June 13, 2023

Heather Antoine Publishes Article in IPWatchdog on the TACO TUESDAY Trademark

Heather Antoine recently published an article in IPWatchdog on the legal controversies surrounding the term “Taco Tuesday.” The article entitled “The TACO TUESDAY Trademark Tiff Reminds Us that Genericide is Real” examined Taco Bell’s recent initiative to cancel Spicy Seasons’ TACO TUESDAY trademark. As it currently holds, Spicy Seasons LLC, operator of the Taco John's franchise, is the sole restaurant entitled to use the phrase. Due to the popularity of the term, Taco Bell is making the argument that it has now become too generic to be restricted under a trademark–a movement that has made a big splash in the press.

While the case is still pending with the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board, Heather explains the generic use of the term over the years can cause Spicy Seasons to lose its trademark altogether. She notes “While the phrase may have been unique in 1979, it no longer serves as a “source identifier.” Most people do not think about Taco John's when they hear it. It is simply a common phrase used by all.”

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