Remember the Endless Taco Bell Chihuahua Lawsuit? Kamala Harris' Husband Won It. Soon-to-be second gentleman Doug Emhoff put the final kibosh on a decade-long legal battle over the famous commercial mascot.

By Entrepreneur Staff

entrepreneur daily
Mark Makela | Getty Images

In Vice President-elect Kamala Harris, the country is getting many firsts. She will be the first woman — and the first woman of color, born to a Jamaican father and Indian-American mother — to hold the office. And with her we'll get our first "second gentleman," in the form of her husband, entertainment lawyer Doug Emhoff.

Harris was set up on a blind date with Emhoff in 2013, four years after he won a high-profile case that centered around the tiny dog best known for barking, "Yo quiero Taco Bell!"

The case centered around whether Taco Bell broadcast the chihuahua campaign without compensating Joseph Shields and Thomas Rinks, who claimed to have created the now-famous "Psycho Chihuahua" character. In 1996, Shields and Rinks — on behalf of their small Michigan-based agency Wrench co. — were purportedly in talks with Taco Bell about developing a series of ads around the cartoon canine, but Taco Bell ultimately took the idea and ran it over to ad agency TBWA\Chiat\Day, who carried it over the finish line. Shields and Rinks sued, and won $42 million from the fast-food chain in 2003.

Taco Bell, in turn, sued TBWA, which is where Emhoff came in. He represented TBWA, who successfully argued that the plaintiff should be solely responsible for footing the bill.

Despite how pervasively the pup imprinted on our pop culture zeitgeist, the campaign actually didn't help Taco Bell sell tacos, so they retired it in 2000. Still, the high-profile case gave Emhoff's career quite the boost, and couldn't have hurt as conversation fodder on his eventual first date with a certain California attorney general.

Related: Kamala Harris Makes History as First Female American Vice President

Entrepreneur Staff

Entrepreneur Staff

Editor

Want to be an Entrepreneur Leadership Network contributor? Apply now to join.

Editor's Pick

Related Topics

Starting a Business

This Retiree's Leisurely Side Hustle Makes $66,000 a Year and, 'You Don't Even Need to Go to High School to Do It'

Barbara Hill wanted a flexible, part-time job that would transition well into retirement. Now she mentors younger people who are making over $200,000 a year. Here's her insider's guide to getting started.

Business News

HP Wants You to 'Never Own A Printer Again,' Launches Rental Subscription

In February, HP's CEO Enrique Lores stated that making printing a subscription service was the company's "long-term objective."

Business Ideas

55 Small Business Ideas to Start in 2024

We put together a list of the best, most profitable small business ideas for entrepreneurs to pursue in 2024.

Marketing

The Miley Cyrus Approach To Marketing — Why It's a Radically Different Method For Achieving Brand Impact

In case you missed it, Miley Cyrus recently won her first Grammy. In her acceptance speech, she told a story that is a great learning lesson for business owners and marketers alike, especially those who find themselves burned out and exhausted in this current environment.