business news in context, analysis with attitude

With brief, occasional, italicized and sometimes gratuitous commentary…

•  The Taco John's restaurant chain continues to fight Taco Bell's attempts to invalidate its trademark on the term "Taco Tuesdays" with a filing late last week with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

Ther Wall Street Journal writes about how Taco Bell  maintains that "Taco Tuesday is a common phrase and any restaurant that makes tacos should be able to use it."  However, Seasonings, the company that owns Taco John's has owned the trademark on the phrase since 1989.

"“Seasonings denies that there is anything ‘not cool’ about independently creating a trademark over forty years ago and obtaining a registration for that trademark with the United States Patent and Trademark office,” the company said. “The remaining allegations … are statements of opinion to which no response is required, including that Tuesday is a mediocre day of the week.”

I've said it before and I'll say it again.  Taco Bell would have an entirely different view of this trademark if it owned "Taco Tuesday" and Taco John's was the plaintiff.  Taco Bell should accept reality and take another approach - maybe spend more time trying to market "Taco Thursday."

•  The Cincinnati Enquirer reports that the History Channel's documentary series, "The Food That Built America," recently featured an episode devoted to Bernard Kroger, who founded his eponymous company in the late nineteenth century.

According to the story, "Kroger, a farmhand who left school at the age of 14, invested his life savings of $350 dollars into opening his first grocery store in Downtown Cincinnati … Kroger realized he was losing business to bakeries and sought to create a place where customers could buy all their items under one roof. This prompted the businessman to open a bakery inside the grocery store, an unheard-of idea at the time … Due to the success of his innovation, Kroger stores would go on to offer other specialty food items like meat, dairy, fish, produce and more. Kroger also implemented the self-service model created by Piggly Wiggly founder Clarence Saunders in 1916."