Surely, the cat famous for her endearing scowl is smiling a little bit right meow: This week, her owner won a copyright infringement case and was awarded $710,001.
Per an NPR report, the jury sided with Tabatha Bundesen in a suit against Grenade Beverage, the maker of Grumpy Cat Grumppuccino.
The origins of the case date back to 2013, when Bundesen and her company Grumpy Cat Limited partnered with Nick and Paul Sandford, owners of Grenade Beverage, to use Grumpy Cat’s likeness to market a line of iced coffee. The father-and-son team paid $150,000 in upfront royalties. But like the whip on a frappuccino, the partnership eventually went flat.
Grumpy Cat Limited sued Grenade Beverage for breach of contract, claiming that the beverage company used Grumpy Cat’s likeness for more than the agreed-upon iced coffee — for coffee grounds and T-shirts. Grenade Beverage countersued, claiming the cat company didn’t fulfill its end of the agreement to promote and support the coffee line and that the potential lost revenue totaled $12 million.
Specific grievances by the Sandfords include an early posting of the iced coffee bottle before Grenade Beverage felt it was ready for promotion; being distracted by the potential for a Grumpy Cat movie; and a national TV appearance, in which the Grumppuccino wasn’t properly promoted.
Apparently, the jury wasn’t convinced by the countersuit and sided with Grumpy Cat Limited for $710,000 for copyright infringement and $1 for breach of contract.
Courthouse News delivers a more-detailed report on the case, which includes that Grumpy Cat making an appearance at trial and the cat company’s lawyer, David Jonelis, stating about the decision, “Grumpy Cat feels vindicated and feels the jury reached a just verdict.”