NBA superstar LeBron “King” James has begun the process of trademarking the catch phrase “Taco Tuesday,” due to the popularity of his social media videos where he regularly announces, “It’s Taco Tuesday!” to his followers. But now a company named Taco Tuesday, Inc, has filed a letter of protest against the athlete.
According to docs obtained by The Blast, the restaurant owners claim their Illinois restaurant “specializes in taco sales,” and have already spent a significant amount of money operating a business that heavily uses the popular Taco Tuesday phrase in their advertising.
On August 15th James and his company, LBJ Trademarks filed documents stating that the NBA star wanted to trademark the phrase for “advertising and marketing services provided by means of indirect methods of marketing communications, namely, social media, search engine marketing, inquiry marketing, internet marketing, mobile marketing, blogging and other forms of passive, sharable or viral communications channels.”
But Taco Tuesday, Inc., pushed back that they have been featured on the “Chicago’s Best” TV show, and like James regularly use social media to market their business using Taco Tuesday. They argue that if LeBron is able to officially register the term they will no longer be able to use the slogan online and as a result the Mexican restaurant “would be crippled if precluded from using its own business name in Internet marketing channels.”
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“Presumably the owner of the Applicant company enjoys eating tacos. Tens of millions of Americans enjoy eating tacos,” said the company’s lawyer, before noting, “The quality of being a person who enjoys eating tacos (and posting to social media about one’s experience in eating tacos deemed delicious) does not give rise to a cognizable claim to trademark ownership.”
ESPN reports that James’ team has no firm plans for the term but wants to keep business opportunities open, although he is not the only person trying to claim ownership rights to the phrase. In fact, there are at least 29 other applications on file with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office for “Taco Tuesday,” with some of them requesting to use the phrase for electrical appliances, clothing and food.
James’ trademark application is still under review.