Taco Tuesday. #TacoTuesday. I’m saying it. I’m writing it. I’m posting it. I’m safely doing all this before it’s legally too late here on The Rocky Point Podcast. Reference the title for the reason why. And be sure to credit one LeBron James.
LeBron James wants to be King of Taco Tuesday. And he wants an online throne for it.
Here’s why. The NBA superstar and mega star always seems to have his sights set on things beyond championship rings. Good for him. New case in point. The announcement on Twitter just made by trademark attorney Josh Gerben to Mexican food lovers worldwide. LBJ Trademarks, LLC, a company owned by LeBron James filed an application to trademark the term, “Taco Tuesday.”
The filing was made with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). It serves more than tacos one day a week. It serves official notice. “King James” wants ownership of the power and control of a legally protected online throne. As king of the term, he wants to brand LeBron as the face of “Taco Tuesday.” This would surely spice up his value and presence in social media, business, and popular culture.
Here’s why LeBron James has this plan. It’s basically to add a powerful new ingredient which builds upon the success he’s already cooked up online. LeBron has done enthusiastic social media posts with his friends and family members around “Taco Tuesday.” These posts can certainly lay claim to having “gone viral.”
On record, there are previous live and inactive trademarks for “Taco Tuesday.” More than enough to fill the rosters of two basketball teams. LeBron’s application states he also wants to produce a podcast using the term. This is another area where having a powerhouse attorney comes in handy. There are others before King James who are already using the term, “Taco Tuesday” with their podcasts.
Ironically, I’d already been doing research on a podcast episode centered on Taco Tuesday as the topic. It’s part of my duties as host, producer, lead researcher, and production assistant/intern on The Rocky Point Podcast. I like to call the joys of this line of work being the, “Chief Cook and Bottle Washer.”
Perhaps I should trademark that!
Anyway, I’ve long been aware of the Taco Tuesday trademark. It stems from the many days and nights I spent eating, drinking, and living fully at my old stomping grounds. That being the infamous Jersey Shore.
There’s a place called Gregory’s. It’s a bar and restaurant owned and operated by the Gregory family in Somers Point, New Jersey. You’ll find about 15 miles from Atlantic City. I’m a witness. It’s a great place to enjoy refreshing adult beverages as well as fantastic food.
It’s safe to say, the Gregory family was clearly out in front of the tidal wave of Mexican food in the United States. It was back in 1982 when they secured a trademark for the term, “Taco Tuesday.” Today, the Gregory’s menu has taco specials on both Tuesday and Thursday.
Most bar and restaurant owners would constantly pound their chest touting their trademark. What’s funny is Gregory’s may be better known for their award-winning burgers than their Taco Tuesday trademark.
Some 7 years after the Gregory’s secured their trademark, Taco John’s scooped up theirs for the other 49 states. The popular chain has nearly 400 restaurant locations mostly covering states in the Midwest and Mountain Regions. I’ve enjoyed the food at Taco John’s. Besides tacos, they are known for Super Burritos and delicious Potato Olés®.
From a legal standing, Taco Johns acquired their trademark fair and square. They have earned every legal right to enforce it. And protect it they have. Here is where the problem lies.
Large entities whether they be Taco John’s or LeBron James can win in courtrooms. But they often lose in the also valuable court of public opinion. Customers can’t order rulings against defendants like judges can. But they sure do have purchasing power. They can place their food orders elsewhere to spite you. It’s the mindset of “Nobody likes a bully, especially when they’re picking on a little guy.” Sending cease and desist letters or filing lawsuits often looks like bullying.
Today, Taco Tuesday is a common term used everywhere in the United States. That’s because Mexican Food is now everywhere in the United States. It’s a term made popular by restaurant and bars owners. It’s a term made even more popular by the many people who are their customers. The taco it seems has gone more viral than even LeBron.
One thing is clear. LeBron James has the money, power, and the legal right to try to secure a trademark for Taco Tuesday. But will he win? A judge will know first. But should a new King be allowed? And what good would it do for him? It could well be a legal case of “Be careful what you wish for.”
These are some of the issues on the menu for Episode 6: Taco Tuesday – Should LeBron James be its King?Please do subscribe, download, and enjoy.