Badia Spices Wins $564k Verdict for Trademark Infringement of 'Complete Seasoning®' and 'Sazón Completa®' Brands

Author  Rixys Alfonso

MIAMI, November 7, 2018 (Newswire.com) - On Monday, Nov. 5, 2018, a federal jury in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida returned a verdict in favor of Miami-based Badia Spices, Inc., and against New Jersey-based Gel Spice Company, Inc., for trademark infringement of Badia’s brands “Complete Seasoning®” and “Sazon Completa®.” The jury found the infringement to be willful, awarded Badia $564,000, and determined that Badia’s trademarks are brands, not generic terms.

From a tiny garage in Miami’s Little Havana neighborhood, Badia introduced its signature product in 1969 under the brands “Complete Seasoning®” and “Sazon Completa®” and grew over the years to national success. The spice blend is sold across the United States and in more than 70 foreign countries. Badia owns federal trademark registrations that have achieved incontestable status.

The case is Badia Spices, Inc. v. Gel Spice Company, Inc., Case No. 1:15-cv-24397-MGC, United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida.  Badia was represented in trial by Oliver Ruiz, Meredith Mendez, and John Cyril Malloy III of Malloy & Malloy, P.L., a Miami-based intellectual property law firm. Gel was represented by Ronald Coleman and Joel MacMull of Mandelbaum Salsburg P.C., a national law firm, and Mark Stein, as local counsel.

“These are our signature brands that our customers know us by, so we have to protect them. I have no problem with fair competition, call it Sazon Suprema or something else, but we are the only Complete Seasoning® and Sazon Completa®,” said Joseph “Pepe” Badia, president.

Oliver Ruiz (lead trial counsel for Badia): “Our client spent decades building these brands through hard work, the owner having filled bottles by hand and making deliveries himself, so it was very personal that the defendant claimed the trademarks should be canceled as generic. We were pleased to see the jury return a resounding verdict that acknowledged the strength of our client’s brands, with a finding of willfulness and an award of punitive damages against the defendant.”

John Cyril Malloy, III (primary counsel for Badia): “Incontestable trademark registrations are no joke, and neither is a jury verdict. We have enforced these marks for Badia against the largest names in the industry and will continue to do so whenever necessary.”

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