Yuga Labs, creators of Bored Ape Yacht Club Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs), has sued artist Ryder Ripps and several associates, accusing them of producing and selling “copycat NFTs” that devalue the originals, according to its Twitter feed and that of the Bored Ape Gazette, which tweeted a lawsuit filing with inserted illustrations.
The lawsuit claims that the artist sought to “devalue the Bored Ape NFTs by flooding the NFT market with his own copycat NFT collection using the original Bored Ape Yacht Club images and calling them “RR/BAYC” NFTs.”
The suit points out that Bored Ape NFTs “often resell for hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of dollars, and prominent celebrities are proud holders of Bored Ape NFTs,” adding that only 10,000 Bored Ape NFTs exist and that each is unique.
Yuga Labs seeks a judgement restraining Ripps and associates from “engaging in further interference with its prospective economic relations,” as well as damages and attorneys’ fees.
An email seeking comment on the lawsuit from Ripps was sent to an address on his website, but no response had been received by time of publication.
Ripps said earlier this year on Twitter that he had been “researching and posting about BAYC Nazi ties.” The Bored Ape founders pushed back against these allegations in a blog post on Friday.
A representative from Yuga Labs' public relations firm, Strange Brew Strategies, said later on Saturday via email that RR/BAYC NFTs had been removed from the OpenSea NFT marketplace. A look at the page showed that several images had been labeled "possibly fake."
The Yuga Labs lawsuit was filed on Friday in US District Court of Central California by law firm Fenwick & West, and a 43-page document was tweeted early today by the Bored Ape Gazette.
This story has been updated with the addition of the penultimate paragraph, reflecting fresh information emailed from Yuga Labs' public relations agency.