Taco Bell succeeded in its petition to remove the “Taco Tuesday” trademark held by Taco John’s, claiming it held an unfair monopoly over the phrase. Taco John’s CEO Jim Creel backed down from the fight on Tuesday, saying it isn’t worth the legal fees to retain the regional chain’s trademark.
“We’ve always prided ourselves on being the home of Taco Tuesday, but paying millions of dollars to lawyers to defend our mark just doesn’t feel like the right thing to do,” Taco John’s CEO Jim Creel said in a statement to CNN.
Taco John’s adopted the “Taco Tuesday” slogan back in the early 1980s as a two-for-one deal, labeling the promotion as “Taco Twosday” in an effort to ramp up sales. The company trademarked the term in 1989 and owned the right to the phrase in all states with the exception of New Jersey where Gregory’s Restaurant & Tavern beat out Taco John’s by trademarking the term in 1982.
Three decades later, Taco John’s finally received pushback when Taco Bell filed a petition with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office in May to cancel the trademark, saying any restaurant should be able to use “Taco Tuesday.”
If you think about it, the ability to copyright 2 common words following each other doesn’t make sense at all really. In any 2 word combination, there must have been prior common use.
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