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| 1 minute read

Taco Tuesday or Record Breaking Tuesday?

Congratulations to LeBron James for setting the record last night as the all-time leading NBA scorer. James also has a long history of protecting his IP rights through trademark filings with the US Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO). One of those filings, TACO TUESDAY, was not meant to be. 

While James's Taco Tuesday celebrations have become infamous (see here for an example), the USPTO found the term to be too commonplace for James to register it as a Trademark. James filed U.S. Trademark Appl. No. 88/579,771 on August 15, 2019. He received a single Office Action shortly thereafter but ultimately decided not to fight for his weekly taco IP rights. The Office Action alleged that the term "TACO TUESDAY" failed to function as a trademark because of the existing commonplace of this message. The Examiner cited numerous pre-existing Taco Tuesday uses. The Office Action also alleged that the mark has a likelihood of confusion in class 35 (advertising and business services) over U.S. Trademark Reg. No. 5,505,122 (TECHNO TACO TUESDAY), which is a Las Vegas music venue. Now that James set the record for being the all-time NBA leading scorer on a Tuesday night, maybe there are better trademark opportunities for him that include the term TUESDAY?

According to the US Patent & Trademark Office, James also owns 18 registered marks, 16 pending marks, and 45 abandoned marks (including Taco Tuesday). His registered marks include LEBRON,  I PROMISE SCHOOL, THE ROBOT COMPANY, IRISH 23 FOREVER, JUST A KID FROM AKRON, NOTHING IS GIVEN. EVERYTHING IS EARNED, and TEAM STRIVE FOR GREATNESS, among others.

Photo Credit to Tim Shelby - Flickr: IMG_8072, CC BY 2.0,

NBA star LeBron James filed to trademark the term "Taco Tuesday" in 2019, in an attempt to "ensure LeBron cannot be sued for any use of 'Taco Tuesday,'" according to James' spokesperson Dave McMenamin. James was not granted the trademark because the phrase "is a commonplace term, message, or expression widely used by a variety of sources that merely conveys an ordinary, familiar, well-recognized concept or sentiment message," the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office wrote. The outcome of the case effectively prevents anybody from being sued for using the phrase for business reasons, per ESPN. Taco Tuesday is "used by various parties to express enthusiasm for tacos by promoting and celebrating them on a dedicated weekday."


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