NFT

Yuga Labs Resolves Legal Dispute Over Ryder Ripps’ ‘BAYC’ NFTs

Ryder Ripps forced to burn all NFTs that replicate Bored Apes following a legal settlement with Yuga Labs

The developer behind the highly controversial NFT project (remarkably similar to Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC) collectibles), “Ryder Ripps”, resolves a legal dispute with the team behind BAYC, Yuga Labs.

Quick Take: 

  • Yuga Labs filed a lawsuit against Ryder Ripps (RR) collectibles for replicating BAYC NFTs.
  • The BAYC creators accused RR of creating identical copies of BAYC for financial gain, violating trademarks, copyrights, and intellectual copyright.
  • As a result of the settlement, the RR/BAYC NFTs have been burnt alongside any other content using the BAYC trademark.
Ryder Ripps surpassing Bored Ape Yacht Club’s sales volumes on OpenSea

Why Yuga Labs Filed a Lawsuit Against Ryder Ripps 

RR is an NFT project compromising 10,000 digital assets with similar names, features, and traits to BAYC. As a result, the collectibles sparked controversy for their similarity to the latter.

One of the curators, Thomas Lehman, was also responsible for creating smart contracts and websites consisting of BAYC replica, “rrbayc.com”.

Yuga Labs believed that the RR/BAYC project was a “deliberate effort to harm Yuga Labs at the expense of consumers by sowing confusion.” And it makes sense, considering the RR/BAYC project generated $1.6 million in sales, temporarily surpassing original BAYC sales. 

Following this, Yuga Labs filed a lawsuit again Lehman and the project’s other creator, Jeremy Cahen, for alleged intellectual property infringement on January 20.

The creators of BAYC accused the curators of RR of creating identical copies of BAYC for financial gain, violating trademarks, copyrights, and intellectual copyright — misleading collectors and defrauding the Web3 community.

Ryder Ripps
Examples of original BAYC NFTs

The Outcome – Ryder Ripps’ Punishment 

As a result of the settlement, the RR creators cannot now in “any manner” use the BAYC trademark and must delete and destroy anything similar to BAYC that is already on display. Therefore, burn all their RR/BAYC NFTs and eliminate all social media posts under the RR/BAYC brand.

“I am happy to have resolved the Yuga Labs, Inc. v. Lehman trademark lawsuit,”

says Lehman in a statement.

“It was never my intention to harm Yuga Labs’ brand. I reject all disparaging statements about Yuga Labs and its founders and appreciate their positive contributions to the NFT space.”

Yuga Labs “appreciates Mr. Lehman’s rejection of their actions.” Although, before the settlement, they expressed how they “look forward to holding Mr. Ripps and Mr. Cahen responsible for their infringement backed by a campaign of vicious and baseless lies.” 

This settlement is a fantastic example of how the law does not take copyright infringement lightly, including in the Web3 sphere. Hopefully, this case will prevent the creation of other replica NFT projects in the future.

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