Grumpy Cat wins $710,000 payout after copyright lawsuit

25 January 2018, 09:54

The world's most famous moody moggy has won a big payout after a court case - but she still won't smile.

Grumpy Cat and her permanent frown became a social media sensation after her picture was posted online in 2012.

A year later, her fame led to a deal with US coffee company Grenade Beverage LLC.

This gave Grenade Beverage the right to use the scowling feline's image to sell its Grumpy Cat Grumppuccino iced drink, but the cat's owner, Tabatha Bundesen, took the company to court alleging they had exceeded the contract's reach.

California's federal court heard that the cat's image had been used on other products.

According to the complaint in court papers: "Ironically, while the world-famous feline Grumpy Cat and her valuable brand are most often invoked in a tongue-and-cheek fashion, the defendants' despicable misconduct here has actually given Grumpy Cat and her owners something to be grumpy about."

The coffee business counter-sued, saying that Grumpy Cat and Ms Bundesen had not held up their end of the deal and had failed to mention the coffee chain's brand name enough on social media and in a TV appearance.

The jury backed Ms Bundesen and Grumpy Cat, however, awarding $710,000 (£498,000) in damages for copyright and trademark infringement, as well as a $1 nominal damage fee for breach of contract.

It is understood that Grumpy Cat was not in court for the verdict, although the six-year-old (real name Tardar Sauce) did make a brief appearance during the trial, earlier in January.

Grumpy Cat's lawyer David Jonelis, said he believed it was the first time an internet meme had won a court case.

He added: "We asked the jury what they thought was right and they came to the right conclusion."

Grumpy Cat has become a massive star since going global six years ago.

She has her own company and an extensive list of merchandise and has had cameos in films and on TV.

She also has 1.42 million followers on Twitter, 2.4 million on Instagram and almost nine million likes on Facebook.

Her owner Ms Bundesen, of Morristown, Arizona, was even able to quit her job as a waitress, thanks to her pet's earnings, according to the Hollywood Reporter.

There has been no reaction on the court victory from Grumpy Cat herself, except for a photo posted on social media.

Of course, she is frowning.