Cat wins $700000 in lawsuit over company's use of feline in advertising

26 January, 2018, 02:40 | Author: Miranda Cannon
  • This scowl is worth $100 million

At issue was beverage company Grenade's use of Grumpy Cat's likeness.

It will not put a smile on her notoriously pouty face but Grumpy Cat, the feline who became an Internet meme and a hugely lucrative brand, has just won US$710,000 (S$930,000) in court.

The famous cat, whose real name is Tardar Sauce, saw his company Grumpy Cat Limited reach a deal with Grenade Beverage back in 2013.

A court document showed the jury sided with Bundsen, awarding her $710,001. Grumpy Cat's Facebook page has attracted 8.7 million followers and boasts an Instagram of a couple million more.

A lawyer representing Grumpy Cat said that the jury's verdict could set a legal precedent. "It's the first verdict ever rendered in favor of a viral meme", David Jonelis told The Wrap, adding that "memes have rights too". But the company later filed a lawsuit against the coffee company because they used her image in other products, including t-shirts.

The legally struck a deal to market "Grumpy Cat Grumppuccino", by then went further and started to sell "Grumpy Cat Roasted Coffee" as well.

The cat's perpetually sad and unique expression is said to be caused by feline dwarfism and an underbite - when the lower jaw extends forward. Grenade says Grumpy Cat's product manager "misrepresented the movie" so it would sign the deal.

She has travelled the world making television appearances and in 2014, the cat even starred in her own Christmas film.

Although the coffee was promoted with the phrase "the flawless candidate to turn your frown upside down!", Grumpy Cat Limited sued the Sandfords for breach of contract.

The Sandfords also claimed Grumpy Cat Limited had sabotaged the launch of the iced coffee through badly timed and inadequate social media posts, and during TV appearances. She now has over two million followers on Instagram. "They are like Grumpy Cat".



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