Yuga Labs, the maker of Bored Ape Yacht Club non-fungible tokens (NFTs), has filed a lawsuit against an artist and the creator of gordongoner.net, Ryder Ripps, as well as several associates, accusing them of creating and selling “copycat NFTs” that lower the value of the originals. Using the original Bored Ape Yacht Club photos in his own counterfeit NFT collection and dubbing them “RR/BAYC” NFTs, the artist allegedly tried to devalue Bored Ape NFTs while also “flooding the market”, according to the lawsuit.
The lawsuit points out that Bored Ape NFTs “often resell for hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of dollars, and prominent celebrities are proud holders of Bored Ape NFTs,” adding that only 10,000 Bored Ape NFTs exist and that each is unique.
Ripps created his own collection of NFTs branded RR/BAYC and sold them via his website for 0.15 ETH. According to the website, the RR versions are sold out and momentarily overtook the main project in volume. At 10,000 NFTs, Ripps will have made an estimated $1.8 million (roughly Rs. 14 crore) from the collection, something Yuga Labs refers to as “ill-gotten profit.”
Yuga Labs now seeks a judgement restraining Ripps and associates from “engaging in further interference with its prospective economic relations,” as well as damages and attorneys’ fees.
Ryder Ripps, who identifies himself as an American conceptual artist, programmer, and, creative director and is a digital artist listed in Forbes 30 under 30 in 2016, earlier this year said on Twitter that he had been “researching and posting about BAYC Nazi ties.” The Bored Ape founders pushed back against these allegations in a blog post.
Furthermore, BAYC’s creator asserts that the trademarks for BAYC, company name, and logos were filed in 2021 and are currently pending. The company seeks a jury trial on trademark infringement, misleading consumers, and the sale of copycat BAYC NFTs.