BAYC creator Yuga Labs settles trademark infringement lawsuit

Quick Take

  • Yuga Labs settled a legal dispute with the developer who created the websites hosting “copycat” collections of Bored Ape Yacht Club NFTs. 

Yuga Labs, the creator of blue chip NFT project Bored Ape Yacht Club, said that it has settled a legal dispute regarding the involvement of Thomas Lehman in a marketplace selling “counterfeit” versions of the company's flagship collection. 

Yuga Labs filed a trademark lawsuit in June, accusing Ryder Ripps and Jeremy Cahen of copying the company's NFT collections and devaluing the original Bored Ape products. The pair denied the allegations and filed a counterclaim

Lehman was separately accused by Yuga Labs of acting as a "central part of a business venture which created and commercialized websites and a smart contract" to sell intentionally misleading RR/BAYC NFTs to the average consumer. This, they said, amounted to "textbook trademark infringement."

Today, the matter was settled. 

“I am happy to have resolved the Yuga Labs, Inc. v. Lehman trademark lawsuit in the Northern District of New York," said Lehman said in an emailed statement. "It was never my intention to harm Yuga Labs’s brand, and I reject all disparaging statements made about Yuga Labs and its founders and appreciate their many positive contributions to the NFT space.” 


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"We are pleased that Mr. Lehman acknowledged his role in assisting former cohorts, Ryder Ripps and Jeremy Cahen, to infringe on Yuga Labs’ trademarks in developing, marketing, and selling counterfeit NFTs," a Yuga Labs spokesperson said. 

The NFTussle continues 

Despite settling with Lehman, the disagreement continues between the NFT heavyweight, Ripps and Cahen. The company received a counterclaim at the end of December by the pair, arguing the company does not own relevant copyright and that NFTs can’t be copied technologically. 

“We believe that creators, especially those in the nascent web3 space, must be able to rely on the law to protect their work against IP theft," Yuga Labs said in a statement. 

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About Author

Lucy is an editor focusing on NFTs, gaming and the metaverse. Prior to joining she worked as a freelancer, with bylines in Wired, Newsweek and The Wall Street Journal, among other publications. Follow her on Twitter: @LHM1.


To contact the editors of this story:
Larry DiTore at
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Madhu Unnikrishnan at
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