Legally Weird - The FindLaw Legal Curiosities Blog

Grumpy Cat Awarded $710K in Iced Coffee Licensing Suit

There's big, there's internet big, and then there's Grumpy Cat Grumppuccino big. The last of these may prove out of reach for America's cat-loving coffee drinkers, unfortunately. A California jury awarded $710,001 to Grumpy Cat Limited on Monday, pushing the owners of internet-sensation Grumpy Cat over the top in their lawsuit would-be cat coffee makers, and former business partners, Paul and Nick Sandford.

The Coffeemakers and the Cat

Paul and Nick Sandford, father and son, thought they'd hit upon the next big thing. Coffee... but with Grumpy Cat's face on the cup. What could be better first thing in the morning, right?

The pair approached the owner of Grumpy Cat's rights and a deal was struck. In return for coughing up for the rights to Grumpy Cat's name and likeness, a new coffee empire would be born. There was even some talk of benefiting from a Grumpy Cat movie starring Will Ferrell and Jack Black.

I'd Be Grumpy Without Coffee Too

Yet in a tale familiar to contract students everywhere, the two sides' venture ended in litigation. Disputes arose over the extent of the coffee business agreement and the licensing rights obtained. Grumpy Cat's owners sued, claiming breach of contract and copyright and trademark infringements.

The extensive factual disputes between the parties brought the case before a jury, whose verdict for the internet-savvy cat side could have been predicted by much of social media.

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