LeBron James Joins Taco Bell In Quest Of Trying To End ‘Taco Tuesday’ Trademark Registrations
It’s Taco Tuesday!
Remember, when a couple of years ago, the LeBron James family’s Tuesday tradition went viral, becoming one of the best things in the 2019 offseason?
But, as quickly as this came to fame, and as prominent it was for some time, as quickly it vanished again. Why?
Well, in August 2019, LeBron James filed a trademark application with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) for the term “Taco Tuesday.” The application aimed to protect the phrase for various marketing and advertising purposes, including online media, social media, and podcasts. While many initially viewed the move as a lighthearted attempt to capitalize on his Taco Tuesday posts, it raised questions about the limits of trademark protection. More so since Taco John’s has owned “Taco Tuesday” in 49 states since 1989 while Gregory’s Bar has owned the trademark in New Jersey since 1982.
The USPTO has strict criteria for granting trademarks in general. Generic or commonly used terms are not eligible for trademark protection. In response to the criticism, James’s representatives clarified that the trademark application was not intended to restrict others from using the phrase. Instead, they explained that it was a proactive measure to ensure that James could use the phrase commercially and protect it from unauthorized commercial exploitation by others.
In September 2019, LeBron James’s trademark application for “Taco Tuesday” was ultimately denied by the USPTO.
Now, four years later, LeBron is going for attempt number two. This time however, he not only has a new approach, but also brought reinforcements in form of fast food giant Taco Bell.
“Taco Tuesday’ is a tradition that everyone should be able to celebrate. All restaurants, all families, all businesses–everybody,” James said in a statement. “‘Taco Tuesdays’ create opportunities that bring people together in so many ways, and it’s a celebration that nobody should own.”
James will now be starring in a new ad campaign called “Taco Bleep” as part of the fight to end the trademark in the new, and different approach for, or against the trademark.