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PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — It’s the battle of the bays.
Old Bay seasoning maker McCormick and Company is suing Pittsburgh-based Primal Palate. The lawsuit alleges trademark infringement and other claims over their seasoning called “New Bae.”
“We were surprised to receive it because we filed for a trademark on New Bae back in November of last year,” said Bill Staley, co-owner of Primal Palate.
Bill and his wife, Hayley, own the business, headquartered on Freeport Road in O’Hara Township.
“When it was published, McCormick filed an opposition to it. We’ve been going through the process of working through that together — our legal team, their legal team,” Bill said.
The Staleys told KDKA not only did they want to resolve things without legal action, they are open to collaborating with McCormick, as they have with other brands.
“We would love to work with McCormick on a really supportive level. We don’t want to be arguing with them,” Hayley said.
The organic seasoning blends are sold in three packs with a theme. “New Bae” is part of the “Food Lovers” pack, with “Jerk” and “Amore.”
“We thought this is going to be the blend that they’re going to reach before anything else. And you know ‘BAE’, when used as a term of endearment, means Before Anyone Else,” Hayley said.
Primal Palate does business primarily online, with a focus on making healthy eating easier.
“We’re not trying to step on their toes. We’re not trying to make people think poorly of Old Bay or McCormick. We are just trying to give people an organic, healthy option for flavors that they love,” Hayley said.
The Staleys consider “New Bae” to be a nod to “Old Bay,” but don’t believe there is any competition between the brands.
“One of their big arguments is that we’re creating confusion between the brands. I just think from our perspective, I think that we should give a lot more credit to their consumers and ours that they’re all smart enough to know the difference,” Bill said.
Primal Palate has yet to formally respond to the lawsuit. KDKA requested an interview from the attorney who filed the lawsuit on behalf of McCormick and Company. We have not heard back.