Fishman Stewart PLLC | 800 Tower Drive | Suite 610 | Troy, MI 48098 | USA +1 248.594.0600

Intellectual Property Insights from Fishman Stewart PLLC
Newsletter – Volume 23, Issue 12

Share on Social

TACO TUESDAY® and TASMANIAN DEVIL®, Two Trademarks in Demand

By Barbara Mandell
Gregory Hotel, Inc. of Somers Point, N.J., has, since 1995, owned a U.S. trademark registration for TACO TUESDAY for restaurant services. On May 16, 2023, Taco Bell decided it had had enough. It filed with the United States Patent and Trademark Office a Petition for Cancellation of the TACO TUESDAY registration. The opening paragraphs of the Petition are wildly entertaining, even for a trademark case:

A. People like tacos on Tuesdays. They just do. It’s even fun to say: “Taco Tuesday.” Tacos have the unique ability to bring people together and bring joy to their lives on an otherwise mediocre day of the week. But since 1995, Registrant has owned a federal trademark registration for “Taco Tuesday.” Not cool.


G. Taco Bell supports everyone’s right to celebrate, and say, “Taco Tuesday,” no matter who they are. How can we tell our fans to Live Más if their favorite taco joints aren’t even allowed to freely say “Taco Tuesday”? Anything else is menos.

H. Taco Bell seeks no damages; it simply seeks reason and common sense.

Taco Bell has even released a commercial with NBA superstar Lebron James giving his bleeped take on the TACO TUESDAY brawl. I don’t know about our readers, but, as a regular supporter and enjoyer of TACO TUESDAYS, particularly crispy tacos, I am on tenterhooks for a prompt resolution of this one. Another recent trademark dispute about trademark availability involves Warner Brothers and Australian Football, also known as “footy.” (Footy is simply an aside and not relevant.) Anyway, in 1954, Bugs Bunny starred in a short cartoon, “Devil May Care,” in which he battles a new adversary named Taz, a feisty, whirling Tasmanian Devil.  For context, Tasmanian Devils are carnivorous marsupials, native to Tasmania. Warner Bros. registered TASMANIAN DEVIL around the world, including six registrations in Australia. You can see this coming.  Can Warner Bros. prevent a brand new Tasmanian footy team, just accepted into the Australian Football League, from calling itself “The Devils”? Funny you should ask. According to local news, the location of the team, the stadium, and when they will begin to play, are all set.  “But one thing was left absent — their identity. Their name, their colours.” reports that Warner Bros. opposes use of the name, which understandably “bugs” Tasmania’s premier, Jeremy Rockliff. “It’s our animal, and we’ll use it if we want,” he tweeted, adding that discussions with Warner Bros. “are taking place.” The [nameless] Team is not expected to play until 2028, so there is a bit of time for the parties to work things out. Wouldn’t it be lovely if we could all watch the Tasmanian Devils play, on a Tuesday, with tacos in hand? Barbara Mandell is a partner at the firm. She has over 30 years’ experience in complex litigation. Her practice is focused on litigating, arbitrating and counseling her clients on patent, trademark and licensing matters as well as antitrust law.

Related Content from Fishman Stewart