Grumpy Cat, the feline Internet sensation, had people lining up for hours to see her at the recent South by Southwest Conference. And her owners aren’t taking any chances over Grumpy Cat’s intellectual property rights. They have filed for U.S. trademark protection for Grumpy Cat.
Grumpy Cat’s real name is Tardar Sauce. By all accounts she is a sweet-tempered cat but has a naturally sourpuss expression on her face. She is owned by Tabatha and Bryan Bundesen, sister and brother, of Arizona and Ohio.
She became an overnight sensation after one of the owners posted her picture on Reddit.com under the title “Meet grumpy cat.” Fans took to her grumpy expression — and ran with it, sharing pictures of her all over the Web often with funny captions.
Pretty soon Grumpy Cat had a website, a Facebook Fan page, and a store selling merchandise. She’s appeared on the Today Show. Just recently she landed a Friskies cat food commercial.
The trademark application is on public file at the USPTO.gov website. Grumpy Cat’s trademark application covers such things as mobile phone cases, videos, greeting cards, coffee mugs and T-shirts. Under the trademark application, the owners seek protection for the name “Grumpy Cat” and her image. One trademark document features a picture of her and refers to the distinctive feature of her mouth being “in a frown.”
The trademark application was filed in January 2013 by trademark attorney Kia Kamran on behalf of Grumpy Cat Incorporated of Ohio, a company set up by the owners. According to Paid Content, ”Kamran, who also represents Mike Tyson, says he hasn’t filed any Grumpy Cat lawsuits yet, but probably will soon in response to the ‘current wave of infringers that are popping up.’ He adds that, while he’s sensitive to the cultural dimensions of internet memes, he’s had to take action on behalf of other clients, Nyan Cat and Keyboard Cat.”
Hmm, maybe we should apply for a trademark on Small Biz Cat (@SmallBizCat on Twitter), our unofficial mascot here at Small Business Trends.
Image credit: Reddit