Grumpy Cat cleans up coffee copyright claim

Emilio Banks
January 26, 2018

The coffee chain's owners countersued and said Grumpy Cat had not held up their end of the deal to promote the drinks on social media.

Grumpy Cat, real name Tardar Sauce, became a viral hit and popular meme on the internet due to the feline's unhappy looking face.

On Monday, Grumpy Cat and her owner Tabatha Bundesen were awarded $710,001 in court.

Grumpy Cat has since amassed hundreds of thousands of fans worldwide, sparking merchandise including plush versions of herself, clothes and her likeness on a coffee.

The cat is an internet celebrity who has appeared on television shows and commercials.

U.S. coffee company Grenade asked to use her image in 2013, and owner Tabatha Bundesen agreed after making Grumpy Cat Limited.

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The judge sided with Grumpy Cat, telling Grenade to pay $710,001 in damages, according to court documents.

In 2015, however, Grenade launched "Grumpy Cat Roasted Coffee", which Grumpy Cat Limited said was not a part of their agreement. The gloomy face is said to be caused by feline dwarfism and an underbite.

She became so popular that Bundesen, her owner, quit her waitressing job to found Grumpy Cat Limited.

As an example, the countersuit stated that Grumpy Cat Limited claimed the unhappy cat would star in a blockbuster movie alongside comedy superstars Will Ferrell and Jack Black. Grenade says Grumpy Cat's product manager "misrepresented the movie" so it would sign the deal.

She also has 1.42 million followers on Twitter, 2.4 million on Instagram and nearly nine million likes on Facebook.

Grumpy Cat has made several appearances since 2012. The cat's photo was uploaded by the cat owner's brother on Reddit. The cat's lawyer, however, noted that "Grumpy Cat feels vindicated and feels the jury reached a just verdict".

Other reports by TheSundaySentinel

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