Grumpy Cat Glamour Shot - © Paul Anderson via flickr

Grumpy Cat Wins Coffee Brand Lawsuit

Who among us has not seen a meme online featuring the likeness of the famous Grumpy Cat? And who among us has not wondered how much the iconic feline’s brand is worth? A recently-resolved lawsuit over the commercial use of Grumpy Cat’s likeness gives us an idea…

Grumpuccino - © Grenade BeverageAn online ad for Grenade Berverage’s Grumppuccino iced Coffee. That was all above board.
But using the same likeness of Grumpy on bagged ground Coffee products was not.

The famous Grumpy Cat – more specifically her company, Grumpy Cat LLC – has been awarded (US)$710 k by a California Judge in a dispute over the use of the cat’s picture on a commercial product without permission, The Washington Post reports.

The Grenade Beverage company did get permission to use Grumpy Cat’s puss on a specific cappuccino product – ‘Grumpy Cat Grumppuccino’ – but exceeded its bounds using the picture on bagged ground Coffee products as well.

Not that Grumpy Cat LLC doesn’t have a sense of humour. The original statement of claim contains the quote that Grenade’s, “despicable conduct here has actually given Grumpy Cat and her owners something to be grumpy about.”

Who is Grumpy Cat, anyway?

Her real name is Tardar Sauce, believe it or not, and she been around a few years, now, on the Net. There’s no public record of her earnings since she became a mega-meme star back in 2012, but it’s rumoured/estimated that her owner, Tabatha Bundesen of Morristown, Arizona, is now worth anywhere between (US)$1 million and (US)$100 million. Among the high points: Tardar was named official spokescat for Friskies pet food in 2013 and starred in a series of TV commercials.

Is she really all that grumpy?

A recent National Geographic feature story on the world’s cats suggests that Tardar Sauce may not really be the curmudgeon her owner lets on she is. In fact, the dour puss may merely be a champion exemplar of her breed: she is probably at least part Pallas’s Cat, an ancient breed that survives to this day, and has a built-in unhappy expression.

And why is this one-in-millions cat named Tardar Sauce? Might have something to do with the fact that her owner, Tabitha, was a server at Red Lobster before ‘Grumpy Cat’ went viral…

~ Maggie J.