Intellectual Property Keyed to Merges
Two Pesos, Inc. v. Taco Cabana, Inc.
Taco Cabana, Inc. (Plaintiff) operated six restaurants in the area of San Antonio, Texas. The restaurants strived to serve their Mexican food in a festive, colorful atmosphere. Two Pesos, Inc. (Defendant) began opening its own chain of restaurants with a similar atmosphere and featured similar décor. Taco Cabana (Plaintiff) brought a trademark infringement action under the Lanham Act, arguing that it enjoyed a trademark on its “trade dress,” which may be loosely defined as the totality of its ambiance. The district court held that trade dress could be a trademark if it was inherently distinctive or had acquired a secondary meaning. The jury found Plaintiff’s trade dress to be inherently distinctive and awarded damages. The court of appeals affirmed. The United States Supreme Court granted review.
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