The internet-famous Grumpy Cat has just been awarded $710,000 (£498,000) after winning a lawsuit.
Grumpy Cat Limited, which is a company formed by owner Tabatha Bundesen, was awarded the money in damages after a coffee company ‘breached the terms of a deal’ to use the kitty – real name Tardar Sauce – on the packaging of its products.
The Californian coffee company, Grenade Beverage, had paid $150,000 (£105,000) to launch one Grumpy-themed drink, but then breached the terms when it launched a second, writes the Washington Post.
According to the report, it all started back in 2013, when Nick and Paul Sandford, the father-and-son owners of Grenade signed a ‘licensing deal’ with Grumpy Cat Limited to sell a range of iced coffees called ‘Grumpy Cat Grumppuccino’.
But two years down the line, the company started selling a line of ‘Grumpy Cat Roasted Coffee’ – which was not in the original deal, so a copyright lawsuit in federal court was issued.
The complaint read:
Ironically, 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 Limited also alleged Grenade was selling unauthorised Grumppuccino T-shirts which they said ‘blatantly infringe on the Grumpy Cat copyrights and Grumpy Cat trademarks’.
Grenade then hit Grumpy Cat Limited with a countersuit claiming they didn’t hold up their end the deal, which was to promote the iced coffee product.
They also told the court the owners had told them Tardar Sauce was going to be starring in a film alongside Will Ferrell and Jack Black, which was something that did not happen.
Tardar Sauce went viral in 2012 after photographs of her seemingly grump expression started circulating online – and everybody fell in love.
Photos were originally posted on the social media site Reddit by Tabatha’s brother, Bryan, and the cat’s photo started being used in memes.
Tardar’s expression is reported to be caused by a combination of feline dwarfism and an underbite.
Tardar has a manager, Ben Lashes, who also represents internet cat stars, Keyboard Cat and Nyan Cat (an animated cat).
Tabatha took a leave of absence from her day job as a waitress at a place called Red Lobster to manage Grumpy Cat’s schedule while Bryan manages the Grumpy Cat website, Facebook, YouTube and Twitter accounts.
Photo sessions are reportedly limited to just once a week, and handling by strangers is strictly limited.
Tardar has a whole range of merchandise, including books, calendars and cuddly toys. She has made numerous television appearances and has millions of followers on social media.
All that money for being a famous internet cat, madness.