Mexican Restaurants Battle Over “Damn Good Tacos” Trademark
Orange County – A Fort Collins, Colorado based Mexican restaurant named Dam Good Tacos is being sued for trademark infringement by a Texas restaurant chain named Torchy’s Tacos. Torchy’s Tacos claims that Dam Good Tacos is confusing customers by using a name that is identical to its Damn Good Tacos tagline.
In 2015, Torchy’s Tacos received a federal trademark registration for Damn Good Tacos which claims a 2006 date of first use. The chain had been operating solely out of Texas until early 2016 when it expanded into Denver. Dam Good Tacos began as a restaurant inside of a gas station in Basalt, Colorado in 2012, six years after Torchy’s Tacos date of first use. In 2013, Dam Good Tacos migrated to its current location near Colorado State University in Fort Collins.
Torchy’s initially tried to settle the dispute out of court. In an e-mail statement, Torchy’s claims they offered to help defer some of the costs for Dam Good Tacos to rebrand. The offer came a few months after Torchy’s had opened its newest restaurant in Fort Collins. Dam Good Tacos declined the offer. In response, in November of 2016, Torchy’s sent Dam Good Tacos a cease-and-desist letter. Finally, on April 5th, Torchy’s filed a trademark lawsuit against Dam Good Tacos, suing for alleged trademark infringement of the tagline.
In addition to suing for compensation of monetary damages, Torchy’s Tacos is demanding that Dam Good Tacos hand over certain products and promotional materials, a website URL, and even a Twitter handle. US District Court Judge R. Brook Jackson ruled that the case will be heard within 45 days in the US Courthouse in Denver.
In an e-mail statement, Torchy’s Tacos claims, “Through our significant investment in this trademark, it has become inextricably linked to our products in the minds of consumers.” The e-mail went on to state, “They refused our offer and we were left with no choice but to file a lawsuit to protect our trademark and our brand.”
Dam Good Tacos has not responded to inquiries from reporters seeking a comment, and has not issued any statement regarding this lawsuit.