Fresh off her appearance at SXSW, Grumpy Cat is on her way to being trademarked.
If you’ve been on Reddit or Facebook over the past few months, you have surely seen Tardar Sauce, better known as Grumpy Cat, with her sour puss and sarcastic captions such as “I had fun once. It was awful.”
Well, her caretakers, brother and sister Bryan and Tabatha Bundesen, want to make sure that they alone have the legal right to control Grumpy Cat’s image and trademark, so they filed a trademark application in January of this year requesting protection for various merchandise including T-shirts, mugs, and cards.
The kitty in question made her Internet debut on Reddit on September 22, 2012 with a simple photo captioned “Meet grumpy cat.” Users quickly snagged the photo and added their own captions, and now Grumpy Cat has her own website and Facebook page — and you can even buy products featuring Grumpy Cat and her now famous frown. Grumpy Cat is a mixed breed, though she apparently “looks nothing like her mother or father.”
According to the United States Patent & Trademark Office, “[a] trademark or service mark includes any word, name, symbol, device, or any combination, used or intended to be used to identify and distinguish the goods/services of one seller or provider from those of others, and to indicate the source of the goods/services.”
While registering a trademark isn’t necessary, it does give trademark owners “several advantages, including notice to the public of the registrant’s claim of ownership of the mark, legal presumption of ownership nationwide, and exclusive right to use the mark on or in connection with the goods/services listed in the registration.”
Around here, we are certainly rooting for Grumpy Cat’s trademark application — we can’t wait to see her over-the-top, excited facial expression when she hears that her request has been granted.