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Consumer Reports

Tiny dog costs Taco Bell big | (KRT) Dinky, the Chihuahua who led the taco revolution, has taken another bite out of "the Bell."

A federal judge ordered Taco Bell on Thursday to pay an additional $11.8 million in interest to the two Michigan men who created the idea of the talking dog, which was best known to TV viewers for uttering, "Yo quiero Taco Bell."

The award brings the total verdict against the Mexican fast-food chain to about $42 million, said Doug Dozeman, an attorney with Grand Rapids, Mich.-based Warner, Norcross & Judd, which represented Joseph Shields and Thomas Rinks.

Dozeman said Shields and Rinks have not decided what they will do with the total award, which could be delayed at least two years in appeals.

"We still believe the Chihuahua character was independently created," said Taco Bell spokeswoman Laurie Schalow.

She said the company intends to appeal the $30.2-million verdict awarded in June and the $11.8 million in interest. Louisville, Ky.-based Yum! Brands Inc., which owns Taco Bell, said it will seek reimbursement from its insurance carriers if its appeal fails.

A jury determined Taco Bell had stolen the idea of Dinky.

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