Yuga Labs, the innovators behind the renowned NFT project Bored Ape Yacht Club, have announced that they have settled a legal dispute regarding Thomas Lehman’s participation in a marketplace selling knockoffs of their flagship collection. Also In June last year, Yuga alleged that Ryder Ripps and Jeremy Cahen had imitated their signature artwork and diminished the value of genuine Bored Ape assets. The pair, with a counterclaim, later challenged this accusation.
According to Yuga Labs, Lehman was instrumental in establishing and commercializing websites and a smart contract that would allegedly deceive the everyday consumer while selling RR/BAYC NFTs. These accusations constitute clear-cut trademark infringement. But both parties have resolved their dispute.
Through an email, Lehman said he is glad to have agreed with Yuga Labs, Inc. in the trademark lawsuit in the Northern District of New York. He added it was never his wish to damage Yuga Labs’ reputation, and he rejects all negative claims about them.
In a statement, a Yuga Labs spokesperson expressed pleasure at Mr. Lehman’s recognition of his involvement in aiding Ryder Ripps and Jeremy Cahen to infringe upon the trademark rights of Yuga Labs by fabricating counterfeit NFTs (non-fungible tokens), promoting them, and selling them commercially.
Despite reaching a settlement with Lehman, the dispute between NFT giants Ripps and Cahen continues. At the end of December last year, they filed a counterclaim against Yuga Labs asserting that they don’t possess pertinent copyright rights and that, technologically, it is impossible to replicate NFTs. In reaction to this situation, Yuga Labs proclaimed in an official statement: “We strongly assert that creators must be able to count on laws defending their work versus IP theft, particularly in new web3 platforms.”