Revised penalty now stands at $9 million, with almost $7 million allocated to attorneys’ fees.
As part of the resolution, the artists must surrender NFTs and transfer any infringing intellectual property
In a significant legal development, artists Ryder Ripps and Jeremy Cahen find themselves on the losing end of their legal battle against Yuga Labs, the creator of the Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC). The latest court ruling dismisses their counterclaims and imposes a substantial financial burden, totaling almost $9 million, encompassing disgorgement, penalties, attorneys’ fees, and additional costs.
The legal dispute traces back to May 2022 when Ryder Ripps and Jeremy Cahen introduced the Ryder Ripps BAYC (RR/BAYC) collection, which Yuga Labs alleged to be a “copycat” version. In April 2023, a judge sided with Yuga Labs, determining that Ripps and Cahen had violated copyright laws. The initial damages were set at $1.57 million, covering legal fees and seemingly concluding the lawsuit.
However, a recent court filing revealed the dismissal of Ripps and Cahen’s counterclaims. The revised penalty now stands at nearly $9 million, with almost $7 million allocated to attorneys’ fees. As part of the resolution, the artists must surrender NFTs and transfer any infringing intellectual property, including domain names and smart contracts, to Yuga Labs within the next two weeks.
BREAKING On a Saturday, The Federal Court has entered its final judgement against me in my case vs. YugaLabs. Judgement Total: $9,112,496.50 (Note: My name is misspelled in the order) We are appealing this outcome in the Ninth Circuit Court of California. Case is ongoing. ✊ pic.twitter.com/fHcEsbBL6a — PAULY (@Pauly0x) February 3, 2024
This legal saga highlights the complex challenges surrounding intellectual property and copyright issues within the swiftly evolving landscape of non-fungible tokens (NFTs). The artists now face the daunting task of disposing of any RR/BAYC NFTs in their possession, either through destruction or by providing them to Yuga Labs for proper disposal.
The court’s decision underscores the importance of intellectual property protection in the NFT space, where creators often grapple with issues of originality and ownership. As the popularity of NFTs continues to grow, legal battles over intellectual property rights are likely to become more prevalent, prompting both artists and platforms to navigate the delicate balance between creative expression and copyright adherence.
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