by Khadija James
Taco-lovers around the world can breathe a sigh of relief because NBA star and entrepreneur Lebron James’ application to trademark the term ‘Taco Tuesday’ was rejected by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), according to ESPN.
While the USPTO can reject a mark for many reasons, including descriptiveness and a likelihood of confusion, James’ mark was denied because it was such an everyday term.
Despite the rejection, a spokesperson for the Ohio native stated that the application achieved its goal in determining if James could be sued for trademark infringement.
Although that question could have been answered by doing a simple USPTO database search, the spokesperson stated that the ruling could inform and protect those who wish to use the term.
James sought to trademark the term following the popularity of his taco night Instagram videos. Due to James’ intent to capitalize off the social media buzz, it is less likely that James merely wanted to know if he could legally use the term.
James is likely not the first person who sought to trademark the term ‘Taco Tuesday.’ I’m sure many taco restaurants have inquired about the term over the years, so given that the term has yet to be trademarked given its wide usage, shows that business owners should not fear using it.
Given the good news, I, like all of my fellow foodies out there, will continue to use #tacotuesday on all of my taco night posts.