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Taco Bell files ‘Taco Tuesday’ trademark petition, here’s what you need to know

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(NEW YORK) — When it comes to marketing hooks, “Taco Tuesday” may be among the most well-known and successful tactics to entice diners with a delicious deal on a beloved Mexican food.

Now, California-based fast food giant Taco Bell has filed a new petition to do away with a trademark registration on the food-centric phrase.

“Tacos have the unique ability to bring people together and bring joy to their lives on an otherwise mediocre day of the week: Taco Tuesday. But since 1989, ‘Taco Tuesday’ has been registered as a trademark, creating potential legal consequences for those that want to use the phrase,” Taco Bell said in a press release on May 16.

Taco Bell’s petition, filed with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office Trial and Appeal Board, asks U.S. regulators to force Wyoming-headquartered fast food chain Taco John’s to do away with its claim to the trademark.

“The essence of ‘Taco Tuesday’ is to celebrate the commonality amongst people of all walks of life who come together every week to celebrate something as simple, yet culturally phenomenal, as the taco,” Taco Bell wrote.

Taco Bell said it is not seeking damages or trademark rights of its own, stating it “simply seeks common sense for usage of a common term.”

The fast food chain stated in the filing that its entities “must be able to promote their goods and services using the generic, informational term ‘Taco Tuesday’ to compete effectively in the marketplace.”

In response to Taco Bell’s filing, Taco John’s announced a new two-week Taco Tuesday promotion on social media, offering two crispy or soft-shell beef tacos to those who download the Taco John’s app and join its Bigger Bolder Rewards program.

Taco John’s holds the trademark in the entire United States except for New Jersey. Taco Bell has also filed a similar petition against Gregory’s Restaurant and Bar in Somers Point, New Jersey, which holds the trademark rights in New Jersey and has also used the term “Taco Tuesday” for over 40 years.

Taco Bell, which is owned by Yum! Brands, has more than 7,200 locations globally. Taco John’s, which started as a food truck over 50 years ago, has nearly 370 restaurant locations across the Midwest.

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