Lochte both sort of became household names in 2012 — it's hard to believe either would have trouble surviving without a trademarked nickname or catchphrase.
For those of us who aren't Olympic athletes, now's a good time to get a head start on claiming words and phrases associated with the 2014 Olympic standouts. It's never too soon to enter the cutthroat world of trademarking.
[Image via AP]