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Yuga Labs Wins Summary Judgment Against Ryder Ripps

2 mins
Updated by James Morales
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In Brief

  • The court ruled in favor of Yuga Labs in its trademark infringement case against Ryder Ripps.
  • The case sets an important precident by treating NFTs as collectible goods and not securities.
  • Bored Ape NFTs sales volume declined 21% in the last 90 days.
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Yuga Labs, the creator of the Bored Apes Yacht Club (BAYC) NFT collection, recieved a summary judgment in its trademark infringement case against Ryder Ripps and Jeremy Cahen.

According to the summary judgment, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California ruled that Yuga Labs owns the BAYC trademarks, which are valid and enforceable. 

The judge also agreed that the RR/BAYC collection was created to mislead and Ripps’s use of BAYC trademarks does not amount to fair use or artistic expression. Thus, the defendant’s actions were deemed malicious and intended to profit. 

Additionally, the court ruled that the domain names and amount to cybersquatting. Siding with Yuga Labs, the judgement argues that the domain names could confuse the general public.

However, the court did not award any damages to Yuga Labs. Instead, the judgement decided that any damages would be calculated and determined during the trial.

Meanwhile, reactions within the NFT community pointed out that the summary judgment has set an important legal precedent. If NFTs are subject to copyright claims, that means that courts are treating them goods and NOT securities.

Court recognises NFTs as goods
Court Recognises NFTs as Goods (Source: Yuga Labs’ Summary Judgment)

Who Is Ryder Ripps?

An artist and vocal critic of Yuga Labs and its BAYC collection, Ripps has claimed that BAYC and Yuga Labs imagery contain hidden Nazi references and racist depictions. Despite denials by the company, his claims have gained popularity in some corners of the internet. 

Together with Jeremy Cahen, Ripps launched the RR/BAYC NFT collection, which is a riff on BAYC. The collection uses imagery and marketing tactics similar the the BAYC creators. But Cahen and Ripps claim they are only satirizing BAYC.

In response to the recent summary judgement, Ripps mocked Yuga Labs on Twitter, calling the firm “yogurt lads.” He rhetorically asked if the firm owned every domain name with “ape” in it and posted the logo of the US Ninth Judicial Circuit.

BAYC Sales Volume Decline

While Bored Apes are still among the most popular NFT collections on the market, the NFT collection recently experienced a drop in popularity. The project saw its sales volume drop 21% over the last 90 days to $154.49 million.

Bored AP (BAYC) Sales Volume
BAYC Sales Volume (Source: CryptoSlam)

According to OpenSea’s data, the collection’s floor price fell 7% to 50.5 ETH (roughly $94,753) in the last 24 hours.

Meanwhile, Bored Ape Yacht Club’s declining sales reflect the broader NFT market. BeInCrypto previously reported that key parameters for the sector, like sales, volume, and unique users, are at a yearly low.

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Oluwapelumi Adejumo
Oluwapelumi believes Bitcoin and blockchain technology have the potential to change the world for the better. He is an avid reader and began writing about crypto in 2020.