- Cindy Ord/Getty Images for SiriusXM
- Grumpy Cat, star of a thousand memes, won a lawsuit against a coffee company that misused her images.
- Grenade Beverage paid to use her images on iced coffee products, but went further and launched a roasted coffee product without permission.
- A court in California found in Grumpy Cat’s favour and ordered a huge payout.
Internet celebrity Grumpy Cat should have a reason to smile now – she’s just won $710,000 (£498,000) in a lawsuit.
Grumpy Cat Limited, a company formed by owner Tabatha Bundesen, was awarded $710,001 in damages after a coffee company breached the terms of a deal to use the cat on its products.
Grenade Beverage, a Californian coffee company, had paid $150,000 (£105,000) to launch one Grumpy-themed drink, but overstepped the mark by launching a second, the Washington Post reported.
The legally struck a deal to market “Grumpy Cat Grumppuccino,” by then went further and started to sell “Grumpy Cat Roasted Coffee” as well.
Here are marketing photos of both products:
A court in Santa Ana, California ordered Greande’s owners, father and son Nick and Paul Sandford, to pay the damages after ruling that they’d breached Grumpy Cat Limited’s copyright by making the extra product.
Grumpy Cat Limited said in its 2015 complaint: “Ironically, while the world-famous feline Grumpy Cat and her valuable brand are most invoked in a tongue-and-cheek fashion, Defendants’ despicable conduct here has actually given Grumpy Cat and her owners something to be grumpy about.”
- Larry French/Getty Images for Madame Tussauds
Grumpy Cat – real name Tardar Sauce – first found fame in 2012 after photographs of her famous scowl went viral and launched a thousand memes, like this one:
— Media Godzilla (@MediaGodzilla) May 27, 2014
She became so popular that Bundesen, her owner, quit her waitressing job to found Grumpy Cat Limited.
While the company’s current profits remain unknown, it was worth $1 million within the first year of its existence, New York Magazine reported.
Grumpy Cat’s face has since been printed on fan merchandise like shirts, mugs, and phone cases, on ads for cat food company Friskies, and immortalised as a wax figure at Madame Tussauds in major cities like London, San Francisco, and Washington DC.
Even former President Barack Obama knows who she is. While describing Republicans to a Democratic National Committee conference in 2015, he said: “They are gloomy. They are like Grumpy Cat.”