Wyoming's "Taco John's" trademarked the popular term "Taco Tuesday" back in 1989. Aside from in New Jersey, where someone else got the mark before they did, Taco John's tries to police their "rights" to the widespread term with nastygrams and threats from their lawyers. Lots of small restaurants back down and adjust their marketing. In comes Taco Bell.
Taco Bell wants to free Taco Tuesday "for everyone." Seeing the massive marketing benefit to themselves, the chain has filed a petition with the USPTO to cancel Taco John's mark.
"People like tacos on Tuesdays. They just do. It's even fun to say 'Taco Tuesday.' Tacos have the unique ability to bring people together and bring joy to their lives on an otherwise mediocre day of the week. But since 1989, entities associated with registrant have owned a federal trademark registration for 'Taco Tuesday.' Not cool," Taco Bell said in its petition for cancellation.
Taco Bell said it is not seeking damages and does not want to own the trademark – it just wants it "liberated" so that everyone can use the phrase.
"Registrant is the only restaurant that has the presumptive right to use 'Taco Tuesday.' That's not right," Taco Bell said.
Has Taco Tuesday become so commonplace that it can be commercially celebrated as such? I guess we'll find out.