Grumpy Cat wins €571k over company’s copyright breach
Coffee owners countersued and said Grumpy Cat had not held up deal to promote ‘Grumppucinos’
A cat that became an internet sensation because of her gloomy expression has won $710,000 (€571,000) in a copyright case.
Grumpy Cat, whose real name is Tardar Sauce, went viral due to her permanently moody face, which is thought to be caused by feline dwarfism and an underbite. Her popularity spawned a Christmas film, TV appearances and a range of merchandise including soft toys and clothing.
In the trial at California federal court Grumpy Cat Limited sued a US coffee company Grenade after they broke the terms of an agreement over the use of the cat’s image.
In 2013 Grenade’s owners struck a $150,000 (€120,000) deal to serve iced coffee beverages branded with the cat’s face called “Grumppucinos”. However, in a court filing Grumpy Cat’s owners said the coffee company had “blatantly infringed” their copyrights and trademarks when they began selling roasted coffee and Grumppucino T-shirts featuring the cat’s face.
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. They also complained they were told the cat would be appearing in a film alongside Will Ferrell and Jack Black, but this did not happen.
The judge ultimately sided with the cat, however, and ordered that the coffee company pay $750,000 in damages alongside a $1 nominal damage fee for breach of contract.
According to Courthouse News, the five-year-old cat was brought into court during the trial, but was not present for the verdict. –Guardian