McCormick & Company, creator of Old Bay® seasoning, files a trademark infringement lawsuit against Primal Palate for their “New Bae” blend
From offering protein bars to salad dressings and everything edible in between, companies are seeking to provide healthier, Paleo-friendly options for consumers. One such company is Pittsburgh-based Primal Palate, which offers organic spice blends with a focus on ingredient quality and transparency. Primal Palate’s latest, Instagram-friendly blend, New Bae, has earned them plenty of new fans—as well as a lawsuit for trademark infringement from McCormick & Company, the brand behind the beloved, 18-herb-and-spice blend Old Bay®.
In November 2017, as Primal Palate was attempting to register New Bae as a “trademarked organic spice,” McCormick filed its opposition to the younger company’s patent application. It then sent Primal Palate a cease-and-desist letter when, in April 2018, New Bae rolled out onto store shelves.
“Bae” in this case refers to a millennial term of endearment meaning “before anyone else.” The husband-and-wife founders of Primal Palate were quick to assert that the name and new blend were also loving nods to Old Bay®, but McCormick is demanding that Primal Palate pull it from the market as well as forward all profits to McCormick, asserting that New Bae is too similar to their own seasoning.
Initially, Primal Palate requested a conversation with McCormick without attorneys present, in hopes of settling the issue out of court, but their request was denied. They later requested specific information from McCormick showing evidence of consumers’ confusion over the differences between the two seasoning blends, a request which was also declined. Primal Palate has subsequently decided to fight the lawsuit.