Taco Bell and Taco John’s drop their ‘Taco Tuesday’ fight

Taco John’s, the regional chain that has “Taco Tuesday” trademarked, announced Tuesday that it’s ending its fight in defending the phrase and will “abandon” it because it doesn’t want to pay the legal fees that come with a fight against Taco Bell.

On Tuesday, Taco John’s, the regional restaurant that trademarked “Taco Tuesday,” said that it would no longer defend the word and would instead “abandon” it because it did not wish to incur the costs associated with a legal battle with Taco Bell.

We’ve always taken great pride in being the birthplace of Taco Tuesday, but it doesn’t seem appropriate to spend millions of dollars on attorneys to protect our trademark. CEO Jim Creel of Taco John’s stated

Taco Bell claimed in a May petition to the US Patent and Trademark Office that the regularly used phrase “should be freely available to all who make, sell, eat, and celebrate tacos.” This was in response to Taco John’s 34-year trademark on the phrase.

Creel announced that, as a result of the trademark being dropped, it will provide $40,000 to Children of Restaurant Employees (CORE), or $100 for each of its roughly 400 outlets. Taco John’s noted in a statement that CORE is a non-profit organization that “supports restaurant workers with children by providing financial relief when either the employee, spouse, or child faces a life-altering health crisis, injury, death, or natural disaster.”

Taco Bell did not provide a statement right away.

Since 1989, every state save New Jersey has been under Taco John’s trademark. It has sent cease-and-desist letters to other companies that have tried to use the phrase in their own marketing materials and has defended its use of the word.

However, Taco Bell disagreed, arguing that “nobody should have exclusive rights in a common phrase” and that it should be available to any restaurant.

An attorney for trademarks, Josh Gerben, told that Taco John’s decision is “not surprising” because the “phrase became ubiquitous in the marketplace and any attempt to enforce the trademark registration would likely have failed in court.”

He concluded that the trademark registration was useless at this point in time. Taco John’s may have taken a big hit to their public image if the matter went to trial. If Taco John’s concedes the legal battle now, given its minimal odds of winning, it may focus on winning the battle of public opinion.

No responses yet

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *