Thomas Lehman, a developer of a controversial NFT project “Ryder Ripps BAYC” has settled with Yuga Labs. The Ripps project is a 10,000 pfp piece project that shares the exact names, features, and traits as the Bored Ape Yacht Club. To clarify, Thomas Lehman developed websites and smart contracts for the “RR/BAYC” replica project.
Yuga Labs Settlement: What Happened?
Ryder Ripps faces multiple different lawsuist against it by Yuga Labs on the grounds of image and copyright infringement. On January 20th, Yuga Labs filed a lawsuit against Thomas Lehman for his involvement in developing the RRBAYC Smart Contracts and website “rrbayc.com”. The terms of the settlement include that Thomas cannot in “any manner” use “any BAYC mark”. Therefore he must delete and destroy any and all BAYC Marks already on public display. The settlement also sees Thomas Lehman burn all his RR/BAYC NFTs. Additionally, the settlement also implies that Lehman deletes usage of any and all social media under the RR/BAYC brand.
“I am happy to have resolved the Yuga Labs, Inc. v. Lehman trademark lawsuit,” says Lehman in the statement. “It was never my intention to harm Yuga Labs’s brand. I reject all disparaging statements about Yuga Labs and its founders and appreciate their positive contributions to the NFT space.” he adds.
What is the Ryder Ripps BAYC NFT Project?
Ryder Ripps BAYC is a complete copy NFT project, reflecting the exact same artwork as the BAYC NFTs. Therefore, Yuga Labs sent out a lawsuit around June 2022 against artist Ryder Ripps and Jeremy Cahen for intellectual property infringement. The RR/BAYC project netted a whopping $1.6 million. Furthermore, it was during this time it also topped the original BAYC sales volumes for a brief while.
Yuga states that the artist used identical copies of the original Bored Apes collection. This means it is in direct violation of intellectual property, trademarks, and copyrights. Moreover, in doing this, the project also dupes thousands from the web3 community and misleads collectors in the space. Yuga claims that the actions of the RR/BAYC project are unjust. They state that this was a “deliberate effort to harm Yuga Labs at the expense of consumers by sowing confusion,”
Yuga Labs also released an official statement saying they were “pleased that Mr. Lehman acknowledged his role in assisting former cohorts, Ryder Ripps and Jeremy Cahen, to infringe on Yuga Labs’ trademarks in developing, marketing, and selling counterfeit NFTs.”. The NFT brand also adds that it “looks forward to holding Mr. Ripps and Mr. Cahen responsible for their infringement backed by a campaign of vicious and baseless lies and appreciates Mr. Lehman’s rejection of their actions.”
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