Yuga Labs Sues BAYC Critic Ryder Ripps Over Nazi Origin Allegations

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Yuga Laboratoriesthe company behind the Bored Ape Yacht Club, has issued a legal notice complaint against Ryder Ripps, the creator of gordongoner.net. BAYC’s founders recently called Ripps’ accusations that they “intentionally embed Nazi whistles into their project” a “crazy misinformation campaign.” The complaint, filed in the California District Court, states:

“FALSE DESIGNATION OF ORIGIN, FALSE ADVERTISING, CYBERSQUATING, TRADEMARK INFRINGEMENT, UNFAIR COMPETITION, UNFAIR ENRICHMENT, CONVERSION AND TORT INTERFERENCE”

The filing also calls for a jury trial to settle the case. Blockchain Whistleblower, FatManTerra commented, “If you are guilty, you have to know it. If you’re innocent, you don’t deserve to be slandered. Careful analysis of the evidence in court is the best way to determine this. »

Ripps created his own collection of RR/BAYC-branded NFTs and sold them through his website for 0.15 ETH. According to websiteRR versions are sold out and momentarily outmoded the main project in volume. At 10,000 NFTs, Ripps will have earned approximately $1.8 million from the collection, which Yuga Labs calls “ill-gotten profit.”

Yuga Labs lawsuit against Ripps

The first part of the complaint alleges that Ripps “dragged Yuga Labs and conned consumers into purchasing RR/BAYC NFTs by misusing Yuga Labs’ trademarks.” Yuga Labs believes Ripps is trying to “devalue” the BAYC project by issuing its own RR/BAYC NFTs and “flooding the market”.

Ripps’ NFT collection was recently removed from several NFT platforms, including OpenSea and Foundation. However, Ripps posted an email to Twitter stating that the NFTs would be relisted on Foundation just hours before the lawsuit was made public. Currently, a DMCA notification still prevents users from viewing RR/BAYC NFTs on Foundation, and they are still not available on OpenSea. Yuga Labs supports,

“Ripps claims his actions are ‘satire,’ but he conveniently rakes in
millions of dollars in ill-gotten profits from sales of RR/BAYC NFTs using Yuga Labs marks to make these sales. Copying is not satire, it is theft. And lying to consumers isn’t concept art, it’s deception.

Yuga Labs ultimately seeks injunctive relief and damages for false advertising, misrepresentation of origin, cybersquatting, and unfair competition. The mention of cybersquatting indicates that Yuga Labs may also be attacking the gordongoner.net domain name which uses the BAYC founder’s name.

Response from Ryder Ripps

Ryder Ripps is a digital artist listed in Forbes 30 under 30 in 2016, after working with several household celebrities. In response, Ripps took to Twitter to post a series of tweets comparing the decision to try to ban Saturday Night Live, art, or satire.

Ryder rips
Source: Twitter

Ripps has publicly admitted that BAYC’s current state seems at odds with its alleged “Nazi origins”. In a previous Twitter space with OKHotshotRipps said in a recent maintenance that BAYC’s attempt to revisit his Nazi origins is similar to “blacks clamoring for the n-word” and his “fuckin’ genius.”

The artist too distanced himself from the recent YouTube video which resurfaced the racism allegations reaffirming that he did not create the documentary. He has, however, continued his mission of exposing the origins of BAYC by continuing to post imagery claiming his Nazi origins.

Others in the industry agree that there are disturbing coincidences brought to light by Ripps. Alex Fazel, the co-founder of Swissborg, commented that there is “twisted stuff in this story and some very unusual ‘coincidences'”. I’m not accusing anyone yet. Swan Bitcoin’s Cory Klippsten seems to fully support Ripps’ claims;

“I would say 99.99% the project is actually a deliberate troll, intentionally filled with Nazi symbols and esoteric racist whistles.”

Interestingly, according to legal documents, Yuga Labs states that its trademark is still pending after being filed in 2021. According to the intellectual property lawyer Gerben“the rights in a pending trademark application are minimal. You do not have the rights to register a federal trademark until the USPTO has reviewed and approved your application.” Accordingly, the infringement is not part of the lawsuits filed against Ripps.PI Lawyer and NFT Collector, Greb0wski informed CryptoSlate,

“Yuga cites ‘common law trademark rights’ – these are unregistered rights that accrue to the owner of a trademark prior to registration. (TM vs (R). In the UK this would be the tort of “passing off”. Common law rights in TMs are not as strong as fully registered ones, but serve to protect trademark holders against third parties copying their trademark “”

Yuga Labs’ difficulty suing Ryder Ripps for copyright could also have a ripple effect on investors; Greb0wski clarified that “it’s an interesting question whether Yuga can enforce copyright for great ape holders.”

If this case were to go to court, it would surely be one of the most watched crypto lawsuits in history. The publicity will likely benefit all parties and the community will get a court ruling on the true origin of the Bored Ape Yacht Club.

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