Yuga Labs Inc., creator of the popular Bored Ape Yacht Club non-fungible token, alleged that conceptual artist Ryder Ripps tricked consumers into buying a fake Bored Ape NFT in a trademark infringement proceeding filed in a federal court in Los Angeles.
According to a June 24 complaint, Ripps earned more than $ 5 million in a pump-and-dump scheme that included a counterfeit NFT called RR / BAYC that was sold to more than 1,000 consumers.
“He promotes and sells these RR / BAYC NFTs using exactly the same trademarks that Yuga Labs uses to promote and sell genuine Bored Ape Yacht Club NFTs,” said Central California. The complaint filed in the US District Court of the United States states.
Yuga Labs said it has applied for registration of various trademarks with the US Patent and Trademark Office, including the name of Bored Ape and a logo depicting the skull of a monkey.
According to complaints, Ripps is also currently promoting an “Ape Market” NFT Marketplace that requires members to purchase counterfeit NFTs for access. He said he sold the counterfeit product on the OpenSea NFT Marketplace, where the genuine Bored Ape NFT is also sold, but the counterfeit was subsequently removed.
Ripps also sold NFTs in another market called the Foundation and used the Yuga Labs trademark to promote counterfeit products on social media in a big way. This has led consumers to mistakenly believe that Ripps and Yuga Labs are connected.
Boring apes NFTs that draw digital profile images of apes are very popular in the NFT art market, totaling over $ 2.2. According to blockchain data tracker Crytoslam, it has sold $ 1 billion since its release in April 2021.
Owning a Bored Ape NFT gives you certain privileges, such as a license to use the artwork behind the NFT and access to a dedicated virtual clubhouse.
The complaint said the Lips counterfeit NFT, which he claims to be satire, is part of a “long-standing harassment campaign” against Yugarabo and its founders. He is alleged to have leveled “basic racist accusations” against them on Twitter and Instagram.
Ripps participates in other controversial art projects such as “Ho” and “Barbara Lee” and works with Kanye West.
Count: False designation of origin, false advertising, cybersquatting, common law trademarks and unfair competition, unjust enrichment, conversion, intentional and negligent interference with future economic interests.
relief: Preliminary and permanent injunctions, damages, attorneys’ fees and expenses.
response: Ripps did not immediately respond to the request for comment.
lawyer: Fenwick & West LLP represents Yuga Labs.
The case was Yuga Labs Inc. v. Ripps, CD Cal. , No. 2: 22-cv-04355, This is a complaint filed on 6/24/22.