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Two Pesos, Inc. v. Taco Cabana, Inc.

United States Supreme Court
505 U.S. 763 (1992)



Taco Cabana, Inc. (plaintiff) operated fast-food Mexican restaurants, each of which had a distinctive architectural and aesthetic design. Taco Cabana described its design as “a festive eating atmosphere having interior dining and patio areas decorated with artifacts, bright colors, paintings, and murals. . . . The stepped exterior of the building is a festive and vivid color scheme using top border paint and neon stripes. Bright awnings and umbrellas continue the theme.” Two Pesos, Inc. (defendant) opened its own Mexican restaurants with a motif very similar to that of Taco Cabana’s restaurants. Taco Cabana sued Two Pesos for trade-dress infringement under § 43 of the Lanham Act. The United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas found in favor of Taco Cabana and awarded it damages. The court of appeals affirmed. The United States Supreme Court granted certiorari to rule on Two Pesos’s argument that proof of secondary meaning is required to prevail on a trade-dress-infringement claim if the trade dress at issue is inherently distinctive.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (White, J.)

Concurrence (Stevens, J.)

Concurrence (Thomas, J.)

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