The are tons of internet celebrities, and quite a few of them are cats. However, the most famous internet cat of all time has to be Grumpy Cat. The cat's owners have made so much money thanks to the unique facial shape of their pet. What started as a few photos as turned into an empire of merchandise, movies, and the Grumpy Cat "Grumppuccino" iced coffee that is sold by Grenade Beverage in California.
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They have licensed the cat to sell the coffee, but it is not otherwise affiliated with the cat or the owners. Initially, this deal went well - but then the company started to sell other Grumpy Cat products. The owners, operating under Grumpy Cat LLC, took the matter to court last year.
Grenade Beverage failed to respond, so Grumpy Cat's owners moved into default - and a few day sago, they submitted a motion for the judgment.
A memorandum repeats the original claims:
“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 memorandum reads.
As of now, the website for Grumpy Coffee is offline. Their social media accounts went quiet some time ago. They are still responsible for their infringements. Each of their four copyright claims has a maximum of $150,000 in statutory damages.
“Here, the magnitude of Grenade’s willful infringement of Plaintiff’s Grumpy Cat Copyrights, willful disregard of this Court’s authority, and refusal to stop its blatant infringement renders Plaintiff entitled to a $150,000 statutory damages award for each of the Grumpy Cat Copyrights, in a total amount of $600,000,” the motion reads.
The proposed injunction is $600,000 in copyright damages.
Defendants Paul and Nick Sandford, Grenade Beverage, responded to the original complaint, filing a counterclaim, asking for declaratory judgments affirming that they are the rightful owner of various Grumpy Cat coffee-related trademarks and copyrights.