Apparently Keyboard Cat and Nyan Cat are owned by somebody, and those somebodies are very angry over Scribblenauts not paying up for their memes.
If you’re not familiar with Scribblenauts, it’s a puzzle game where you write anything you can think of on the screen and it actually creates it in the game world. It’s very cute and surprisingly challenging, but apparently its use of memes has gone too far according to a few gentlemen.
The gentlemen in question are Charles Schmidt and Christopher Orlando Torres, Keyboard and Nyan respectively, and they want, well, a lot of money:
"Defendants are accused of shamelessly using identifying “Nyan Cat” and “Keyboard Cat” by name to promote and market their games. Plaintiffs claim that Warner Bros and 5th Cell’s trademark infringement was willful and intentional and are requesting an award of treble damages and requesting the case be deemed exception under 15 U.S.C. § 1117(a), thereby entitling Plaintiffs to an award of reasonable attorneys’ fees."
The suit names both 5th Cell, the developer, and Warner Brothers, the game’s publisher. It’s a little late, if you were wondering: The game hit in 2009.
It’s unfortunate that apparently a game can’t even make a pop culture reference anymore without being sued, but we’ll see how that works out legally: One suspects either the gentlemen in question won’t be able to prove they “own” the meme, or that a wild settlement will appear and magically end the battle.