The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has rejected LeBron James’ application to trademark the phrase Taco Tuesday. Having become a popular part of American food culture, Taco Tuesday is a common theme found at restaurants across the country.
Since the NBA offseason began, James recorded and posted videos celebrating Taco Tuesday. Some videos were with his family at the dinner table and other videos were by himself.
The USPTO explained its decision, stating that “Taco Tuesday” is a “commonplace term, message, or expression widely used by a variety of [parties] that merely conveys an ordinary, familiar, and well-recognized concept or sentiment message . . .” The USPTO’s rationale affirms the notion that the phrase has become embedded in our food culture and found its place in everyday living. If James wishes to pursue the registration further, he has the option of appealing to the USPTO’s Trademark and Appeal Board. This action is unlikely because, according to a spokesperson for James, the application was submitted to protect James and others from being sued when using the phrase.
In essence, the use of Taco Tuesday is safe for all. James took a shot at trademarking a phrase, but that shot was blocked by the USPTO. What’s most important now, though, is that everyone is free to enjoy the wonderful taste of tacos on Taco Tuesday without the fear of being sued, should they use the phrase.