Viral pet even appeared at the trial
The viral cat nicknamed Grumpy Cat has won a lawsuit against a coffee company.
A picture of the feline – actual name Tardar Sauce – was first shared on Reddit in 2012 and went viral because of her feline dwarfism and underbite, which people thought made her look grumpy.
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.
US coffee company Grenade asked to use her image in 2013, and owner Tabatha Bundesen agreed after making Grumpy Cat Limited. After agreeing they could use her image on their ‘Grumpuccino’ iced drink, a deal that cost $150,000, they then made other products with her picture on them, including other coffees and T-shirts.
Grumpy Cat Ltd sued Grenade, claiming that the deal had been exceeded and copyright had been “blatantly infringed”. Grenade counter-sued, saying Grumpy Cat’s social media had not shared the company as much as they said they would, and the film Grumpy Cat was alleged to star in with Jack Black and Will Ferrell did not happen.
California jury found in favour of Grumpy Cat, awarding $701,000. Lawyer David Jonelis said: “I think, first of all, that it’s a just verdict. The jury followed the law and facts and reached a verdict that was justified based on the law and the facts.”
He continued, saying: “It’s nice that my client’s rights were vindicated on this. It was a hard-fought battle.”
Grumpy Cat appeared at the trial but was not present for the verdict.
Written by Carly-May Kavanagh