Mexicana en Londres defends that the word ‘taquería’ cannot be registered as a trademark.
LONDON.- Mexican Michelle Salazar, with the support of her husband Sam Napier, started her business of tacos with Flour tortillas made by hand in the United Kingdom, “Sonora Taquería“, without imagining that she would be sued by a British company for using the word ‘taqueria’ in the name.
The Worldwide Taquería company, whose commercial name is Taquería UK, owned by the British Trent Alexander Ward and Daniele Benatoff sued the Mexican woman for the use of the term “taquería” alleging that it constitutes a trademark infringement.
“Sonora Taquería” is a small business located in a public park, while the British plaintiffs have two restaurants, one in Notting Hill opened in 2005 and another in Exmouth Market opened in 2021.
Michelle Salazar seeks to bring Mexican food to the United Kingdom
Michelle Salazar had the idea of opening a business dedicated to Mexican food after traveling to the United Kingdom to attend university and having several difficulties finding a job in the country due to work visa procedures.
Through an entrepreneurial graduate program, he obtained a two-year visa and opened his first food business, Pollo Feliz, originally founded by his family to cater for small events.
However, Michelle Salazar’s lack of experience and the fact that she started the business just five weeks before the start of the Covid-19 pandemic led to her first gastronomic proposal failing.
But an indispensable product of Mexican food saved the Mexican, the flour tortilla.
British customers loved her handmade tortillas, so Michelle Salazar was able to continue selling taco packs and then start selling Sonora-style tacos at an outdoor market during the reopening of the economy.
With its roast beef, barbecue, marinated tacos, as well as cakes, quesadillas, totopo, aguachiles, and even micheladas, the Mexican became famous until it drew the attention of media such as The Guardian.
“There is a lot of interest in Mexican food! People love it and they are just discovering the variety in our food, the regions, the difference between tortillas, ”she said in her interview with the British media.
British company demands Mexican not to use the name “taquería” in its restaurant
The small but sure growth would be interrupted by a lawsuit from British businessmen, who want him to stop using the word “taquería” in his business.
On September 8, the couple received a cease and desist letter demanding the removal of the word “Taquería” from the name of their business, social networks, website, advertising, logo, and trademark registration.
According to the lawsuit, the British company has had a trademark registration for “Taquería” for more than 15 years in the United Kingdom.
The Mexican woman and her husband published the document on their Instagram account, assuring that they were forced to change the name of the company, but they hoped that a client could provide them with legal help.
The couple reported that they seek to appeal the lawsuit, arguing that the word “taquería” is a descriptive term, so it cannot be registered as a trademark.
However, the Mexican woman has had problems paying for her legal defense in addition to not being able to generate more income because they had closed her small premises to rent a larger one and her savings for the first months of rent will have to be used to pay the lawyers.
In social networks, both Mexicans and English have supported Michelle Salazar’s small business, denouncing the lack of ethics and morals of the British company and highlighting that “taquería” cannot be registered as a brand because it is a word to describe a business model.
For a taste of real Mexican food head on over to Sonora TAQUERIA