Uh-oh. Grumpy Cat is involved in a lawsuit.
Grumpy Cat may have been given her moniker because of the permanent frown on her face, but now, we have a feeling she’s frowning on the outside and the inside.
It turns out that Grumpy Cat has an entire enterprise behind her, starting with Grumpy Cat Ltd. — the company that owns the rights to the feline’s likeness, name, and trademarks. In order to get to Grumpy Cat for your advertising needs, you have to get through Grumpy Cat Ltd. – which is what Grenade Beverage did when they wanted to use the cat’s name and face for their frozen coffee “Grumpuccino” drink.
According to People, things took a turn for the worse when Grenade allegedly began to use Grumpy Cat’s likeness for their coffee beans. The problem: they didn’t ask permission, which was part of their initial agreement. Even worse: Grumpy Cat Ltd. sent them an e-mail that specifically said they couldn’t go ahead with this additional line of products.
The result: a lawsuit.
To add a bit of confusion to the mix, Grenade has also been using the website http://www.grumpycat.com to sell their products. But the thing is, is that this is not Grumpy Cat’s official website. Her official website has an “s” in there, making it http://www.grumpycats.com. According to the lawsuit, Grenade has “been operating the Infringing Website for the purpose of furthering their unauthorized use and exploitation of the Grumpy Cat Copyrights and Grumpy Cat Trademarks. Despite repeated demands from Plaintiff to transfer and turn over the rights to the Infringing Website, Defendants have refused.”
And there’s more. Grumpy Cat Ltd. is accusing Grenade of withholding timely information about their sales and royalties, and selling unapproved t-shirts with Grumpy Cat’s face on them. Yikes.
In total, they’re taking Grenade to court for copyright infringement, trademark infringement and dilution, cybersquatting, and breach of Contract.
Grenade partner Paul Sanford (who is also one of the named defendants) gave Eater a brief statement regarding the lawsuit. “Can’t comment other than to say there isn’t a single factual allegation contained in the entire complaint, not one,” he wrote in an e-mail. “Stay tuned.”
While we have no idea if any of these claims are true, we have come to an important realization: Grumpy Cat is not to be messed with.
[Images via Twitter]