A Landmark NFT Lawsuit Seeks To Determine How Creators, Owners, And Investors Can Protect Their Intellectual Property And Monetize Assets Moving Forward

Forbes

PUBLISHED ON: July 5, 2022

Yuga Labs, the creator of the popular Bored Ape Yacht Club (“BAYC”) non-fungible token (NFT) collection, has sued an artist in Los Angeles federal court, accusing him of selling identical NFTs that are confusing potential buyers.

Yuga Labs asserts that 2016 Forbes 30 Under 30 alum Ryder Ripps (“Ripps”) is intentionally causing consumer confusion under the guise of satire and has earned millions in “ill-gotten profit” while “celebrating the harm he causes.”

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Hailey Lennon is a partner in Anderson Kill’s nationally recognized crypto practice. Hailey is also the founder of Crypto Connect which helps connect the industry through networking. Prior to Anderson Kill, Hailey spent years as In House Counsel for various companies in the cryptocurrency space including Silvergate Bank, bitFlyer and Coinbase. She also previously served as Secretary of the Virtual Commodity Association. The opinions expressed here are her own and not those of the firm or her clients.

Ripps has allegedly infringed on Yuga Labs by creating a complete copy of BAYC’s NFT images. The lawsuit alleges trademark infringement, false advertising, unfair competition and cybersquatting (the practice of registering, trafficking in, or using an Internet domain name, with bad faith intent to profit from the goodwill of a trademark belonging to someone else).