In a legal development that could only occur in this age of Internet, social media, and memes, Grumpy Cat is at the center of a lawsuit over a beverage company using the cantankerous kitty's name. Grumpy Cat Ltd., which owns the rights to the sourpuss's likeness, is suing a company called Grenade Beverage LLC, which produces Grumpy Cat-branded roasted coffee, reports Consumerist.
Grumpy Cat Ltd. gave Grenade permission to market a line of iced coffee called "Grumpy Cat Grumppuccino," according to the lawsuit filed before a U.S. District Court in California. But, Grenade allegedly has overstepped the agreement and used the name on other coffee products, as well. That doesn't sit right with Grumpy Cat Ltd., which calls the conduct "unlawful and inexplicable" in the suit. Grenade sought approval for use of the name for its roasted coffee, but it wasn't granted, and the company went ahead with Grumpy Cat beans anyway.
Grumpy Cat Ltd. is seeking damages "proximately caused by the defendants' unlawful use of the domain name, or, in the alternative, statutory damages of $100,000." In a lawsuit that could only be filed in 2015, the final line of the court document reads, "Plaintiff Grumpy Cat Limited respectfully requests a jury trial on all triable issues set forth in this complaint." That's right, the planet's most famous frowning feline respectfully requests a jury trial. He no doubt wishes for simpler times when his biggest concern was starring in a cereal commercial.
Update: December 14, 8 p.m. Paul Sandford, a partner in Grenade and one of the named defendants, denies any wrongdoing. "Can't comment other than to say there isn't a single factual allegation contained in the entire complaint, not one," Sandford said in an email to Eater. "Stay tuned."
Grumpy Cat Ltd. did not immediately responded to a request for comment. See the initial court filing below.