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When Taco Cravings Go Overboard: LeBron James Wants to Trademark ‘Taco Tues

Dec 30, 2020

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It’s safe to say that LeBron James loves his Tacos on Tuesday. You can check his Instagram posts and see that he and his family are always on the hunt for the best tacos in town. But he made the news for other reasons—apparently, Mr. James is seeking out to trademark “Taco Tuesday” and his application might just get rejected

Why does LeBron want to trademark “Taco Tuesday”?

On August 15, 2019, a company called LBJ Trademarks LLC filed a trademark with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) on the behalf of Mr. James for the phrase “Taco Tuesday”. According to his lawyers, they filed the trademark to avoid potential lawsuits in the future, should LeBron decide to use it in any way for business purposes—but not that he has immediate plans. 

The big problem here is that the phrase already belongs to someone else—a restaurant chain in Wyoming that has owned the mark since 1989. Another issue is that the phrase is so commonly used among Mexican restaurants in the U.S. Lebron 

A short history of taco tuesday

Taco Tuesday is not a new phrase—going as far back as 1933, some restaurants have been using similar taco- highlighted phrased for their promos, according to the book Taco U.S.A. Perhaps it’s such a novel idea for Mr. James to trademark the phrase, but it isn’t an original concept. This begs the question—is this phrase worth trademarking these days when almost every taco place uses it in their own way?

Is it a risk worth taking?

This all started when LeBron James “Columbused” Taco Tuesday and the move of trademarking it just makes it clear on how much he doesn’t understand about tacos and the many restaurants serving this favorite Mexican dish. 

So the question is: Is this a risk Mr. James should be taking? Shouldn’t the trademarking company give him a good opinion first before they even filed for the mark? Any expert would say the same—it is not worth trademarking. 

It starts with the fact that the phrase is extremely common these days, aside from the fact that the mark is already owned by someone else. The most logical course of action is to not even attempt to do it!

What is the current status of LeBron’s trademark application?

The results are out and the USPTO has released their verdict on the mater: LeBron’s “Taco Tuesday” was rejected. At this point, everyone wasn’t really surprised. But it’s still good to know why his application failed. 

As what experts say, the phrase is commonly used in everyday speech and because of current trends, new applications related to this phrase will most likely be rejected, because it doesn’t meet the criteria of a trademark application. Remember, trademarks exist to help business owners distinguish their products and services from others in the market—and since “Taco Tuesday” is so overused, it doesn’t really set itself apart from other statements related to tacos. 

The lesson here is to seek the advice of experts and make sure proper research is done before registering any trademark. After the research is done, it is best to move forward if the results are favorable and to think carefully before proceeding if the opinion of your trademark agent or attorney says that it will most likely fail.