ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – An iconic scene in the sixth and final season of Better Call Saul has well-known tax prep company Liberty Tax Service suing the makers of the show, saying they ripped off their name and mascot. Immediately after the two-part season premiere aired in April, Liberty Tax Service thought it had a case. “We were frankly shocked at the similarities between not only the name but the logo, the imagery; what we call the trade dress, frankly,” said Liberty Tax Service’s representing attorney Peter Siachos, partner with Gordon & Rees.
The federal lawsuit filed in New York claims Better Call Saul ripped off the trademarked name, look, and an inflatable Statue of Liberty that many Americans associate with Liberty Tax Service simply by adding the word “sweet” in front of the name. “They chose liberty, they chose the patriotic imagery, they chose the Statue of Liberty, and Liberty Tax has a trademark that gives it an exclusive use of the Statue of Liberty icon connecting with tax preparation services,” said Siachos.
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In episode two of the final season, the tax shop is run by ex-cons who rip people off. The lawsuit alleges the depiction damages the 25-year-old company’s reputation. “The fact that con men are operating a tax preparation center and stealing the money from the elderly, stealing tax refunds from everyday folks who come in and get their tax returns done, and that is frankly shocking,” added Siachos.
Liberty Tax Service, which is also known for its workers dressed as lady liberty waving signs in the streets, has 2,500 locations, including a few in Albuquerque. A local Liberty Tax Service franchise owner says she thinks the publicity from the show isn’t all bad. “I think, in a way, it could be a really positive thing because people will identify us, and they’ll take a look at that show ‘Better Call Saul,’ and they’ll say ‘Oh, Liberty Tax… I want to get my taxes done there,’” said Liberty Tax Franchise Owner, Kate Regan.
KRQE News 13 reached out to the makers of the show, Sony Pictures, and the AMC network for comment, but did not hear back.