- Yuga Labs has won a court case against Ryder Ripps who copied the popular Bored Ape NFTs
- A U.S. court said that Ripps infringed on the Bored Ape trademark by not having express permission from Yuga Labs
- Ripps had insisted that the knockoffs represent artistic criticism
Bored Ape creator Yuga Labs has won a court case against Ryder Ripps and Jeremy Cahen almost a year after filing a lawsuit claiming Ripps ripped off Bored Ape images to create the RR/BAYC NFT collection. A California court has ruled that Ripps infringed on the Bored Ape trademark with intentions to confuse genuine Bored Ape NFT collectors despite the conceptual artist maintaining that the knockoffs represent artistic criticism. Yuga is now pushing to get $200,000 from the artist to cover damages, something the court said would be determined later.
Ripps and Cahen Out to Scam BAYC Collectors
In an excerpt of the judgment, the court also ruled that Ripps’ intention to mislead BAYC buyers was evident in the use of the RR/BAYC collection’s domain names which could easily confuse genuine Bored Ape collectors. The court added that available evidence strongly indicated that the two were out to scam BAYC collectors through, among other ways, cybersquatting.
🚨🚨 Breaking: @yugalabs awarded summary judgment against @ryder_ripps, et al for false designation of origin, cybersquatting + against a finding of fair use under First Amendment/Rogers, unclean hands, and knowing misrepresentation. Damn, talk about KO👊https://t.co/nXkzQNtX4h
— Ash Kernen, Esq (@AshKernen) April 22, 2023
The court also noted that virtual collectibles are protected under the United States trademark laws despite being intangible. According to Yuga, the win benefits the entire Web 3.0 world and serves as a warning to malicious actors in the space.
3/ Court finds NFTs are eligible for trademark protection, despite being intangible, citing Hermes as NFTs are purchased to exclusively own the content associated with the NFT, not the “digital deed” divorced from any other asset.
— NeerMcD.eth 🚀 (@NeerMcD) April 22, 2023
Yuga’s win comes two months after Hermès International won a case against Mason Rothschild who was promoting NFTs based on the luxury goods brand. Other court cases involving NFTs include one involving Pokemon NFT game developers and another claiming that NBA Top Shot NFTs are securities.
With Yuga celebrating a win, it’s yet to be seen what will happen to those already holding NFTs in the RR/BAYC collection.