It’s official: Taco Tuesday belongs to the masses, and you’re now free to use the phrase without fear of legal retribution, even if you say it on a Wine Down Wednesday.
You may recall that in May, Taco Bell filed a petition with the U.S. Patent and Trademark office to revoke regional chain Taco John’s trademark of the phrase. Wyoming-based Taco John’s has held claim to Taco Tuesday for 34 years.
In its complaint, Taco Bell argued that everyone uses the phrase in promoting the second day of the work week as the best day to have meats and vegetables folded in tortillas; it wasn’t right for one restaurant to hold claim to the alliterative phase.
Taco John’s – on Tuesday, appropriately enough – abandoned all claims to the trademark, saying that it wasn’t worth paying millions of dollars to lawyers to fight the Goliath Taco Bell.
In announcing the victory and the reduced legal fees, Taco John’s CEO, Jim Creel, said his company would instead donate $40,000, or roughly $100 per location, to Children of Restaurant Employees. CORE is a nonprofit organization that provides financial relief when a restaurant employee or family member faces a major health crisis. So much better than providing proper health insurance.
Taco John’s capitulation is not surprising. The phase Taco Tuesday has become so ubiquitous that defending the trademark had become untenable.