Taco Bell Is Going After Taco John’s for Their “Taco Tuesday” Trademark

This is a bit of a David and Goliath story.  But it sounds like Goliath could potentially win this one . . .

Taco Bell is going after their much smaller competitor, Taco John’s, for owning the trademark on the phrase “Taco Tuesday.”  (There are around 7,000 Taco Bell locations, compared to less than 400 Taco John’s.)

Taco John’s trademarked it in 1989 after they’d already been using it for a few years.  They originally spelled it “T-W-O” for a deal where you got two tacos for 99 cents.  They chose Tuesday because it was their slowest day of the week.

Yesterday, Taco Bell filed a petition with the trademark office to get it dropped.  Their argument is it’s a common phrase lots of people use now, and that the trademark is “absurd.”

They said it’s like if only one restaurant could use the word “brunch.”

They want Taco John’s to drop the trademark so every Mexican restaurant can use the phrase, and obviously so Taco Bell can use it too.  For what it’s worth, Taco John’s HAS gone after other places for using it before.

According to one expert, Taco Bell might actually have a pretty solid case.  The trademark office sometimes cancels old trademarks for, “phrases that become commonplace.”

Taco John’s has 40 days to file a response to the petition.  But it could take up to two years before there’s a ruling.

If you want to weigh in, Taco Bell also launched a separate petition on Change.org that anyone can sign.


(Taco Bell / CNN)