Grumpy Cat has become somewhat of a household name thanks to his immortalization in the world of memes, and the subsequent virality. The animal’s popularity become a lucrative business for its owner, who is said to have made profits into the millions. She has now won a bitter legal battle stemming from 2015, after a beverage company used Grumpy Cat’s name and image for an unlicensed range.
After enormous unexpected popularity on the Internet, the owner of Grumpy Cat, Tabatha Bundesen, quit her job at Red Lobster in order to found Grumpy Cat Limited, a company that would go on to capitalize on the worldwide attention of the animal. There’s been everything from clothing lines, mugs, and books — one of which became a New York Times bestseller. In its peak, the animal even appeared on primetime TV chat shows.
But one particular business deal soon turned sour. In 2013, Grumpy Cat Limited struck a deal with Grenade Beverage Company to sell a series of iced coffees by the name of “Grumpy Cat Grumppuccino.” All was well, until the emergence of a “Grumpy Cat Roasted Coffee” line appeared in 2015. The latter hadn’t been agreed in the original deal, leading Bundesen and Grumpy Cat Limited to file a lawsuit. It’s believed Grenade also wasn’t paying the percentages of profits that had been agreed.
Grenade had retaliated with a countersuit, alleging Grumpy Cat had broken their deal by failing to promote the iced coffee. Lawyers for Grenade allured to the fact the cat had “only posted about the iced coffee 17 times on social media.”
Grumpy Cat herself even made an appearance at the week-long trial. Her venture out was worthwhile, as court documents now show an eight-person jury awarded Grumpy Cat Limited $710,000 in damages on Monday.
[via The Washington Post]