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Copycatting the Apes: Yuga Labs Claims US Artist Sold Fake BAYC NFTs

Cryptocurrency Jun 28, 2022 09:00AM ET
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Copycatting the Apes: Yuga Labs Claims US Artist Sold Fake BAYC NFTs

  • Yuga Labs sues Ryder Ripps, claiming he misused BAYC trademarks.
  • The complaint accused Ripps of promoting and selling fake NFTs as RR/BAYC.
  • Ripps has slammed Yuga Labs on social media for trying to “silence” him.

Creator of popular NFT Bored Ape Yacht Club, Yuga Labs Inc. accused conceptual artist Ryder Ripps of “scamming consumers” into purchasing fake Bored Ape NFTs in a trademark infringement lawsuit filed in the US District Court for the Central District of California.

According to the lawsuit, Ripps has made more than $5 million through a pump-and-dump scheme involving the “copycat” collection of BAYC NFTs, named RR/BAYC, which have already been sold to nearly 1,000 consumers.

The cause of action for this lawsuit are — false designation of origin, false advertising, unjust enrichment, common law trademark & unfair competition, intentional and negligent interference with prospective economic advantage, conversion, and cybersquatting.

The complaint states that — Brazenly, he (Ripps) promotes and sells these RR/BAYC NFTs using the very same trademarks that Yuga Labs uses to promote and sell authentic Bored Ape Yacht Club NFTs.

Yuga Labs further mentioned it has applied to register a multitude of trademarks under the US Patent and Trademark Office, including BAYC’s name and logo that depicts a money skull. Moreover, the case unveiled an NFT marketplace, called Ape Market, that is promoted by Ripps, requires members to buy the counterfeit NFTs for access.

Ripps has used another marketplace called Foundation to sell and promote these counterfeit NFTs along with using the trademarks on social media, which mislead the consumers to believe that Yuga Labs and Ripps are connected.

Yuga Labs argued that Ripps fake NFTs (which he claims to be satire) are an extension of a ‘longstanding harassment campaign’ against the company and its founders. However, Ripps has leveled “baseless accusations of racism” against Yuga Labs on social media and slammed Yuga Labs for “trying to silence” him.

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Copycatting the Apes: Yuga Labs Claims US Artist Sold Fake BAYC NFTs
 

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