Fast food chain Taco Bell won a legal battle to end a trademark claim on the phrase Taco Tuesday.
The term had at one point been trademarked in all 50 states until Oct. 24, when the final holdout – Gregory’s Restaurant and Bar in New Jersey – ended its claim to the phrase.
Taco Bell called the legal development an “epic milestone” that means “Taco Tuesday officially belongs to all who make, sell, eat and celebrate tacos.”
“When we set out to free Taco Tuesday, we did it for all who make, sell, eat and celebrate tacos,” said Sean Tresvant, the chain’s Chief Global Brand and Strategy Officer and incoming Chief Executive Officer, in a statement on Oct. 24. “Taco Bell wants everyone to have the opportunity to celebrate Taco Tuesday, including Gregory’s Restaurant and Bar.”
“Thanks to Gregory’s choice to relinquish the trademark registration, New Jersey businesses and fans can fully enjoy Taco Tuesday, effective immediately,” he added.
Taco Bell filed a petition in May seeking to terminate Gregory’s and a Wyoming-based restaurant known as Taco John’s trademarks phrase on the claim. The chain stressed that it was not seeking financial compensation but rather the “common sense for usage of a common term.”
“How can anyone Live Más if they’re not allowed to freely say ‘Taco Tuesday?’” the company said while announcing its legal objective. “It’s pure chaos.”
Taco John’s trademarked “Taco Tuesday” in 1989 in 49 states. The company ultimately relinquished its trademark in July. Gregory’s had held its trademark in New Jersey for more than 30 years.
Taco Bell, which was founded in California in 1962, said its fight to end the trademark claims will allow businesses of all sizes to use the phrase in their promotional materials.
“Full removal of the legal barriers hindering Taco Tuesday hails a new era for restaurants nationwide,” noted the nationwide chain. “Now, taco shops big and small can ring in Taco Tuesday with their patrons however they see fit without fear of legal repercussion. Taco Tuesday officially belongs to everyone, from Taco Bell to Taco John’s to Gregory’s Restaurant and Bar to your favorite local taco spot.”
Taco Bell is a dominant fixture on the American fast food scene. There are more than 8,200 Taco Bell locations nationwide. The brand operates in a total of 32 countries and launched its mobile application in 2014. In addition to its drive-through restaurants, the brand operates more than 30 cantinas in major cities like Boston, Dallas, Las Vegas, and San Francisco which serve alcohol.
To celebrate the official end of the “Taco Tuesday” trademark, Taco Bell is offering its Rewards Members in New Jersey a free Nacho Cheese Doritos Locos Taco on November 21 if ordered through the company’s app.