Yuga Labs Reaches Settlement In Copycat Project Lawsuit
Yuga Labs Reaches Settlement In Copycat Project Lawsuit.
Yuga Labs, the team behind some major blue-chip NFT projects like Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC), Mutant Ape Yacht Club (MAYC), and CryptoPunks, has recently marked their latest victory in their ongoing legal battle after finally reaching a settlement in federal court.
Yuga Labs vs RR BAYC
Earlier this January, Yuga Labs sued Thomas Lehman, the developer responsible for generating new NFTs called the RR/BAYC collection, which uses URLs embedded in Bored Ape Yacht Club smart contracts. Yuga Labs sued Lehman for trademark infringement after he had reportedly pocketed around $1.6 million in sales from the copycat project.
Then, on Feb 6, Lehman announced in a public statement that he and Yuga Labs have officially reached a settlement.
“I am happy to have resolved the Yuga Labs, Inc. v. Lehman trademark lawsuit in the [U.S. District Court] Northern District of New York,” Lehman said. “It was never my intention to harm Yuga Labs’ brand, and I reject all disparaging statements made about Yuga Labs and its founders and appreciate their many positive contributions to the NFT space.”
In the settlement, it’s reported that both Yuga Labs and Lehman have agreed on a permanent injunction which forbids Lehman from using any “confusingly similar” BAYC imagery.
Yuga Labs reaches settlement in @BoredApeYC trademark infringement case vs developer, Thomas Lehman, who built websites and smart contracts for Ryder Ripp’s copycat project RR/BAYC 🤯
Case vs Ryder Ripps is still ongoing. pic.twitter.com/Vmnxqj8a1s
— NFT POWER RANKINGS (@nftpowerranking) February 6, 2023
Related: 9GAG’s Memeland Sweeps 8 BAYC NFTs, Hints At Upcoming IP Use
Yuga Labs then followed up with a statement of their own regarding the resolvement of their lawsuit against Thomas Lehman.
“Yuga Labs believes that creators, especially those in the nascent web3 space, must be able to rely on the law to protect their work against IP theft. Today, Yuga Labs reached a settlement with Thomas Lehman, developer for RR/BAYC. We are pleased that Mr. 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.” Yuga Labs wrote in their statement.
“Yuga Labs looks forward to holding Mr. Ripps and Mr. Cahen responsible for their infringement backed by a campaign of vicious and baseless lies and appreciates Mr. Lehman’s rejection of their actions.”
Ongoing Lawsuit Against Ryder Dipps
Despite this however, Yuga Labs is still currently going through a seperate lawsuit against Ryder Ripps, the man who had been circulating allegations against BAYC and founded the RR/BAYC project himself.
In this lawsuit, Yuga Labs claims that Ripps had used a number of identical images of their original BAYC collection, infringing Yuga Lab’s rightful trademark, in order to promote their scam project.
With IP and trademark rights still a rather difficult and confusing issue within the NFT community, Yuga Labs claims that it believes that creators “must be able to rely on the law to protect their work against IP theft.”
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