Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James’ attempt to trademark the term “Taco Tuesday” has been denied, but according to James’ team, he still accomplished the outcome he wanted from the application in the first place.
The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office on Wednesday refused the application filed by James’ company LBJ Trademarks, explaining that “Taco Tuesday” is “a commonplace term.”
“The applied-for mark is a commonplace term, message, or expression widely used by a variety of sources that merely conveys an ordinary, familiar, well-recognized concept or sentiment message,” the USPTO wrote.
A spokesman for James told ESPN’s Dave McMenamin that the application was filed “to ensure LeBron cannot be sued for any use of ‘Taco Tuesday.'”
“Finding ‘Taco Tuesday’ as commonplace achieves precisely what the intended outcome was, which was getting the U.S. government to recognize that someone cannot be sued for its use,” the spokesman said.
The USPTO also cited examples of restaurants that have used the term, along with several articles showing that “Taco Tuesday” is a “widely used message used by various parties to express enthusiasm for tacos by promoting and celebrating them on a dedicated weekday.”
James’ spokesman pointed out that the USPTO’s ruling will protect not only James but anyone else from using “Taco Tuesday” for business reasons.
James began sharing videos of his family’s taco nights on his Instagram account during the offseason. The videos became something of a social media sensation, with James making special “It’s Taco Tuesday” T-shirts and new Lakers forward Anthony Davis even making a special guest appearance.
James had sought to monetize the videos by filing to trademark “Taco Tuesday” in August. LBJ Trademarks stated in its application that the goods and services involved with the trademark involve “advertising and marketing services provided by means of indirect methods of marketing communications, namely, social media, search engine marketing, inquiry marketing, internet marketing, mobile marketing, blogging and other forms of passive, sharable or viral communications channels.”
The company also listed “podcasting services” and “online entertainment services, namely, providing a website featuring non-downloadable videos, and social media posts in the field of sports, entertainment, current events and popular culture.”