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"Taco Tuesday" out at downtown restaurant due to challenge by Taco John's chain, but promotion lives on

The Iguana Mexican Grill in downtown Oklahoma City was recently ordered by attorneys with Taco John's to quit using the phrase "Taco Tuesday" for its weekly $1 taco promotions.
by Steve Lackmeyer Modified: August 3, 2010 at 1:47 pm •  Published: August 3, 2010

Taco John's spokeswoman, Renee Middlton, said she had no information about whether the chain was wishing to retry expanding into Oklahoma, but added protecting the phrase was important to the company regardless of whether it has a presence in the state.

"Taco Tuesday is hugely important to us," Middleton said. "We have owned the trademark since 1989. It's a brand icon for us. It's mentioned in conjunction with Taco John's — that and potato ole's."

Phrase's beginnings

Middleton said "Taco Tuesday" was first used by the chain in February 1982. But a Laguna Beach, Calif., restaurant, Tortilla Flats, owns the website and claims it started using the phrase in 1976.

U.S. Patent and Trademark Office records confirm Taco John's registered the Taco Tuesday phrase in 1989 -- and that the Trademark applies in all states except New Jersey.

A manager at the Tortilla Flats who declined to give his name responded they own the trademark for Taco Tuesday, and that disputes over usage of the phrase are well-known within the restaurant industry.

Casey Cornett, who works downtown with Brenda Jones Public Relations, said he doubts the move by Taco John's will hurt the weekly special at the Iguana Mexican Grill.

Cornett said he doesn't believe the phrase belongs to any one restaurant after seeing numerous businesses using the term via Twitter hash tags.

Food Dude: Taco monkeys and Tuesdays always get me down
by Steve Lackmeyer
Business Reporter
Steve Lackmeyer is a reporter, columnist and author who started his career at The Oklahoman in 1990. Since then, he has won numerous awards for his coverage, which included the 1995 bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building, the city's...
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