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Taco John’s Claims Ownership of “Taco Tuesday”

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Did you know that the Wyoming-based taco chain "Taco Johns" owns the trademark on the phrase "Taco Tuesday" in every state in the U.S.A. except for New Jersey? It's news to us, and to thousands of bars and restaurants who use the taco tuesday as a way to get patrons through the doors on what is usually a fairly slow night. Recently a place in Wisconsin, The Old Fashioned, found this out the hard way, as they got served with a Cease and Desist letter from Taco John's legal council. These plucky midwesterners have decided not to fight back, but to turn it into an opportunity to come up with a new phrase. From their Facebook page:

Taco John’s has notified us at The Old Fashioned that we are wrongfully using the name “Taco Tuesday” for our weekly special and must cease immediately. Taco John’s has a nationwide (except New Jersey) trademark on the name since 1989. We have been using this phrase since opening in 2005 and now need your help. We are putting on a contest now thru Feb. 9th to rename our Tuesday special. The individual that has the winning name will win free tacos for one year. On Feb. 18th we will be holding a taco party to reveal the new name. You may submit entrees via Facebook, Twitter, direct email (info@theoldfashioned.com) or in the restaurant. Good luck and thank you!

It seems silly that someone own "Taco Tuesday", especially when the tacos they serve are of highly dubious authenticity (photo above of the taco portion of the menu, individual shots below for your viewing pleasure). How do they decide who to enforce the trademark on, given the phrase's widespread, generic use?

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These are legally the only tacos you can consume and call them Taco Tuesday tacos. WTF. More info on the Wisconsin situation here.

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