Shaq Sues Phoenix Clothing Company Over Use of Word "Shaqtus"

The Phoenix Suns former big man (and ex-Sherriff's, um, deputy), Shaquille O'Neal, is suing a Phoenix man for use of the nickname Shaq received when he first came to the desert.

The word in question -- like the Valley's great saguaro cactus -- exists almost nowhere else in the world.

That word: "Shaqtus."

Shaq's company, Mine O'Mine Inc., is suing True Fan Logo Inc., owned by  Michael Calmese, of Phoenix, for creating an online clothing store called Shaqtus Orange Clothing Company.

When Shaq first came to the Suns, he was called "The Big Cactus," and even showed up in television commercials, where he appeared as a giant cactus bearing his face.

That name eventually evolved into "The Big Shaqtus," for obvious phonetic and egotistical reasons.

True fan Logo set up two different Web sites, Shaqtus.com and Shaqtus. net, to sell "Shaqtus Orange" clothes and merchandise, without the permission of the real "Big Shaqtus," the suit claims.

The images on the site seem a clear rip-off of the big fella, with a giant cactus in what appears to be a Suns jersey. The company is selling all sorts crappy gear, even "Big Shaqtus" shirts for dogs.

"Neither O'Neal nor Mine O'Mine has granted a license to use the Shaq right of publicity or to use and own the Shaqtus mark or the shaqtus.com or shaqtus.net domain names," the suit states, according to the Las Vegas Sun.

Shaq is seeking unspecified damages for trademark infringement.

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