TTAB Denies Trademark for 'Taco Tuesday' Citing Widespread General Use

TTAB Denies Trademark for 'Taco Tuesday' Citing Widespread General Use

Author: Joe Whitcomb

published Published: February 11, 2024

read time Read time: 2 mins

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Monday Night Ventures LLC attempted to register the trademark "Taco Tuesday" for beer. However, the examining attorney refused registration, claiming that the proposed mark failed to function as a mark due to its widespread usage as a message. Monday Night Ventures LLC's submission, which included evidentiary exhibits, was not considered due to untimeliness, prompting them to request reconsideration and file an appeal. To determine whether "Taco Tuesday" functioned as a mark, the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) had to gauge whether the relevant public perceived it as a designation of the beer's origin or source. The TTAB examined all the evidence provided, including the applicant's specimens and other indications of how the term was used in the market.

The Examining Attorney's Argument: "Taco Tuesday" as a Popular Cultural Message

The Examining Attorney put forth the argument that "Taco Tuesday" had become a commonly used message associated with a popular cultural phenomenon. To support this claim, the Attorney presented evidence falling into two categories: the general use of "Taco Tuesday," and its specific use in connection with beer. They provided numerous examples of breweries and restaurants employing "Taco Tuesday" to promote beer specials or events. Additionally, third-party usage, as seen in articles and on restaurant websites, referred to "Taco Tuesday" as a standalone event. Some examples highlighted the use of "Taco Tuesday" in relation to beer, including breweries featuring beers with "Taco Tuesday" in their names.

In response, Monday Night Ventures argued that the refusal to register "Taco Tuesday" as a trademark was illogical, claiming that the phrase did not provide information about beer. They further contended that the third-party use of "Taco Tuesday" in connection with tacos and beer was irrelevant to their trademark application. However, the TTAB was not convinced by their arguments. The board determined that "Taco Tuesday" had become a commonplace term commonly used to refer to enjoying tacos and drinks specifically on that day of the week.

Based on their findings, the TTAB concluded that consumers had become accustomed to encountering the phrase "Taco Tuesday" in relation to beer. They believed that individuals would perceive it as an indication that the beer is suitable for consumption during "Taco Tuesday" events rather than as a distinctive trademark. As such, the TTAB upheld the refusal to register the trademark, citing its failure to function as a mark.


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