For lovers of Tex-Mex cuisine, “Taco Tuesday” has become a popular term used to describe the weekly tradition of enjoying discounted tacos. However, everyone recently found out that Taco John’s owns the trademark for “Taco Tuesday.” So, the question was raised by Taco Bell: how can anyone own such a such a generic term for taco deals? While Taco Bell’s question is more global, let’s delve into the concept of genericness and explore whether “Taco Tuesday” might be considered here in Austin, Texas.
The Challenge of Genericness:
Genericness refers to a term that has become so commonly used that it no longer identifies a particular brand or source of goods or services. Taco Bell claims that “Taco Tuesday” is generic, thereby challenging Taco John’s exclusive right to use the phrase. To assess Taco Bell’s claim in this city, let’s analyze the evidence from Yelp reviews and Taco Tuesday promotions in Austin.
Yelp Reviews and Taco Tuesday Specials:
Yelp reviews provide valuable insights into the perception and usage of “Taco Tuesday” in Austin. As we examine the reviews, we find numerous references to Taco Tuesday specials offered by various establishments. Customers express their excitement about celebrating Taco Tuesday and often mention their enjoyment of discounted tacos or special deals. Here are some examples:
One person went to Taco Joint off E. Riverside Dr. to “celebrate taco Tuesday after a long week…”
Another person went to Cuantos Tacos off E. 12th St. and proclaimed “TACO TUESDAY Y’ALL”
Another person said Oye Taquito Food Truck off E. Ceasar Chavez St. has “a great Taco Tuesday To-Go special right now!”
Taco Join at UT could make another person “change” their “tune from taco Tuesday to taco everyday if” they “lived” nearby.
Torchy’s Tacos in Rosedale “nailed” “Taco Tuesday” for another person.
Other Taco John’s competitors in Austin promote discounted tacos on Taco Tuesday. Upstairs at Caroline off Congress Ave offers $2 tacos from 4:00-7:00 on Tuesday. Peached Tortilla on Burnet Rd. offers $4 tacos and $20 taco trays all day long on Tuesday. OneTaco with locations all around Austin has $2.50 taco specials all day long on Tuesday. Pueblo Viejo offers $1.99 Al Pastor Tacos after 4:00 PM. Rosa’s Café off W. Slaughter Ln. offers crispy or soft tocos for $5.49 after 10:30AM. Cuantos Tacos on E. 12th St. offers a special Tripa Taco on Tuesdays only. Gabriela’s off IH frontage and E. 7th only offers Birria Tacos on Tuesdays. Granny’s tacos of E. 7th offer a $3.0 taco on Tuesdays. Finally, Vamonos on Airport Blvd. offers handmade Fluffy Tacos on Tuesdays.
Assuming none of the identified restaurants are affiliated with Taco John’s and the Taco Tuesday Trademark, these reviews and promotions related to Austin-area restaurants suggest that “Taco Tuesday” is not strongly associated with a specific brand, but rather a general concept of enjoying tacos on a particular day of the week.
Comparison to Other Generic and Non-Generic Marks:
To evaluate the potential genericness of “Taco Tuesday,” it is helpful to compare it to other marks that have been found generic or not. For example, terms like ” TIRES TIRES TIRES,” “THE BEST BEER IN AMERICA” and ” OUTDOOR PRODUCTS” were found to be generic terms for promotion of products they represent. On the other hand, trademarks such as “Kleenex” and “Band-Aid” have managed to maintain their distinctiveness despite widespread use.
Opinion: Is “Taco Tuesday” Generic in Austin?
Based on a few assumptions and the limited evidence available, it appears that “Taco Tuesday” in Austin, Texas, could be considered a generic term. The abundance of Yelp reviews mentioning Taco Tuesday specials at various establishments, the amount of Taco Tuesday promotions by local restaurants coupled with the absence of strong brand association, supports the notion that “Taco Tuesday” has become a widely used term to describe the weekly tradition of enjoying tacos. While Taco John’s may have initially popularized the phrase, its extensive usage by multiple businesses and consumers suggests that it may have evolved into a generic term.
The battle between Taco Bell and Taco John’s over the trademark for “Taco Tuesday” raises interesting questions about genericness. Although the specific outcome of this case is yet to be determined, the evidence from Yelp reviews and Taco Tuesday promotions in Austin indicates that “Taco Tuesday” has become a widely understood and used term for enjoying tacos on a Tuesday. As language evolves and cultural traditions spread, it is important to consider whether certain terms have transitioned from being protected trademarks to generic expressions. In the case of “Taco Tuesday” in Austin, it seems that the term has indeed become a generic phrase embraced by taco enthusiasts throughout the city.