St. Cloud Taco Chon is being sued by Taco Johns

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Taco Johns is suing Minnesotas Taco Chons for having a similar name.

Minnesota-based Taco Chon is being sued by Taco John’s Inc. to keep it from using the Taco Chon name. Taco Chon opened its second location in Minnesota in St. Cloud in December 2021. Its first location was opened in Burnsville, Minnesota. 

According to a complaint filed in United States District Court in Minnesota, Taco John’s wants to keep Taco Chon from using that name for any Mexican-themed restaurant.  They also want to give Taco John’s all of Taco Chon’s money that they made while they were running under that name, and they want Taco Chon to pay damages,  attorney fees, and court costs. 

Taco John’s complaint said that Taco Chon is using the term in the exact same way. They think that it will be confusing for consumers because of how much they sound alike. Taco John’s is saying it’s deceiving the public. 

Taco Chon owner Juan Ramos told the St. Cloud Times he thinks the lawsuit is unfair, as he believes many businesses have similar names. His company’s name goes back 30 years to a store his parents ran in Mexico. Ramos explains that “Chon” is a nickname for a person named Concepcion.

“Our plan is just to fight,” Ramos said in a St. Cloud Times article. “It’s not just fighting for a name. It’s a dream. If we give up, it’s like you’re giving up your dream. And (America is) the land of dreaming.”

According to the complaint, Taco John’s learned about the Taco Chon name in January and sent a cease-and-desist letter in February, demanding Taco Chon stop using its name. The complaint said Taco John’s asked Ramos  to stop using the Taco Chon name. Ramos said he did receive a letter and spoke to a person on the phone who was speaking on behalf of Taco John’s. Ramos said he felt like the person was harassing him.

Taco John’s has 57 locations in Minnesota and 372 locations across the U.S., according to the complaint. Taco Chon’s has two locations both of the locations are both in Minnesota.

I was always dreaming to have a taco store here in Minnesota.”

— Juan Ramos