An ongoing legal tiff between NFT developers Yuga Labs and an artist and his NFT business partner continues as a U.S. federal court denied a motion to dismiss opposition from the Bored Ape Yacht Club creators, according to a filing on Friday.
Yuga Labs first filed the lawsuit in June against California-based artist Ryder Ripps and the founder of NFT marketplace Not Larva Labs, Jeremy Cahen, accusing them of copying and selling NFT collections and devaluing the original Bored Ape products.
Defendants Ripps and Cahen filed a motion to dismiss opposition from Yuga Labs in October, together with an anti-strategic lawsuit against public participation (SLAPP) motion. The District Court of Central California has now denied these motions.
"Our lawsuit to hold Ripps and Cahen accountable for their obvious and blatant theft of Yuga Labs’ trademarks rightfully moves forward with this ruling,” a Yuga Labs spokesperson wrote in a statement sent to The Block, accusing the pair of profiting off of Yuga’s intellectual property. “We will continue to prove these facts as the case progresses," the spokesperson wrote.
Ripps has portrayed the lawsuit as an attack on his freedom of speech, and previously said that he would only agree to settle the case for a payout of at least $100 billion.
The court granted the defendants the possibility to re-file a motion in the future against Yuga Lab's claim that the duo was benefiting at Yuga's expense.
Editor's note: This story has been updated to include a quote from Ryder Ripps.
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