LeBron James’ Attempt to Trademark “Taco Tuesday” Gets Denied

Takeaway: The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office refused to grant NBA professional basketball player LeBron James a trademark registration for “Taco Tuesday” referring to the phrase as a “commonplace term” ineligible for trademark protection.

The Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James applied last month to trademark “Taco Tuesday” refering to his video series on Instagram, which was largely denied by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). The USPTO examining attorney determined the phrase failed to function as a trademark, calling it a “commonplace term” due to its frequency in being used to express “enthusiasm for tacos by promoting and celebrating them on a dedicated weekday.”

Despite being initially denied, James can make further arguments to the examiner in response to the Office Action. However, James’ attorney has commented on the matter, expressing that James’ interest in trademarking “Taco Tuesday” comes from his concern that he will be subject to possible lawsuits from others claiming ownership of the phrase, not to prevent others from using it. It is not certain at this point whether James and his attorney will continue pursuing a trademark for “Taco Tuesday.”

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