A United States District Judge ordered Ryder Ripps and Jeremy Cahen to Halt the Sale of NFTs and Renounce its Blockchain Assets. On Wednesday, a United States District Judge in California gave a judgment favoring Yuga Labs, the developers of the famous Bored APE Yacht Club, against Jeremy Cahen (‘Cahen’) and Ryder Ripps(‘Ripps’).
Yuga Labs was awarded more than $1.5M in damage, an amount the court believes Cahen and Ripps generated profits after selling the Ryder Ripps Bored Ape Yacht Club. Additionally, the court claimed this sale contravened Yuga Lab’s trademark.
Court Settles Yuga Labs Trademark Infringement Case
A Yuga Labs representative shared a court document showing how the defendants claimed their utilization of Yuga’s trademarks was not a violation but ‘parody’ and ‘satire.’
In an email, the Yuga Labs representative said that following the court’s decision against Jeremy Cahen and Ryder Ripps for contravening Yuga Lab’s intellectual property (IP), they have been told to halt all marketing and sales of their fake non-fungible tokens (NFTs).
Additionally, they should pay damages amounting to $1.575M, move the intelligent contract of their counterfeit apes, pay Yuga’s legal fees, and surrender associated online assets.
In the judgment, Judge John Walter accepted the request by Yuga Labs to compel the defendants to pay cybersecurity contraventions damages amounting to $200000 and $ 100,000 for every domain.
A lasting ban against the defendants was also issued. The filing showed that after considering the factors involved in the undeniable evidence, the court concluded that the defendants acted maliciously, intending to make a profit.
Ryder Ripp Penalized for Cybersquatting
Besides, it said the defendants lacked trademarks or other IP rights in the domain names. The domain names also lacked the defendants’ legal names. The court documents show Cahen’s and Ripps’s argument concerning protecting the Bored Ape Yacht Club symbols or ‘marks’ based on the First Amendment and fair use.
The court rejected the motion by the two to dismiss, and a summary judgment for cybersquatting claims and trademark violations was granted to Yuga Labs.
Cybersquatting entails registering a famous firm’s or brand’s domain name to sell it afterward for a profit. According to the court documents, apemarket.com and rrrbayc.com were the domain names under consideration.
The court stated that the defendants’ primary interest in the domain name entails diverting clients who might have been pursuing the plaintiff’s mark to their commercial website.
Besides, the defendants used a proxy registration service to hide their domain names’ registration. The Yuga Labs’ representative said the triumph defeats scammers and backs creators promoting web3 experiences globally.
Impact of Trademark Violation
The court also disregarded the counterargument by the respondents, claiming that Yuga Labs made untrue violation allegations and utilized modern-Nazi and racist imagery in its BAYC non-fungible tokens.
The court’s ruling showed that Cahen and Ripps lacked good faith before using the domains since they registered them after Yuga unveiled the Bored Ape Yacht Club non-fungible tokens suite.
The Bored Ape Yacht Club was introduced in 2021 and comprises 10,000 randomly created non-fungible tokens on the Ethereum platform. NFTs refer to cryptographically unique token attached to physical and digital content, offering evidence of possession.
Editorial credit: T. Schneider / Shutterstock.com
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