Jim Astrachan on the Old Bay Packaging Trademark Dispute

Intellectual property lawyer Jim Astrachan spoke to The Daily Record about the trademark dispute involving a cannabis-themed parody sticker that resembles McCormick & Company’s Old Bay packaging. Read the article here.


James Astrachan, a partner at Goodell DeVries who represents clients in intellectual property and litigation, said this situation, if it were to go to court, would involve the traditional test of trademark infringement based on whether a likelihood of confusion exists.


“Where the message is parodic, that may figure in assessing whether or not there is a likelihood of confusion, because individuals are the ones that have to judge whether this particular product, they believe, came from McCormick’s or whether there was some association or a license or permission,” Astrachan said. “The fact that it’s a parody may give an appreciable number of consumers pause who may think, ‘no, we know this doesn’t come from McCormick.’ If that’s the case, there’s no prohibition because trademark law is about a likelihood of confusion.”