The United States Patent and Trademark Office has put an end to weeks of heated debate over whether LeBron James should be allowed to trademark the phrase “Taco Tuesday,” ruling against his company’s request to do so, trademark attorney Josh Gerben reported Wednesday.
The USPTO has refused the TACO TUESDAY trademark application filed by Lebron James' company LBJ Trademarks, LLC.— Josh Gerben (@JoshGerben) September 12, 2019
The refusal, issued at 6:26 PM today, finds that TACO TUESDAY is a "commonplace message" and therefore fails to function as a trademark.#TacoTuesday
My analysis👇 pic.twitter.com/eKcW2l1CnH
If you’re unfamiliar, over the last year or so, James has famously taken to Instagram to show off his family’s taco night, featuring him exuberantly yelling “It’s taco Tuuuuuesday,” then panning around to the rest of the table and encouraging his loved ones to do the same – they often do so, perhaps reluctantly.
Sometimes, his videos feature special guests, like new Los Angeles Lakers teammate Anthony Davis in the example below.
James’ company, naturally, sought to capitalize on his appeal, filing an application for use of the phrase in “podcasting services” as well as “online entertainment services ... and social media posts in the field of sports, entertainment, current events and popular culture.”
But the USPTO found that “Taco Tuesday” cannot function as a trademark because it is a commonplace phrase, meaning too many people already use the phrase colloquially to describe their own taco-eating exploits that also take place on Tuesdays.
Additionally, James’ company indicated he wanted to use the phrase for advertising and marketing services, but there is already a trademark on “Techno Taco Tuesday” for those purposes that would block “a portion” of the application, according to Gerben.
So there you have it — lower-profile taco fans everywhere can rest easy, continuing to use “Taco Tuesday” to their hearts’ delight.
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