UK Taqueira Under Trademark Threat Gets 100k People Worth Of Public Support
from the muy-bueno dept
You will hopefully recall our recent discussion about a taco restaurant, or taqueria, in the UK being bullied by Worldwide Taqueria because the latter had somehow gotten a trademark on the word “taqueria.” As we pointed out in the original post on the topic, everything about this is ridiculous. First, it’s absurd that the company would have ever gotten a valid trademark for a word that is purely descriptive. “Taqueria” simply means “place that sells tacos.” But once that trademark was granted, it is equally silly for Worldwide Taqueria to go around issuing legal threats to other taco joints that use the word in their names and branding, which is what happened to Sonora Taqueria.
Now, Sonora indicated a desire to fight back, which is a good thing. The restaurant was likely thinking it would have to do so purely in the legal arena. However, public support, backlash, and moral shaming can also help a trademark bully change its bullying ways. And that appears to be exactly what Sonora Taqueria’s situation has generated, with a petition signed by over 100k people pledging support and outrage over all of this.
More than 100,000 people have signed an online petition in support of Sonora Taqueria, the Mexican-owned London business which was hit with a legal threat over its use of the word “taqueria” from a restaurant competitor in early September.
“Did you know that Taqueria means? Simply a place that sells tacos. The same as a pizzeria, bakery, or cevicheria: a place that sells x…. A Mexican word that you see absolutely everywhere in Mexico, the USA, and many other places in the world, its not a trademark and it doesn’t belong to anyone, it belongs to all!” MexiBrit writes, encouraging signatories for its petition.
Will this type of public outrage alone convince Worldwide Taqueria to drop its threat? Maybe, maybe not. Would it be enough to convince the company to relinquish its trademark on “taqueria?” Unlikely. But this sort of public outrage can serve as a piece in the puzzle.
The other piece will likely come in the form of legal representation for Sonora Taqueria. And hopefully that representation won’t merely come in the form of a rebutall to Worldwide’s lawyers, but will also include a petition to invalidate the “taqueria” trademark altogether.
Salazar told Eater that she and Napier were aware that a petition was unlikely to be the sole reason for Worldwide to drop the case, but, she said, “it shines a light on how much this matters to people and in particular to Mexicans.”
“Local newspapers and publications in Mexico continue to write about this and, to be honest, it stopped being about us a while ago,” Salazar said. “It’s now about entitlement, cultural pride, and the need to fight for something, even if it’s small in the grand scheme of things, that means a lot to us as a country.”
Correct on all counts, in my view. Here’s hoping Sonora Taqueria has as much fight in it as its 100k-plus supporters.