Grumpy Cat Sues Beverage Co. for Copyright Infringement
Grumpy Cat Ltd., owner of the Grumpy Cat trademark, has filed a copyright infringement suit against Grenade Beverage LLC alleging the company failed to pay for the sales of authorized merchandise and sold additional unauthorized branded products. Grumpy Cat Ltd. v. Grenade Beverage LLC, No. 15-2063 (C.D. Cal., filed December 11, 2015). “Ironically,” the complaint states, “while the world-famous feline Grumpy Cat and her valuable brand are most often invoked in a tongue-and-cheek fashion, Defendants’ despicable misconduct here has actually given Grumpy Cat and her owners something to be grumpy about.”
Grumpy Cat agreed to license its trademark to Grenade for use in relation to “a line of Grumpy Cat-branded coffee products,” which the complaint asserts was mutually understood to mean a line of iced-coffee beverages called the “Grumpy Cat Grumppuccino.” Grumpy Cat alleges that it later learned Grenade also planned to produce a line of roasted coffee grounds products associated with the Grumpy Cat mark, a use of the mark that Grumpy Cat says it did not approve. The beverage company further began producing unauthorized Grumppucino T-shirts, the complaint alleges, and it obtained the rights to the “www.grumpycat.com” domain and refuses to surrender it. Grumpy Cat alleges claims of copyright infringement, trademark infringement, trademark dilution, cybersquatting and breach of contract and seeks injunctions, treble damages, and accounting of profits and a transfer of the web domain.