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There’s been talk in the media lately about basketball star, Lebron James, trying to register the phrase “Taco Tuesday”.  Most recently the news is all about the USPTO (US Patent and Trademark Office) denied his trademark registration. While all of the headlines about it are somewhat true, it is a bit misleading and if you do some digging it’s more interesting.

So let’s talk about the trademark application and why it got “denied” by the USPTO.

LeBron will not “own” the phrase Taco Tuesday.

First, let me clear up some common misconceptions about trademarks.  I hear a lot of people freaking out saying, “So I won’t be able to say Taco Tuesday anymore because Lebron James owns it?” No. A trademark doesn’t mean you “own” the word. Trademarks are specific to the goods and services with which they are registered. So unless Lebron is getting the trademark to use with his new Mexican restaurant, the local Mexican joint down the street can still use the phrase for their taco specials. There’s no trademark that can prevent you from using a word in your day to day life.

If you take a look at the trademark application, you can see that Lebron is intending to use the phrase in connection with advertising and marketing services, podcasting services, and online entertainment. So if it gets registered, his trademark will only apply to those services and related services.

Headlines are saying, “Lebron James Taco Tuesday trademark denied!” and “USPTO says Lebron can’t trademark Taco Tuesday!” Well, not to say all those people are all completely wrong and spreading false information, but those people are kind of wrong and spreading misleading information.

Find out why Lebron’s trademark got denied on this episode of All Up In Yo’ Business. Be sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel for more All Up In Yo’ Business!

Got your own version of Taco Tuesday that you want to protect? Then check out Brand Bombshell, our all-inclusive trademark registration package.