Grumpy Cat Files Trademark Lawsuit Against Coffee Company

By Joseph Mandour on December 22, 2015

cat-lickingOrange County – As the queen of Internet cats, Grumpy Cat has won over the hearts of millions. Now she hopes to win over the court with a newly filed case. Her brand, Grumpy Cat Ltd., filed a lawsuit against Grenade Beverage LLC., in a California federal court on December 11, 2015.

Grenade Beverage licensed the copyright and trademarks to sell a Grumpy Cat “Grumppuccino” iced coffee beverage in 2013. The company also uses grumpycat.com as its website domain. Recently, Grenade Beverage began selling Grumpy Cat coffee beans.

Grumpy Cat Ltd., argues this violates the license agreement and that the sale of the coffee beans was not permitted under the agreement. They contacted Grenade multiple times, expressing the Grumpy Cat license did not allow the sale of coffee beans. Grenade decided to launch the coffee beans with the Grumpy Cat branding regardless of these claims, which prompted Grumpy Cat Ltd., to file the lawsuit.

The lawsuit has many claims against Grenade and its actions. First, the company brings forth multiple claims of copyright infringement through the sale of the coffee beans with the Grumpy Cat images. Second, the company argues trademark infringement and dilution. Third, the company argues cybersquatting by Grenade Beverage’s use of the grumpycat.com domain name. Fourth, the company argues breach of contract. Grumpy Cat Ltd. also argues they have not been given detailed accounting and royalty payments as was agreed upon in the contract. In summary, defendant’s misconduct has truly given Grumpy Cat and her owners something to be grumpy about.

Grumpy Cat Ltd. requests in the lawsuit that the court halt sales and require Grenade to pay damages, which could reach hundreds of thousands of dollars. The company also wishes to gain control of the grumpycat.com domain name, arguing the registration occurred under bad faith. This is not the first time the Grumpy Cat attempted to gain control over the domain name, and it has yet to be successful in its efforts.

Co-founder of Grenade Beverage Paul Sandford responded to the lawsuit saying, “There isn’t a single fact stated in any of the causes of action contained in that complaint.”

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