• Yuga Labs has filed a trademark lawsuit against conceptual artist Ryder Ripps.
• Co-creators of Bored Ape Yacht Club NFT series, Wylie Aronow and Greg Solano, will be deposed as part of the lawsuit.
• Ryder Ripps has been waging a PR campaign to paint the Bored Apes and related intellectual property as covertly racist and pro-Nazi projects.
Yuga Labs, the corporate backer of Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC) non-fungible token (NFT) series, have recently filed a trademark lawsuit against conceptual artist Ryder Ripps. In a Jan. 5 court filing ahead of a hearing on Monday, Yuga argued that the co-founders of the series, Wylie Aronow and Greg Solano, were „apex witnesses“ and would need to be deposed as part of the lawsuit.
The case is focused particularly on the narrow legal issue of trademark infringement, however, Ryder Ripps has been waging a yearlong PR campaign to paint the Bored Apes and related intellectual property as covertly racist and pro-Nazi projects. Ripps has used social media platforms and interviews to spread his message, which has received significant attention in the media. As a result, Yuga Labs has had to mount a defense of its NFT series, which has become very popular in the crypto community.
Yuga Labs have argued that Ripps‘ accusations are baseless and that the Bored Apes series is not motivated by any political ideology. They have also argued that Ripps‘ campaign is an attempt to silence the damaging conspiracy theory he has been pushing. They believe that Ripps has been attempting to exploit the NFT series for his own personal gain, and that the lawsuit is necessary to protect the intellectual property of Yuga Labs.
The case is currently still ongoing, with the hearing scheduled for Monday. It remains to be seen how the case will turn out, but it is clear that Yuga Labs is taking the matter seriously and is determined to defend its intellectual property. Whatever the outcome of the case, it is likely that Ryder Ripps‘ PR campaign will continue to be a source of controversy.