Benjamin Appelbaum, Attorney at Law

Grumpy Cat owners claim trademark law infringement

Copyright, patent infringements and other legal issues regarding intellectual property or hard copy products are matters frequently addressed in courtrooms in New Jersey and others throughout the nation. A recent trademark law battle remains ongoing between two entities. The owners of Grumpy Cat Limited claim that Grenade Beverages  has violated terms of an agreement in a dispute over products sold under the "Grumpy Cat" brand name.

Owners of Grumpy Cat Limited have reportedly profited more than $100 million in just two years with merchandise and products associated with their celebrity cat, "Tardar Sauce," who is adored by millions of fans. The company apparently entered an agreement with Grenade Beverages, granting limited rights to use of its copyright and trademark. The beverage company was permitted to develop a line of coffee products using the Grumpy Cat name.

The contract stipulates an intended exchange of royalties, as well as further use of intellectual property upon approval of Grumpy Cat owners. Those owners have now filed a federal lawsuit against the beverage company, asserting that it has breached the agreement by developing a new line of products using the Grumpy Cat name without approval. The plaintiffs have claimed damages amounting to approximately $250,000.

Among damages claimed in the trademark law dispute are profits earned from illegal use of a product, various intellectual property infringements and exploitation of a domain name. Willful copyright infringement and trademark counterfeiting are criminal offenses under federal law. An intellectual property lawyer in New Jersey would typically be able to clarify such issues and offer sound legal counsel to those with questions or concerns regarding theft of intellectual property.

Source:, "Media and Entertainment Law: Grumpy Cat gets into an IP Spat", Dec. 21, 2015

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Benjamin Appelbaum, Attorney at Law - Intellectual Property

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