Surprise: Only This Somers Point NJ Bar Can Legally Have a “Taco Tuesday”
You've heard the term "Taco Tuesday" right?
Did you have any idea that the term was actually coined and started right here in New Jersey? In Somers Point?
That's the deal, according to Smithhopen.com, the website for Patent and Trademark Attorneys.
According to the site, the phrase "Taco Tuesday" was first used by Gregory's Restaurant and Bar on February 6, 1979. Two years later, Gregory's applied for and received a federal registration for the "Taco Tuesday" trademark. "Federal trademark registrations can be extremely valuable because, unlike patents and copyrights, they do not expire and can last in perpetuity. But, there is one caveat: the trademark registration must be periodically renewed by submitting evidence showing continued use of the trademark. Failure to comply with this requirement results in cancellation of the trademark registration."
So, according to the article, for awhile no other restaurant in the United States could legally use "Taco Tuesday" in its marketing.
All apparently was going swimmingly until it wasn't. Again, from Smithhopen.com:
"In 1989, Gregory’s made a costly mistake. When its TACO TUESDAY trademark registration came up for renewal, Gregory’s failed to timely submit evidence of continued use. The USPTO is unforgiving with respect to missed deadlines and, on April 21, 1989, cancelled Gregory’s TACO TUESDAY registration.
Taco John’s seized this opportunity. With a haste of a second stringer who learns that the the coach is about to bench the quarterback, Taco John’s made its move. On March 23, 1989, Taco John’s filed its own trademark application for TACO TUESDAY. With Gregory’s trademark registration cancelled, the field was clear. Taco John’s strategy paid off, earning the Wyoming restaurant the coveted prize: the federal trademark registration for TACO TUESDAY."
Eventually, Gregory's realized it's mistake and tried to reapply for the trademark.
Long story short, too late.
Eventually, it was determined that Gregory's still holds the trademark rights in New Jersey, with Taco John's holding it in the other 49 states.
There have been challenges, but that's where it stands today.
So, legally, no one selling food in New Jersey can use the phrase "Taco Tuesday."
Now you know!