KFC Being Sued for Using Spanish Version of “Finger-lickin’ Good”

  • Trademark Clearance

A Santa Ana, California taqueria is suing fast food chain KFC for using the phrase “para chuparse los dedos” — which translates to “to suck the fingers” or “to lick the fingers.” Taqueria El Amigo claims it has been using the slogan in its logo since 1988 and first registered it as a trademark in 2007.

KFC, part of Yum! Brands, owns several trademarks for variations of its familiar “It’s finger-lickin’ good” tagline and applied for a trademark for “para chuparse los dedo” in 2015 but the application was rejected by the USPTO. The company has used the Spanish phrase in marketing campaigns aimed at the Hispanic community, like this one:

A KFC spokesperson said the company is “confident that this lawsuit is meritless, and that our use of the Spanish version of our world famous slogan is appropriate.” You can view the court documents here.

Speaking of translations, this story jogged our memory of the skewed Chinese translation of KFC’s “finger-lickin’ good” slogan, which ended up meaning “eat your fingers off.” And then there’s American Airlines’ “Fly in Leather,” which translated into Spanish as “Fly naked,” and HSBC Banks’ “Assume Nothing” which was translated in many countries as “Do Nothing.” For your further amusement, check out this list of “10 Translated Slogans Gone Wrong.”