Teen warns Obama about trademark

chgrovasd.jpgWHITE PLAINS, N.Y. – A teenager is claiming he coined the phrase “Change Rocks” long before Barack Obama used it for fundraising concerts. But lawyers for Stefan Doyno, a 19-year-old who sells rings and pendants with interchangeable, twist-off stones, aren’t asking the Democratic presidential candidate to cease and desist: They’re suggesting a moneymaking partnership.

“Mr. Doyno would be more than willing to grant Mr. Obama a license on quite favorable terms to use the Change Rocks trademark in connection with products other than jewelry,” says a letter from Doyno’s lawyers to the campaign. “Mr. Doyno is far more interested in exploring possible synergies … than he is in preventing Mr. Obama from using the mark in connection with his campaign.”

Doyno, an English major at the University of Buffalo, said Thursday that he started his business when he was a ninth-grader at Scarsdale High School in suburban New York.

His Internet site says, “You can go from girly to goth queen in seconds by switching out your `cotton candy pink’ stone for `black ice.'”

Doyno said he chose the Change Rocks trademark “because it has a double meaning — change is great and you can change the stones.”

Obama has used change as a key theme in his campaign and dubbed a Dec. 7 fundraising concert in Chicago “Change Rocks.”

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