Grumpy Cat's owners taking coffee maker to court over copyright infringements

By Matthew Dunn

The company ignored requests, so Grumpy Cat's owners are now asking a California federal court for $828,040 in damages.
The company ignored requests, so Grumpy Cat's owners are now asking a California federal court for $828,040 in damages.

The internet loves a good animal meme, but none have taken the web by storm quite like Grumpy Cat.

After the displeased feline's facial expression went viral, the owners were quick to capitalise and make some serious money with successful merchandise lines.

One such product was the "Grumppuccino" iced coffee from Grenade Beverage.


According to TorrentFreak, the Californian company licensed the copyright and trademarks to sell the product, but things went sour after it started selling other "Grumpy Cat" branded products.

The cat's owners, incorporated as Grumpy Cat LLC, took Grenade Beverage to court last year in an attempt to get the coffee maker to cease infringing associated copyrights and trademarks.

The company ignored requests, so Grumpy Cat's owners are now asking a California federal court for NZ$828,040 in damages.

Many of the allegations from last year's case have been repeated in the new motion.

"Not only was the Infringing Product never approved by Plaintiff under the License Agreement, but the packaging and marketing materials for the Infringing Product, as depicted in the example below, primarily and exclusively incorporate Plaintiff's exclusive intellectual property, including the Grumpy Cat Copyrights and the Grumpy Cat Trademarks," the motion reads.


Despite the coffee maker removing its website and social media accounts, Grumpy Cat LLC is still seeking statutory damages for four different copyright claims.

With each claim asking for the maximum of NZ$207,010 in damages, the cat's owners stand to receive NZ$828,040 if successful.

In a hope to affirm they are the rightful owner of various Grumpy Cat coffee-related trademarks and copyrights, defendants Paul and Nick Sandford filed a counterclaim.

- news.com.au

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