Taco Bell triumphs in US ‘Taco Tuesday’ trademark fight

By James McAllister

- Last updated on GMT

Taco Bell triumphs in US ‘Taco Tuesday’ trademark fight

Related tags Taco Bell Mexican cuisine QSR Trademark US chain

Taco Bell has won a lengthy legal battle in the US to cancel trademark restrictions on the popular marketing phrase ‘Taco Tuesday’.

The California-based QSR chain, which is owned by Yum! Brands, announced last week that its ‘ambitious goal’ to free the trademark had been met after Gregory's Restaurant and Bar in New Jersey relinquished its state-wide registration of the catchphrase, which it had owned since 1982.

It comes after Wyoming-based restaurant group Taco John abandoned its registration of the ‘Taco Tuesday’ trademark that it held across the US’s other 49 states because it didn’t want to pay the legal fees that come with a fight against its larger rival.

Taco Bell filed legal petitions with the US Patent and Trademark Office Trademark Trial and Appeal Board back in May​ to cancel the two standing trademark registrations of ‘Taco Tuesday’ held, respectively, by Gregory's Restaurant and Bar and Taco John.

When launching the campaign, the group said: “How can someone own ‘Taco Tuesday’? It’s a common phrase. Can you imagine if we weren’t allowed to say ‘what’s up’ or ‘brunch? Taco Bell believes everyone should be able to say and celebrate Taco T***day wherever, and however, they want. And that’s why Taco Bell is challenging the trademark in court.”

Taco Bell didn’t reveal if a financial settlement was involved in the decision made by Gregory’s Restaurant and Bar to forfeit the trademark.

“The response we’ve seen over the last six months since taking action to free ‘Taco Tuesday’ is the exact reason we felt it was worth freeing it in the first place,” Taco Bell’s chief marketing officer Taylor Montgomery told CNN​.

A US trademark registration does not protect a company’s trademark in a foreign country and must be filed in each country where protection is sought.

In the UK no one currently owns the rights to ‘Taco Tuesday’, although interestingly Taco Bell did previously try to trademark it in 2020 but it was refused​.

Among the UK trademarks it does own​ are ‘Live Más’, ‘Tacology’ and, most recently, ‘Taco Talks’.

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