Shaquille O’Neal’s Brand Manager Opposes Trademark App From His Son For His Own Name
from the shaq-attack! dept
We had a depressing number of Techdirt stories on this site that involve Shaquille O’Neal. I say that as a basketball fan who absolutely adores Shaq’s contributions to the TNT studio broadcasts for the NBA. On the other hand, the times Shaq has made it onto our pages hasn’t been for the best of reasons. There was the time he was part of a child porn raid on a house based solely on an IP address, or the time that the company he hired to manage his social media accounts went all 9/11 truther using his handles.
Well, now Shaq is back on Techdirt for reasons that are decidedly odd. See, Shaq has a trademark on his name, which makes sense. He also has a brand management company, ABG, of which he is a shareholder, which also makes sense. And ABG has decided to oppose a trademark application from someone who is decidedly similar to Shaq’s name trademark, which also makes sense. Except that the part that doesn’t make sense in all of this is that the opposition is against Shaq’s son, Shaqir O’Neal, to trademark his own name.
NBA legend Shaquille O’Neal’s Authentic Brands Group has halted his youngest son Shaqir from trademarking his own name and likeness. The 19-year-old, a basketball player for the Texas Southern University Tigers, aspires to take his first steps into business ventures like his father, however has been blocked by dad’s company.
On July 15, ABG filed a Notice of Opposition against Shaqir’s application, meaning Shaq’s holding company has issued a complaint that essentially blocks his son’s trademark registration, due to their names being so similar that it would cause confusion.
Now, rather than this being a father and son fight, the reporting on this appears to be this is more about the brand management companies for each O’Neal having some history of friction between the two. Still, it’s all very strange. After all, being unable to trademark your own famous name because your father decided to give you a name super close to his own seems like a bit of an original sin type situation. Thanks to Shaq’s naming vanity, Shaqir can’t ever trademark his own name? Lame.
On the other hand, Shaq also hasn’t been shy about how he deals with his family when it comes to fame and finances.
So how does this end up shaking out? Likely with some kind of agreement outside of any court proceedings in a way that allows Shaqir to monetize his name and likeness rights.
“So how is this case likely to play out?” writes the lawyer. “It should settle without any trial. In fact, I am shocked it got this far. There is almost no excuse for two companies that Shaq is involved with to end up in a court case against each other.”
And, yeah, that’s probably right, but it seems silly that we even have to get that far. Or, if this really is going to be a knock down, drag out fight, well, then I guess Thanksgiving dinner at the O’Neal house this year is going to be a bit tense.