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The creators of the popular Nyan Cat and Keyboard Cat Internet memes are suing Scribblenauts series publisher Warner Bros. and developer 5th Cell for including the famous felines. The two cats first appeared in the original DS Scribblenauts in 2009, and have been featured in each game up to and including the most recent Scribblenauts Unlimited.
Meme creators are rarely mentioned when these images and videos go viral, but both of the humorous cats have trademarks filed for them. Charles Schmidt is the creator of the Keyboard Cat video, and Christopher Orlando Torres made the animated Nyan Cat gif. However, neither filed trademarks until 2010, the year after Nyan Cat and Keyboard Cat were first included in 2009’s Scribblenauts.
"For the past three years, WB, along with game developer 5th, have knowingly and intentionally infringed plaintiffs' copyrights and trademarks by using Nyan Cat and Fatso's image in WB's top selling Scribblenauts games," says the court document.
Schmidt and Torres haven't specified an amount of damages they are seeking, choosing to leave it up to the courts upon presentation of the proof. However, their filing requests punitive damages and treble damages, which would effectively triple the normal court award in a case like this.
They are also seeking injunctive relief, which could have a material impact on WB and 5th Cell continuing to sell copies of the games containing these two trademarks.While it lacks specifics on dollar amounts, the document does list all nine claims filed by Schmidt and Torres:
[Source: IPtrademarkattorney, thanks to Robert for the news tip]
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Keyboard cat looks more like a dog .-.!
Jeez, this is horrible. They're stupid memes. They weren't sapping any funds from the dudes. Why is this even a thing?
Alright... it sounds like they're a little too late to the party.
Is this a joke??cause if it is ,it's not funny and it's just plain dumb
Thank goodness you didn't actually invent something useful
Oh my God.The only reason these idiot memes are popular in the first place is because people would paste them all over the place. Now they are punishing the very thing that made them famous. IDIOTS!!!!!!!!!
'damages' oh of course, more idiotic lawsuits
Things like this are one of the many things wrong with our society. You get burned when you spill hot coffee on yourself? Sue. You spent money on something and didn't like it? Sue. You make a stupid internet video/meme that doesn't really contribute anything to society except for maybe a few seconds of the giggles and somebody references it somewhere else? Sue.
Alright well it look like someone should WB about trademarks
Let's not forget Family Guy and the Simpsons.
But I think the cartoon shows are safe; you're allowed to use copyrighted material without permission so long as it's a parody. I think it's called 'fair use'.