Taco Bell Enlists NBA Superstar LeBron James to Help Free ‘Taco Tuesday’
Lindsay Stilwelll via Facebook
The war for "Taco Tuesday" is heating up.
Wyoming-based Taco John's has officially owned the trademark on the phrase, Taco Tuesday, since 1989, but earlier this year, Taco Bell began their "Free Taco Tuesday" campaign, by filing a petition with the United States Patent and Trademark Office.
The Wikipedia entry on Taco Tuesday states:
In May 2023, Taco Bell petitioned the United States Patent and Trademark Office, asking that the trademark be cancelled, arguing that the phrase "should be freely available to all who make, sell, eat and celebrate tacos." Taco Bell also said that "nobody should have exclusive rights in a common phrase."
While it can be argued that the petition does make sense, in business (and trademarks), it has always been "first come, first served", so to speak.
Ironically, it's somewhat humorous that Taco Bell choose LeBron as a spokesperson, considering back in 2019, he in fact attempted to trademark the term himself.
Again, their does logically makes since, but their motives are what should be in question. It's not that they want to free the term for everyone, it's more that they want to freely use the term without fear of reproach.
However, according to CNN:
Taco John’s has 40 days to file a response, and if the two chains can’t reach an agreement, the case will move to a discovery period where each company can make document requests and present evidence stating their case. Following that would be a trial and oral arguments presented in front of the board’s judges.
According to Gerben, Taco Bell has a “strong case” because US trademark law “prevents the registration of common phrases or phrases that become commonplace after a registration is granted.”
It will be interesting to see how this plays out.
One thing is for certain though, regardless of the outcome, Taco Bell's commercial is funny. That being said, we don't want to see a powerhouse company, bully our Wyoming franchise out of something that is legally theirs.