An early report by Chris Moran on Consumerist.com about the trademark infringement suit filed by Grumpy Cat Limited against Grenade Beverage shared the opening language of the document filed with a United States federal court in December:
“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.”
A photo and a cartoon image of Grumpy Cat are indeed on file with United States Copyright Office. Grenade Beverage had already licensed the cartoon image for a line of iced-coffee beverages called “Grumpy Cat Grumppuccino.” However, according to the complaint, Grumpy Cat Ltd. did not authorize use for other products and sent email to Grenade Beverage asserting that in November of 2015. The plaintiffs are claiming damages totaling close to a quarter of a million dollars.