The legal dispute between the inventor of the nonfungible token collection Bored Ape Yacht Club and one of the developers of a copycat collection known as RR/BAYC has been resolved via a settlement.
On February 6, Yuga Labs reached a settlement in a legal dispute involving Thomas Lehman, the creator of websites and a smart contract that sold “misleading” BAYC NFTs from digital artist Ryder Ripps. The complaint had been filed against Yuga Labs by Lehman.
In January, the company that was responsible for the blue-chip collection filed a lawsuit against Lehman due to his participation in and technical assistance of the collection of imitation monkeys.
The lawsuit claims that Lehman provided assistance to Ripps and Jeremy Cahen in the process of developing and promoting NFTs on social media. Regarding the two collections, it said that this was a “deliberate attempt to undermine Yuga Labs at the cost of customers by sowing uncertainty,” and it claimed that this was a “planned endeavor.”
According to Law360, as part of the settlement, Yuga Labs and Lehman agreed to a permanent injunction that prohibits Lehman from using any “confusingly similar” BAYC imagery or operating any social media accounts that insinuate association with the company. This provision was included in the agreement between the two parties.
Lehman claimed in a statement that “it was never my purpose to tarnish Yuga Labs’ reputation, and I reject any derogatory remarks made about Yuga Labs and its founders and appreciate their many good contributions to the NFT field.” This was mentioned in reference to the allegations that Lehman had made.
A spokesperson for Yuga told Law360 that the company is pleased that Lehman “acknowledged his role in assisting former cohorts, Ryder Ripps and Jeremy Cahen, to infringe on Yuga Labs’ trademarks in developing, marketing, and selling counterfeit NFTs.” Ryder Ripps and Jeremy Cahen are accused of developing, marketing, and selling counterfeit versions of Yuga Labs’ cryptocurrencies.
On the other hand, there are other distinct instances that are still active over Ripps’ usage of photos from the BAYC collection. Additionally, a lawsuit has been filed against Jeremy Cahen for allegedly replicating Yuga’s business practices and selling identical items on the same marketplaces.
Yuga filed a lawsuit against Ripps and Cahen in June, stating that the artists were “trolling Yuga Labs and tricking customers” into buying their copycats. Ripps and Cahen were both named as defendants in the lawsuit. In addition to this, the lawsuit said that Ripps profited over $5 million by “pumping and dumping bogus NFTs.”
On January 30, the investor rights protection law firm Rosen underlined that investors who acquired Yuga’s BAYC NFTs or its native token ApeCoin (APE) might join a securities class-action complaint against the company. The claim is being brought against Yuga for violations of federal securities laws.
In December, Rosen filed a lawsuit against Yuga Labs, claiming that the company had violated United States securities laws by providing false information to investors on the financial advantages of holding NFTs and tokens and by utilizing celebrity marketers.