IP For the Little Guy congratulates all of our Olympians and we’re thrilled that Gabby Douglas won a gold in the gymnastics all-around final (Go Team USA!!) (see Dan Wetzel/Yahoo! Sports’ terrific article here). Yahoo! Sports’ article also notes that Gabby Douglas’ nickname is “The Flying Squirrel” “due to high-wire routines”. Gabby’s adorable smile and apparently sweet persona lend to the “Flying Squirrel” nickname as well. Remember totally cute, totally superhero cool “Rocky” the flying squirrel from The Rocky & Bullwinkle show?
The United States Trademark Office’s “TESS” database lists quite a few interesting “flying squirrel”-related trademarks. First on the list is the “Flying Squirrel Nuthouse” mark for goods including chocolate covered nuts, which is owned by a company named FSNH LLC . FSNH’s mark was registered on July 17, 2012. Another company, Hipmunk, Inc. owns a trademark registration for the depiction of a flying squirrel character that covers services such as providing comparison info related to airlines (see U.S. Trademark Registration No. 4140412). There is also Canine Hardware, Inc.’s and the Department of the Navy’s FLYING SQUIRREL registrations for, respectively, dog and pet toys and computer software. Navigator’s Baseball also owns a trademark registration for FLYING SQUIRRELS for entertainment services related to baseball, including for “mascot appearances” (see registration info here).
While we love the “Flying Squirrel” moniker and trademarks, we also really loved the FERRETS RUN WILD trademark registration that came up in the “Flying Squirrel” trademark search. The FERRETS RUN WILD registration is a peculiar one. It covers a lot of seemingly bizarre, unrelated products and downright creepy sounding products. Here’s few examples from the FERRETS RUN WILD registration: “bobble head dolls”; “customized dolls having a face in the form of a particular adolescent who has unexpectedly or tragically died” (too creepy for words! Reminds us of the “Chucky” horror movies!); “animal attractant scents”; “infant action crib toys”; “arrows” (hopefully not in the infant toys section); “Christmas tree tinsel”; “toy artificial fingernails” (also kinda creepy); “knee warmers” (that’s new one for us); “trousers for sweating” (a very creepy way to say “sweatpants”); “tights for men” (ok, we know that male ballet dancers need these, but really??); “bed jackets” (wonder what the product description on those reads…) and “soft tennis balls” (why did the owner feel the need to designate that the tennis balls are “soft”, we wonder?). See the FERRETS RUN WILD e-Bay® storefront and WordPress® blog here and here.
Well, there you have it, a bunch of “Flying Squirrels” and a sole “Ferret Run Wild.” So, you ask, how can all of these “Flying Squirrel” trademarks co-exist and could Gabby Douglas claim that the Flying Squirrel name is her trademark, even seeing as there’s some “Flying Squirrel” registrations already? We’ll explore this and related trademark issues later in the week.