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UT Says Hook 'Em Horns Doughnuts Are a Trademark Violation

The hand signal baked good deemed illegal

Donut Taco Palace I
Donut Taco Palace I
Angel S./Yelp

Donut Taco Palace I was home to the legendary Longhorn Donut—until last month when a law firm representing the University of Texas sent a cease and desist letter claiming the glazed homage was in violation of the "Longhorn Marks."

On July 19, Donut Taco Palace’s owner Angel Seng received a letter citing the violation of trademark rights in relation to the shop’s Hook ’Em Horns hand-shaped doughnut, as reported by Longhorn blog Hook 'Em.The letter went on to insist the appropriate steps be taken to discontinue sales of the doughnut and refrain from any other uses of the university’s marks.

The words "longhorn(s)" are protected marks (e.g. the non-negotiable property) of the university as it is the owner of all the rights, title and interest of trademarks, service marks, trade names, designs, logos, seals and symbols, accordingly to University of Texas.

For now, the novelty treat continues to be sold under the new name El Toro. It is available Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays for $2 a piece. Donut Taco Palace introduced its signature doughnut in 2012 after a customer requested it.

Donut Taco Palace also sells kolaches, croissants, coffee, and yes, tacos. Other hand-shaped doughnuts include a peace symbol, an "I love you", a thumbs-up, and by special request, the middle finger. To date, there are no reports of Texas alumni ordering the latter for their alma mater in protest.

The Donut Taco Palace II, located on Slaughter Lane, is no longer affiliated with Donut Taco Palace I and reported it no longer make the Longhorn doughnut.