LeBron James of the Los Angeles Lakers celebrates after a play against the Utah Jazz during the second half of a game in Los Angeles April 7, 2019. Photo: Yong Teck Lim (Getty)
LeBron James will have to take an “L” on his desire to trademark the phrase “Taco Tuesday,” a phrase he often employs while sharing his family’s dinner menu with his followers on Instagram, but he’s sees a silver lining.
If James can’t trademark “Taco Tuesday,” his representatives say, ESPN reports, then no one can, protecting him — and everyone else — from being taken to court over use of the phrase:
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 U.S. Patent and Trademark Office announced Wednesday that it was denying James’ request for the trademark.
In a word, authorities said the phrase was simply too “common,” as the New York Times reports:
The patent office said that the phrase was “a commonplace term, message or expression widely used by a variety of sources that merely conveys an ordinary, familiar, well-recognized concept or sentiment.”
Patent officials also noted that “Taco Tuesday” was a phrase similar to one already trademarked by a Las Vegas entertainment company, “Techno Taco Tuesday.”
James filed the application last month through his company LBJ Trademarks LLC. As explained by the Times, “the company sought protection for use of the phrase in a host of forums, including ‘downloadable audio/visual works,’ podcasts, social media, online marketing and ‘entertainment services.’”
The NBA star and entrepreneur is among a number of celebrities who sought this year to take ownership of marketable phrases with which they’re associated.
James’ application followed those submitted by Megan Thee Stallion for “hot girl summer,” and Cardi B for her ubiquitous use of “Okurrr.”