Taco Bell: ‘Taco Tuesday’ Trademark Dispute Settled Nationwide
Taco Bell is celebrating a legal triumph regarding the trademark for “Taco Tuesday.” This means that Taco Bell and other restaurants are allowed to use the phrase “Taco Tuesday” without restrictions in all 50 states. It all started when Taco Bell decided to challenge two “Taco Tuesday” trademark registrations back in May.
In July, Taco John’s, which had held the trademark for 49 states, decided to abandon its trademark registration. Gregory’s Restaurant and Bar maintained the trademark registration in the 50th state, New Jersey, for over two decades. They relinquished it on October 20, 2023, as indicated in Taco Bell’s statement.
Taco Bell helps to free the “Taco Tuesday” trademark.
In addition to these legal developments, Taco John’s made a $40,000 donation to the Children of Restaurant Employees (CORE). This donation was matched by the Taco Bell Foundation.
“When we set out to free Taco Tuesday, we did it for all who make, sell, eat and celebrate tacos,” Taco Bell Chief Global Brand and Strategy Officer and incoming Chief Executive Officer, Sean Tresvant, said in a company news release. “Taco Bell wants everyone to have the opportunity to celebrate Taco Tuesday, including Gregory’s Restaurant and Bar. Thanks to Gregory’s choice to relinquish the trademark registration, New Jersey businesses and fans can fully enjoy Taco Tuesday, effective immediately.”
Taco Bell emphasized that all establishments engaged in the preparation and sale of tacos are now free to use the widely recognized phrase without the concerns of legal repercussions.
According to CNN, the origin of the “Taco Tuesday” trademark can be traced back to the 1980s when a Taco John’s owner initially coined the term “Taco Twosday.” It was to promote a special deal of two tacos for just 99 cents on their slowest day of the week. This concept gained popularity and was adopted by other franchisees. The name evolved into “Taco Tuesday,” and Taco John’s secured the trademark for this phrase in 1989. It made it a part of their marketing strategy. Over the years, Taco John’s has been protective of its exclusive use of the term. It has issued cease-and-desist notices to those attempting to use it.
TacoTuesday.com, which is managed by a Southern California restaurant group that documents such deals, like trademarking “Taco Tuesday” to owning terms like “happy hour” or “Sunday brunch,” reported by CNN. They also presented a selection of old newspaper advertisements dating back to 1966. They argued that Taco John’s should not have exclusive rights to the trademark.