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Lebron James Taco Bell Trademark Dispute

Taco Tuesday Triumph: Taco Bell and LeBron James Secure Victory in Trademark Battle

Lindokuhle Mkhize

Lindokuhle Mkhize

28 August 20238 min read

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LeBron James Taco Bell trademark dispute

DXPG at de.wikipedia, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons; Keith Allison from Hanover, MD, USA, CC BY-SA 2.0 <>, via Wikimedia Commons

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    In a surprising turn of events, Taco John's has recently given up its exclusive claim to the "Taco Tuesday" trademark.

    They have renounced their federal trademark registrations in all states outside of New Jersey.

    Taco Bell's petition to have the "Taco Tuesday" and federal trademark registrations overturned, claiming that common expressions should not be monopolized, has been successful. And the term "Taco Tuesday" is now free to use.

    Overview of Taco Bell's campaign for freedom

    LeBron James endorsed Taco Bell Corp in their appeal challenging the "Taco Tuesday" trademark owned by Taco John.

    Starring in the viral "Taco Bleep" video, Lebron James repeated the popular phrase, "Taco Tuesday," with "Tuesday" bleeped out. It ended with a link to the Freeing Taco Tuesday petition.

    The commercial was Taco Bell's efforts to showcase the absurdity of trademarking a common phrase used by the taco community worldwide to unite taco lovers (as Taco Bell filed a legal petition).

    The commercial continues Taco Bell's earlier bid to cancel the "Taco Tuesday" trademark registration by the Trademark Trial and Appeal Tribunal Board (TTAB).

    Taco Bell's campaign to liberate the "Taco Tuesday" phrase focused on raising awareness and rallying public support for their cause. They leveraged various platforms, including social media, television commercials, and digital marketing, to highlight the widespread usage and cultural significance of the phrase.

    The fast-food chain emphasized that "Taco Tuesday" had become a common expression used by numerous establishments and consumers across the country, making it a part of everyday language.

    Taco Bell enlists LeBron James in trademark battle

    A key aspect of their campaign was the collaboration with basketball superstar LeBron James.

    Taco Bell enlisted LeBron James to star in a commercial that showcased the importance of keeping "Taco Tuesday" accessible and free from trademark restrictions.

    By tapping into LeBron James' massive fan base and influential status, Taco Bell aimed to amplify its message and generate support from a wider audience.

    Public support and reaction

    Furthermore, Taco Bell's effort also encouraged public engagement through the use of hashtags like #FreeTacoTuesday on social media, allowing fans and taco lovers to express their opposition to trademark limitations.

    People were encouraged to sign petitions, share the commercial, and participate in discussions about the significance of preserving "Taco Tuesday" as a common and shared concept.

    The result of free Taco at Bell's fight in the "Taco Tuesday" trademark battle has been met with widespread public support and celebration. Social media has been abuzz with hashtags like #FreeTacoTuesday as fans and taco lovers express their excitement and relief that the phrase is now free to use.

    The movement that started with free Taco at Bell's campaign, bolstered by the endorsement of LeBron James, has galvanized a community of people who believe in the accessibility and inclusivity of common phrases.

    This victory serves as a reminder that collective action and public sentiment can bring about meaningful change and challenge the grip of exclusive trademark rights.

    The role of USPTO

    The involvement of the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) in the "Taco Tuesday" trademark battle highlights the complexities of trademark registration and the challenges of claiming exclusive rights to common phrases.

    In a previous case, the USPTO refused to grant trademark registration for a "Taco Tuesday" beer, recognizing the widespread usage of the phrase. This refusal further supports Taco Bell's argument that "Taco Tuesday" has become a generic term that should be accessible to all rather than being monopolized by a single entity.

    The USPTO's role in these cases highlights the importance of considering the broader context and common usage when evaluating trademark applications, ensuring that the interests of both intellectual property protection and the public's right to use common language are balanced.

    Implications for trademark registration

    Beyond the immediate impact on Taco Tuesday, this trademark battle will have far-reaching implications for the future of trademark registration and the accessibility of common phrases. It sets a precedent for similar cases, showing that the widespread usage and cultural significance of an expression can override exclusive claims to trademark ownership.

    This outcome encourages a more balanced approach to trademark law, where the protection of intellectual property is balanced with the preservation of shared cultural heritage and linguistic diversity.

    The broader context of trademark disputes

    The "Taco Tuesday" case serves as a cautionary tale for companies and individuals seeking to trademark common phrases.

    It underscores the importance of trademark holders conducting thorough research to ensure that the phrase in question has not already become part of the vernacular.

    It also serves as a reminder that cultural and linguistic expressions should be celebrated and shared rather than restricted for commercial gain.

    By joining forces with LeBron James and leveraging public support, Taco Bell has not only fought for their cause but also raised awareness about the broader issue of trademarking everyday language.

    It highlights the importance of striking a balance between protecting intellectual property and upholding the freedom to celebrate universally beloved concepts and simple words.

    The evolving role of social media

    Furthermore, the collaboration between Taco Bell and LeBron James in the "Taco Tuesday" trademark battle serves as an example of the evolving role of social media and digital platforms in shaping public opinion and influencing legal outcomes.

    By leveraging its digital army and launching a viral campaign, Taco Bell effectively raised awareness about the trademark issue and garnered widespread public support.

    This demonstrates the power of online communities in driving social change and advocating for causes, ultimately influencing the trajectory of legal cases.

    As we move forward in the digital age, this case highlights the growing intersection between legal battles, public sentiment, legal petitions, and the ever-expanding reach of social media platforms.

    It sets a precedent for the potential of collective action, online activism, legal petitions, and public support to shape the outcome of trademark disputes and other legal matters.

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    Lindokuhle Mkhize

    Lindokuhle Mkhize


    Lindokuhle Mkhize, a skilled creative copywriter and content lead at Trademarkia, brings a wealth of experience in driving innovation and managing teams. With previous success in starting and growing the Innovation and Marketing department at her former creative agency, Lindokuhle boasts expertise in leadership and delivering compelling content. Based in South Africa, Lindokuhle's work focuses on key themes of creativity, effective communication, and strategic marketing.