Internet famous Grumpy Cat wins $1mil in lawsuit

goss 26/01/2018

Internet icon Grumpy Cat has won US$710,001 (NZ$962,000) in a lawsuit alleging a coffee company was improperly using its rights to her face, the Guardian reports.

The six-year-old snowshoe Siamese cat, officially called Tardar Sauce, is known worldwide for her trademark unamused expression.

She's been in a Christmas film and multiple TV shows and the business spawned by her fame has licensed her likeness for huge amounts of merchandise.

However, one licensing arrangement between Grumpy Cat Limited and coffee company Grenade soured when Grenade began using the likeness for more than they were allowed.

The company had been granted permission to use the cat's face for a drink called a Grumppucino after paying a US$150,000 fee.

However, Tardar Sauce's empire got angry when Grenade began selling Grumppucino-themed coffee beans and T-shirts.

Grumpy Cat Limited sued, citing "blatant copyright infringement", prompting a countersuit from Grenade alleging it was told the cat would appear in a film with Jack Black and Will Ferrell that never happened.

During the trial, Tardar Sauce was brought into the California courtroom, but she was not present for the judges verdict, according to Courthouse News.

Ultimately, the judge sided with the cat, saying Grenade needed to pay $710,000 in damages as well as a $1 nominal damage fee for breach of contract.