Shoko Naruo, an Intellectual Property partner in Thompson Coburn’s New York office, spoke with Law360 about Taco Bell’s challenge to trademark registrations for “Taco Tuesday” and their new advertising campaign promoting "Taco Bleep.”
In the article “Taco Bell's Ads Spice Up 'Taco Tuesday' TM Spat,” Law360 reports that after the fast food company requested last week that the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office cancel two smaller companies' trademark registrations for "Taco Tuesday," it launched a public relations effort Monday saying it was trying "to liberate the phrase for restaurants nationwide" and that "when tacos win, we all win.”.
Shoko said that while online campaigns on websites like Reddit and change.org "can garner attention and bolster public backing for Taco Bell, their impact on the TTAB case might be insignificant," adding that "the process of genericide unfolds gradually over several years, making it unlikely that short-term advertisements would significantly influence public opinion."
"Here, it appears that Taco Bell is using the campaign to expose what is perhaps already the public perception (very common usage of TACO TUESDAY), so the ads may be to proactively take action to avoid being perceived as a bully," Naruo told Law360.
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