Warner Bros. and 5th Cell facing Keyboard Cat, Nyan Cat lawsuit

Publisher and developer targeted in Scribblenauts trademark infringement lawsuit from creators of memes.


The creators of Keyboard Cat and Nyan Cat have sued Scribblenauts developer 5th Cell and publisher Warner Bros., accusing the companies of using their memes without consent.

Image credit: Scribblenauts Wiki
Image credit: Scribblenauts Wiki

Attorneys for Charles Schmidt (Keyboard Cat) and Christopher Orlander Torres (Nyan Cat) filed a trademark infringement lawsuit against the companies at the end of April, according to a description of the case from the Los Angeles IP trademark blog (via Eurogamer).

The Keyboard Cat and Nyan Cat memes appeared in various Scribblenauts games, including the 2009 original DS game, 2010's Super Scribblenauts, 2011's Scribblenauts Remix, and 2012's Scribblenauts Unlimited.

Schmidt and Torres claim they never gave Warner Bros. and 5th Cell license or authorization to use Keyboard Cat and Nyan Cat in the games. The plaintiffs accuse the companies of "shamelessly" using the material to promote and market the Scribblenauts titles and are seeking unspecified damages.

Notably, Schmidt and Torres did not submit trademark applications for Keyboard Cat and Nyan Cat until after the first Scribblenauts game was released, which could hurt the pair's case.

The case is Schmidt, et al. v. Warner Bros. Entertainment, Inc., CV13-02824 JFW (C.D. Cal. CV13-02824). For more, check out the complaint in full.

A Warner Bros. representative was not immediately available to comment.

The next Scribblenauts game is rumored to be a DC Comics superhero game that could be announced as early as the 2013 Electronic Entertainment Expo next month.

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