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Taco Wars – Taco John’s Strikes Back

We reported last month that Taco Bell had petitioned the US Patent and Trademark Office to cancel the federal trade mark “Taco Tuesday” owned by rival fast-food chain Taco John’s. Taco John’s parent company, Spicy Seasonings, have now responded to the filing to deny that there is “anything ‘not cool’ about” obtaining and maintaining a trade mark for the slogan as was claimed by Taco Bell. Taco Bell had argued that the “Taco Tuesday” phrase is now so commonly used that it “should be freely available to all who make, sell, eat and celebrate tacos.” As holders of the trade mark, anyone seeking to use the phrase must currently seek permission from Taco John’s in order to do so. In its response, Taco John’s reiterated that it “has the right to enforce its trademark rights against infringers and those who want to infringe, including Taco Bell,” adding that it “denies that enforcing its trademark rights against infringers who seek to profit from the goodwill that Spicy Seasonings and its licensees … have created over the last forty-four years violates any American ideal.” It will be interesting to note how this case progresses through litigation, as it seems increasingly unlikely that a settlement is on the horizon. It remains to be seen which side will come out on top at the USPTO. If you have any questions on the above, please do not hesitate to contact the team at McDaniels Law on 0191 281 4000 or legal@mcdanielslaw.com. Posted by: Megan Walker in: Trade Marks

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