— Eriq Gardner (@eriqgardner) December 14, 2015
You need me for this?
Ok. Let’s take a swing at it. Per Eriq:
Grumpy Cat, the feline who became an Internet sensation in 2012, has retained one of Hollywood’s most notable litigators in an intellectual property battle against a beverage company marketing such products as a branded iced-coffee beverage called “Grumpy Cat Grumppuccino.”
On Friday, attorney Marty Singer filed a lawsuit on behalf of Grumpy Cat Limited in California federal court. It begins, “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.”
According to the complaint, Grenade Beverage entered into an exclusive licensing agreement in 2013 to license the cat’s copyrights and trademarks for coffee products. Grumpy Cat was to get royalties as well as an advance, and the lawsuit alleges that additional product offerings would require further negotiations and approval.
But then came new “Grumpy Cat” branded roasted coffee ground products.
“Although, as required by the License Agreement, Defendants sought Plaintiff’s approval of use of the Licensed Properties in connection with the proposed roasted coffee ground product, Plaintiff never approved such use,” states the complaint. “Rather, Defendants were repeatedly told by Plaintiff (both in writing and verbally) that the Licensed Properties could not be used in connection with a roasted coffee ground product.”
I had Internet in 2012. Grumpy the Cat was a sensation? No, sorry. The Grumpy Cat.
Grumpy, the Cat.
This sounds really serious, and would explain why you would get a really notable litigator on the case. Look, an update!:
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.”
Not a single factual allegation?! That’s quite an accomplishment. How would you do that! Just verbs and adjectives and gerunds?
But this is a bigger accomplishment, and makes me understand how Marty Singer must have gotten to be so notable out there. Check out this screen grab from the complaint, courtesy of Eriq:
Oh you know you love it! A little Grumpy the Internet Sensation Emoticon baked right into the pleadings! Come on, smile! Smile!!!!
Oh, yeah, now, Eric did, to his credit, once ask the question, “Grumpy Cat Gets Movie Deal: Wait, Do Animals Have Likeness Rights? (Analysis).” I would not have thought the question so interesting or difficult, but all the power in the world to him for asking it and analyzing it. It would not seem to be at issue here because the defendant is a licensee, if I read this right, and would be estopped from asserting the defense, of course.
But to me, the grumpy emoticon pussycat in the pleadings takes this idiotic non-story dominating the interkittytubes from one more reason to contemplate the roof as we close in on the winter solstice to nothing less than a reason to live and live large for at least another sensational day!
Until I can kill again.