LeBron James’s quest to trademark the term “Taco Tuesday” has been rejected by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. According to Bleacher Report, the NBA superstar’s company, LBJ, submitted a trademark application, which was denied because “Taco Tuesday” is “a commonplace term.”
According to the USPTO’s examining attorney, “Taco Tuesday” is “widely used by a variety of sources that merely conveys an ordinary, familiar, well-recognized concept or sentiment,” the USPTO examining attorney wrote in the declined trademark filing. Patent officials also wrote that “Taco Tuesday” was a phrase similar to one already trademarked by a Las Vegas entertainment company, “Techno Taco Tuesday.”
A spokesperson for the Los Angeles Laker told ESPN that, “Finding ‘Taco Tuesday’ as commonplace achieves precisely what the intended outcome was, which was getting the U.S. government to recognize that someone cannot be sued for its use.” It turns out that a Mexican-inspired fast food restaurant calledTaco John’s in a Cheyenne, Wyoming, had already initially filed for the same trademark back in 1989.
LBJ Trademarks filed the trademark request on August 15, stating on the application that the goods and services involved with the trademark involve “advertising and marketing services provided by means of indirect methods of marketing communications, namely, social media, search engine marketing, inquiry marketing, internet marketing, mobile marketing, blogging, and other forms of passive, sharable or viral communications channels.”
James has been steadfastly posting on Instagram about his Tuesday taco dinners with his family and friends. The basketball player has also made special “It’s Taco Tuesday” T-shirts for the occasions.
The USPTO also cited examples of restaurants that have used the term, along with several articles showing that “Taco Tuesday” is a “widely used message used by various parties to express enthusiasm for tacos by promoting and celebrating them on a dedicated weekday.”