Line up a container of McCormick & Co.’s trademark Old Bay seasoning next to a package of Florida-based spicemaker Badia Spices Inc.’s “Biscayne Bay Seafood Seasoning,” and you might think you’re seeing double.
At least, that’s the claim at the root of a federal trademark infringement lawsuit McCormick filed last week. The suit alleges Badia Spices deliberately copied the signature Old Bay packaging design and adopted a moniker that incorporates the word “bay” in order to benefit from the reputation associated with the Sparks-based spice giant’s brand.
The infringement has already been “widely observed” within the industry and mentioned in articles about the Biscayne Bay blend, according to the suit.
The allegations are perhaps best summed up by this quote, which is cited in the lawsuit and taken from a 2015 Miami Herald article about the rival brand: “There’s little doubt what popular brand of seafood spice [linking to an image of McCormick’s OLD BAY container] Badia is trying to remind consumers of with its Biscayne Bay label.”