Be Careful Not To Use Term ‘Taco Tuesday’ in Colorado or Wyoming
Not in Colorado, Wyoming, or anywhere else, really, should you use the term “Taco Tuesday.”
Not here and not in 47 other states.
You see, that’s because the term was actually trademarked by Cheyenne, Wyoming-based Taco John’s all the way back in 1989.
To be fair, nobody is going to come after YOU for using the term. But restaurateurs take notice: don’t you dare use “Taco T***day” in your marketing anywhere because Taco John’s does have a long history of fiercely defending its trademark — something legally required of them if they want to keep it.
What's Wyoming have to do with Taco Tuesday?
In fact, as recently as 2019, the company went after a Cheyenne, Wyoming, brewery just blocks away from its HQ for using the term to promote a taco food truck that would park out front.
But another taco purveyor has entered the chat.
Welcome the reigning heavyweight champ of tacos, chalupas and more — Taco Bell, owned by large corporate entity Yum! Brands — to the fight. And they’re bringing lawyers.
Why is Taco Tuesday in the news?
Taco Bell has filed a petition for “Free Taco Tuesday” with the US Patent and Trademark Office.
It claims that the term is too generic and too commonly used by you, me and everyone else to be trademarked. It’s what they call “genericizing” an otherwise trademarked term, like the terms escalator or nylons — where something was once trademarked and ultimately became too commonplace as a term to be associated with a single company or product.
Taco Bell, for its part, says that it is “not seeking any damages or trademark rights but wants common sense for the usage of a common term.”
It all makes sense to me. “Taco T***day” should be free for all to use. While not all tacos are created equal, a taco is still a taco, and Tuesdays happen for everyone.
Now, if Taco John’s wanted to trademark something like “Potato Ole’ Mondays,” then we can talk.
In the meantime, you can check out more about Taco Bell’s filing and even sign its petition to #FreeTacoTuesday at Change.org.