By Ellen Fike, Cowboy Condition Day by day
The lawyer defending a Mexican restaurant proprietor towards allegations of trademark violation by a Cheyenne-centered quick food stuff chain argued in new court docket filings that Taco John’s is a “corporate bully” that is unafraid to ideal Mexican tradition.
In April, Cheyenne-based mostly Taco John’s International, Inc. and Spicy Seasonings LLC sued Minnesota-based Mexican cafe Taco Chon, accusing owner Juan Ramos of infringing on Taco John’s trademark of its title.
Both equally dining establishments submitted summaries of their situations and positions in U.S. District Courtroom in Minnesota on June 8, with Ramos’ lawyer detailing the cafe owner’s battle to come to The us and make his desire occur real.
The lawyer in depth Ramos’ childhood in Jalisco, Mexico, when he helped his mothers and fathers with a food items cart that they ran in the 1980s.
He observed them having difficulties monetarily and wished to do nearly anything he could to aid them.
“Similar to the popular scene in ‘My Cousin Vinny…’ ‘No self-respecting Southerner would at any time take in instantaneous grits,’ the legitimate Mexican taco client knows that a excellent taco is the marriage of the best meat and the great salsa created from scratch,” Ramos’ legal professional wrote.
“Ramos vowed and grew to become pushed keeping his promise to his mom that he would just one day have a Mexican grill cafe in the United States named ‘Taco Chon’ and that she would never be short on dollars for groceries at any time yet again,” he explained.
Taco John’s lawyers argued that the use of the name “Taco Chon” by Ramos dilutes the potential of the Taco John’s trademark to distinguish the products and products and services of its restaurants, regardless of competitiveness.
There are 57 Taco John’s restaurants in Minnesota.
Taco John’s attorneys also said that the two places to eat were being very similar, a claim Ramos’ legal professional closely contested.
Ramos’ attorney argued the title of his client’s cafe is taken from a nickname provided to his father, “Don Chon,” as he would costume up as a character of the similar name from a well known 1970s Mexican Tv set series, “Los Polivoces.”
The Taco Chon attorneys claimed that speedy meals restaurant Taco John’s could not occur up with sufficient evidence to clearly show that it has been confused with the whole-provider Mexican restaurant.
“Taco Chon Mexican Grill is no ‘junior user’ of any [trademark] as Ramos’ family members were being occupants of the Mexican lifestyle very long just before Taco John’s landed on Wyoming rock,” Ramos’ legal professional explained.
Taco John’s accused Ramos of opening two brief-services Mexican cuisine dining establishments equivalent to Taco John’s underneath the title “Taco Chon” inside of 5 miles of Taco John’s eating places in Minnesota, which is “likely to cause confusion, mistake or deception.”
Taco Chon has locations in St. Cloud, Minnesota, which is just in excess of 1 mile absent from a Taco John’s, and Burnsville, Minnesota, which is 4 miles absent from a Taco John’s franchise.
Ramos’ lawyer argued that Taco John’s “West Mex” could under no circumstances be baffled for reliable Mexican delicacies, which is what Ramos serves at his restaurants. He additional that Taco Chon was not a rapidly foodstuff cafe like Taco John’s, but a Mexican grill that offers sit-down dining and alcoholic drinks.
Ramos’ attorney asked for damages from Taco John’s in a sum of at minimum $150,000 to compensate Ramos for all monetary and/or financial harm, together with non-monetary hurt, resulting from the lawsuit, citing Ramos’ despair and anxiousness stemming from the case.
Taco John’s is no stranger to submitting lawsuits to secure its emblems.
The organization has sent “cease and desist” letters to other restaurants over their use of the slogan “Taco Tuesday,” which it trademarked in 1989.
In 2006, Taco John International sued Taco Del Mar, alleging a person of its dining establishments in Colorado used the slogan to promote its Tuesday specials.
The lawsuit was dismissed at the request of all get-togethers a few months immediately after it was submitted.