How Taco Bell Turned A Trademark Battle Into A Marketing Campaign


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Normally, the pursuit of excellent vibes isn’t enough to overturn a trademark — but Taco Bell is definitely trying.

The favored fast-food chain set its sights on the term “Taco Tuesday” which it wants to make use of freely to advertise sales happiness amongst taco lovers. There’s only one problem.

Though the phrase is continuously utilized in conversation, it’s actually a registered trademark owned by the Wyoming-based chain Taco John’s and has been since 1989.

On May 16, Taco Bell filed a petition with the USPTO requesting the reversal of the trademark, claiming the term is just too common and widely used for Taco John’s to take care of the rights to it. Taco Bell claims the goal on this filing is to “liberate” the term for any and all restaurants to make use of freely.

It’s not the primary time “Taco Tuesday” has been involved in trademark controversy.

In 2019 Lebron James attempted to trademark the term but was turned down by the PTO since it was too widely used. Naturally, James released a statement supporting Taco Bell’s efforts to overturn the trademark and is now starring in the corporate’s latest ad called “Taco Bleep.”


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Through the company’s statement, the public petition on, and the partnership with James, the liberation of “Taco Tuesday” feels more like a marketing campaign than a legal pursuit.

Nevertheless, Taco John’s isn’t taking the challenge lying down. The corporate released a (hilariously petty) statement in response to Taco Bell announcing a recent Tuesday special offering two tacos for $2.

Within the statement, Taco John’s CEO Jim Creel says, “I’d prefer to thank our worthy competitors at Taco Bell for reminding everyone that Taco Tuesday® is best celebrated at Taco John’s®.”

We’re anxiously awaiting the USPTO’s response to this taco saga…

Elsewhere in Marketing

The newest marketing news and strategy insights.

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Meta just rolled out a performance-based ad revenue share model to interchange its Reels Play bonus program that sunset earlier this yr.

…Also in Meta news: the corporate was just hit with a record $1.3 billion fine for violating E.U. data privacy rules.

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The newest on AI: the HubSpot Marketing Blog just released the State of Generative AI, featuring recent data from over 1300 marketers.


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