The value of internet celebrity is hard to assess, but a new motion filed by the owners of the animal star known as Grumpy Cat seeks to do just that. In it, the holders of the “GRUMPY CAT” trademark have asked a court to triple a requested $US600,000 ($798,195) award over alleged copyright infringement of a goddamn cat.
The source of the dispute is a licensing deal Grumpy Cat Limited entered back in 2013 with Grenade Beverage to sell “Grumppuccino”-branded iced coffee. According to the lawsuit, the California beverage company subsequently went rogue. From Venture Beat:
However, Grenade allegedly went beyond that agreement and started selling Grumpy Cat Roasted Coffee. In addition, Grumpy Cat claims that Grenade failed to provide an accounting of sales and profits and failed to pay a percentage of Grumppuccino profits, as well as selling unauthorised Grumppuccino T-shirts.
Grumpy Cat says it is owed $150,000 [$AU199,549] for four violations and added that the amount should be tripled, under laws for copyright violations. In addition, the company wants all profits from Grumpy Cat-related products that were sold by Grenade, plus $15,000 [$AU19,955] in legal fees.
Speaking to Mashable last year, defendant Paul Sandford said that Grumpy Cat Limited’s complaint didn’t offer “a single fact” in its causes of action. With that in mind, here are three facts that all parties involved ought to consider:
- In a just world, the rights to a cat’s appearance would only belong to that animal and God himself.
- With permission or without, expanding the spread of Grumpy Cat merchandise should be a gaolable offence.
- Anyone who buys coffee because they like a cat from online has no business consuming any sort of stimulant.
In the end, there’s really only one innocent here: The cat herself, who — like us — never asked for any of this.