Taco John's abandons 'Taco Tuesday' trademark, sparks industry challenge

Taco Bell and Taco John's have ended their trademark battle over the phrase 'Taco Tuesday'

 Taco Bell tacos (photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)
Taco Bell tacos
(photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)

The "Taco Tuesday" trademark dispute between Taco Bell and Taco John's has come to an end as fast-food chain Taco John's told the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) it would abandon its federal "Taco Tuesday" trademark.

"We’ve always prided ourselves on being the home of Taco Tuesday, but paying millions of dollars to lawyers to defend our mark just doesn't feel like the right thing to do," Taco John CEO Jim Creel stated. 

He announced that the chain, based in Cheyenne, Wyoming, would opt to contribute $100 per establishment, totaling close to 400 locations, to a nonprofit organization supporting restaurant workers facing critical situations. Additionally, extended a challenge to other fast food establishments such as Taco Bell, Del Taco, Taco Bueno, Taco Cabana, and Jack In The Box, urging them to follow suit.

"Let's see if our friends at Taco Bell are willing to 'liberate' themselves from their army of lawyers by giving back to restaurant families instead," Creel said. 

Taco Bell framed its petitions to cancel the "Taco Tuesday" trademarks as part of a marketing campaign, claiming that its goal was to "liberate the phrase for restaurants nationwide."

 Taco Bell restaurant in Miami (credit: Wikimedia Commons)
Taco Bell restaurant in Miami (credit: Wikimedia Commons)

Taco Tuesday trademark tussle

In May, Taco Bell submitted a petition to the USPTO requesting the cancellation of the trademark, arguing that Taco John's had unjustly monopolized a commonly used phrase within the restaurant industry.

Taco John’s responded critically to Taco Bell, telling USPTO that the rival chain was only seeking to sell more tacos, and that no one was prohibited "from advertising and selling tacos on Tuesday” due to the trademark.

Representatives for Taco Bell did not immediately respond to Taco John's trademark announcement.