Bored Ape’s Yuga Labs Wins Legal Battle Against Copycat NFTs

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The creator of Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC) has been granted an injunction from Jeremy Cahen and Ryder Ripps following their copycat NFT collections of BAYC, despite the “RR/BAYC” NFTs being burnt in February. This decision came in response to the startup’s trademark infringement lawsuit last summer.

Quick Takes: 

  • BAYC creators, Yuga Labs, wins an injunction against “copycat” NFTs, “RR/BAYC”.
  • Yuga Labs initiated a lawsuit against the creators, Cahen and Ripps, last summer. The BAYC team accused them of scamming buyers by creating and selling counterfeit NFTs. The groundbreaking legal battle concluded with a victory for BAYC on Friday, despite the copyright project burning the NFTs in February.
  • Controversy around BAYC’s artwork, including racism accusations, also contributes to heated exchanges between both parties involved in the legal battle.

After winning the legal battle against Cahen and Ripps on Friday, Yuga Labs said that the recent judgment is a “groundbreaking legal victory of Web3”. Counterfeiters and scammers in the NFT space are major industry issues.

Yuga Labs accused RR/BAYC of creating identical copies of BAYC for financial gain, violating trademarks, copyrights, and intellectual copyright. Because of the similarities, the project has a total market cap of $4 billion.

The copycat project defended their BAYC-related collectibles, which consist of replicas of the Bored Ape’s original profile pictures—instead deeming the lawsuit as “frivolous”.

Despite RR/BAYC NFTs being remarkably similar to the blue-chip collectibles, Ripps accused BAYC’s artwork of containing racist references and symbols. Yuga Labs has consistently denied such allegations. However, this caused the Co-Founder of Yuga Labs, Gordon Goner, to label Ripps as a “demented troll” in a blog post last summer.

Nevertheless, the judge finally agreed that Ripps and Cahen falsely claimed their digital assets as being original. Moreover, the law members rejected their arguments for free speech and fair use.

The ruling also supported Yuga Labs’ argument over dishonesty about the infringement.

As the NFT sphere evolves, this ruling sets an important precedent for protecting intellectual property rights—upholding authenticity in the digital art world.

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