The company behind the famous crab topper has filed a lawsuit against the new spice maker.

By Marisa Spyker
December 14, 2018
The Washington Post/Getty

For many shellfish lovers, a crab feast isn’t a crab feast without a few shakes of the crustacean’s longtime other half, Old Bay.

But the arrival of a new seafood seasoning is stirring up some controversy for the decades-old spice brand. McCormick, the Baltimore-based company behind Old Bay, filed a lawsuit against Pittsburgh-based Primal Palate recently, claiming trademark infringement on a new spice blend dubbed “New Bae Seasoning.”

According to the Washington Post, the new spice blend was first announced in 2017 with an acknowledgement that the name was “a terrible pun.” The brand’s founders, a husband-and-wife team, say New Bae isn’t a replication of Old Bay at all, but rather a paleo, organic tribute to the beloved seafood seasoning.

Related: How to Eat a Crab:

Unlike Old Bay, which maintains a top secret recipe (though celery salt, pepper, and paprika are in there), all of New Bae’s ingredients are listed on the jar. That includes a tasty mix of paprika, ancho chili powder, cayenne, cardamom, and allspice, among other things. Aside from the punny name and somewhat similar color, the similarities stop there (the packaging is, indeed, completely different than Old Bay’s iconic tin shaker).

Related: What's Really in Old Bay Seasoning?

Still, McCormick maintains that the name—coupled with slogans Primal Palate has used, according to the suit, such as “Out with the Old, and in with the NEW”—is reason enough for dismissal of the new seasoning. If Old Bay wins, they’re asking not only that Primal Palate stop producing New Bae Seasoning, but that all remaining products be destroyed and that all profits made from the spice be turned over to McCormick.

Will Old Bay claw their way to victory? We’ll just have to wait and see.

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