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Yuga Labs Settles With Developer Who Worked on RR/BAYC Project

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  • Yuga Labs finally settled the lawsuit with the developer who was involved in copycat BAYCs.
  • However the company’s lawsuit against Ripps is still pending.

On this Monday, Yuga Labs dropped a lawsuit against a developer over his alleged role in conceptual artist Ryder Ripps look-alike NFTs. The lawsuit included that Thomas Lehman, the developer of websites and a smart contract selling “misleading” Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC) non-fungible tokens (NFTs) from the digital artist Ryder Ripps.

However, Lehman assisted Ripps in creating the smart contract for that collection. He has settled with Yuga Labs after the company sued him for trademark infringement late last month. The settlement in Federal Court with Lehman was on the artist’s controversial RR/BAYC project.

The Bored Ape Yacht Club is a collection of 10K unique Bored Ape NFTs — unique digital collectibles that are available on the Ethereum blockchain. 

Yuga and Ripps’s Old Battle

At the beginning of 2022, Ripps started circulating allegations that the Bored Ape Yacht Club NFTs have hidden pro-Nazi and racists imagery. After that in May, he sold a copycat collection of 10K Bored Ape NFTs. Last June, Yuga Labs sued Ripps in a Southern California Federal Court and called the project trademark infringement.

Although, that case is still ongoing. Ripps and his counsel have effectively maintained his desire to take the case as long as possible to build the legitimacy of RR/BAYC and continue to spread its provocative message.

Going forward late last month, Yuga Labs added on its lawsuit against Ripps with the separate suits. The suit was in against two of RR/BAYC’s other participants, one was in against Lehman, in the Northern District of New York and the other one against developer Ryan Hickman, in the Nevada Federal court.

According to sources familiar with this matter, added that Lehman owned around 15% of the profits that was made by the RR/BAYC collection, that did some $106 Million in sales. Meanwhile the terms of Lehman’s settlement with Yuga Labs are currently confidential. And according to the recent Federal Court filing Lehman has admitted both Yuga’s ownership of the the BAYC trademark and also that he infringed on those marks as a part of his involvement in the RR/BAYC project.

Lehman said in a media interview that “It was never his intention to harm Yuga Labs’s brand. He rejects all disparaging statements made about Yuga Labs and its founders.”

On the other hand, Ripps added that he had not been aware that Lehman was considering settling with the Yuga Labs.

Although Lehman’s settlement with Yuga Labs has not yet made any immediate impact on Ripps’ suit. The two completely separate cases were filed in two different Federal jurisdictions. While Lehman’s mainly technical work on RR/BAYC appears to have been relating to the project’s creative and allegedly political mission.

Nancy J. Allen

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