With the kind of enthusiasm usually reserved for unwanted houseguests, warm beer, or the announcement of season two of Marvel’s Inhumans, Grumpy Cat responded to her victory in a recent lawsuit. The feline took a breath, turned, and celebrated by continuing to make the exact same frowny face as always.
The legal matter itself was a bit more human in its focus, however. The BBC reports it stemmed from a copyright issue, in which Grumpy Cat Limited sued a coffee maker for exceeding an agreement made regarding the cat’s image. US company Grenade had struck a $150,000 deal to use the famous cat’s image to sell a “Grumppuccino” iced drink, finally realizing many Americans’ longstanding dream of imbibing something that reminded them of barfing up hairballs. But Grenade reportedly went beyond the limits of the agreement, selling other “Grumpy”-themed products, such as roasted coffee and t-shirts, leading to Grumpy Cat Limited suing for copyright infringement in 2015.
Grenade coffee barfed up its own legal counterclaims in return, with lawyers arguing that Grumpy Cat had not held up her end of the bargain, failing to mention the Grenade brand enough on social media and in media appearances. Grenade also tried to argue that the cat’s owners had said Grumpy Cat (real name Tardar Sauce, because this is the world we live in now) would star in a movie with Will Ferrell and Jack Black, and didn’t. To their credit, the judge in the California court refrained from saying, “Welcome to Hollywood, dumbass,” choosing instead to treat Grenade’s arguments like the kitty litter they were, allowing the federal jury to spray their own verdict across Grenade’s lawyers like so much territory-marking urine. Along with $710,000 in damages for copyright and trade infringement, the court issued “a $1 nominal damage fee for breach of contract.” Truly, that’s the kind of extra-degrading symbolic “fuck you” only a cat would appreciate.