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

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


Facts

Taco Cabana, Inc. (Taco Cabana) (plaintiff) operated fast-food Mexican restaurants, each of which had a distinctive architectural and aesthetic design: “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. (Two Pesos) (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 section 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 where the trade dress at issue is inherently distinctive.

Rule of Law

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (White, J.)

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  • A “yes” or “no” answer to the question framed in the issue section;
  • A summary of the majority or plurality opinion, using the CREAC method; and
  • The procedural disposition (e.g. reversed and remanded, affirmed, etc.).

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