Bored Apes creator, Yuga Labs has scored a win in the widely talked about lawsuit it filed against artist Ryder Ripps. On December 16, the United District Court for the Central District of California dismissed Ripps’s efforts to dismiss the lawsuit. This means that the case may head to trial. Let’s take a closer look at what the California Judge ordered in the Yuga Labs lawsuit against Ryder Ripps.
Why did Yuga Labs sue Ryder Ripps?
Back in June, Yuga Labs filed a lawsuit against Ryder Ripps Bored Apes (RR/BAYC), a derivative NFT project by Ripps. Reportedly, RR/BAYC NFTs linked to the same artwork files as BAYC NFTs. This, Yuga Labs claimed, was a deliberate attempt to mislead potential BAYC investors. Thus, the company filed the suit on the grounds of false advertising, trademark infringement, unjust enrichment, and misleading consumers.
Later in August, Ryder Ripps’ lawyers filed an anti-SLAPP motion against Yuga Labs. This allows defendants to stop lawsuits against “protected speech made in connection with a public issue.” In the motion, Ripps’ lawyers claimed that the lawsuit was Yuga Labs’ attempt at silencing the artist for his racism allegations against BAYC.
What did the California judge order?
In the December order, Judge Walter wrote that BAYC had “not brought claims against Defendants for defamation, slander, or libel. Instead, Plaintiff’s claims are limited to and arise out of Defendant’s unauthorized use of the BAYC Marks for commercial purposes.”
He added that the anti-SLAPP motion was not applicable here as “the RR/BAYC NFTs do not express an idea or point of view.” Instead, they “point to the same online digital images associated with the BAYC collection.”
Now, Ryder Ripps has the option to appeal the court’s decision. If he doesn’t, the case will go to trial, where a jury will make judgements on various aspects of the suit.