The owners of Instagram-famous Grumpy Cat won big when they sued Grenade Beverage for copyright and trademark infringement.
Grumpy Cat is officially the richest feline in America. The cat’s signature frowning face has become so famous on Instagram that a coffee company, Grenade Beverage, made a deal with the cat’s owners to use her face on its “Grumppuccino” drink. But the plan backfired when Grumpy Cat Limited sued for copyright infringement—and won the case for $710,000.
The rich kitty whose real name is Tardar Sauce, became one of the most recognized cats online back in 2012 when pictures of his sour pout were discovered online. Today, Grumpy Cat, who is 6-years-old, is now a meme for just about any unfortunate circumstance in life.
Grenade Beverage liked the Catstagram so much that they made a deal with Grumpy Cat Limited to put Grumpy Cat’s face on its Grumppuccino iced drinks back in 2013, in hopes that they would fly off shelves.
But in 2015, Grumpy Cat Limited sued the coffee company for breach of contract. The contract only allowed for Grumpy Cat’s face to be used on the coffee bottles, but Grenade Beverage took things a step further and also sold roasted coffee and Grumppuccino T-Shirts too—without, apparently, seeking permission first.
While the coffee company countersued Grumpy Cat’s company, saying that the owners didn’t hold up their part of the deal that Grumpy Cat didn’t make enough social media appearances, a California federal jury sided with Grumpy Cat. The court ordered Grenade Coffee to pay $710,000 in damages.