•On Monday, a federal judge ruled that co-founders of Yuga Labs (the company behind the Bored Ape Yacht Club NFTs) must be deposed by Ryder Ripps, an artist and internet provocateur who has accused the company of latent racism and pro-Nazism.
• The ruling is the latest development in an ongoing saga between Ripps and Yuga Labs, which sued him for trademark infringement after he sold a copycat collection of 10,000 Bored Ape NFTs.
• In response to Monday’s ruling, Yuga declined to comment but a source close to the matter confirmed that the company intends to cooperate with the deposition process.
Monday brought a ruling from a federal judge that could provide greater clarity on the controversy surrounding Yuga Labs and their Bored Ape Yacht Club Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs). The decision requires the company’s co-founders to be deposed by Ryder Ripps, an artist and prominent internet personality. The move follows assertions from Ripps that Yuga Labs has exhibited latent racism and pro-Nazism in their business operations. Many are hopeful the testimony resulting from this deposition will provide straight answers to these troubling allegations.
Background on Yuga Labs and Ripps
Yuga Labs is an online marketplace for non-fungible tokens (NFTs). NFTs are digital assets that can be used to represent ownership or rights to items such as artwork, music, videos, or other digital assets. Yuga Labs has been in business since 2019 and has released several collections of NFTs designed by prominent artists. One of those artists is Ryder Ripps, an internationally recognized digital artist who has created artwork for many big-name brands.
The Dispute Between Yuga and Ripps
In March 2021, Yuga Labs filed a lawsuit against Ryder Ripps alleging trademark infringement and unfair competition. According to the complaint filed by Yuga Labs, the company had contracted with Ryder Ripps to create several collections of art that were sold as NFTs on its platform.
However, according to Yuga Labs, Ryder Ripps had also created similar artwork that was being sold on other platforms without their permission or consent. As a result, they alleged that his actions constituted trademark infringement and unfair competition.
Understandably, tensions are high as the two parties await their upcoming trial where the outcome will prove pivotal for how copyright laws in this particular digital space are interpreted. Creative entrepreneurs and digital collectors alike keep their fingers crossed that justice will be served fairly and appropriately.
Monday’s Ruling and Its Implications for Both Sides
On Monday, U.S District Judge Philip Gutierrez ruled in favor of Ryder Ripp’s motion to depose two senior executives from Yugalabs—including its CEO—to determine if there was any evidence of intentional wrongdoing on their part regarding the allegations made in the lawsuit against him.
This ruling could potentially have major implications for both sides involved in this dispute as it will allow them both access to information that would not normally be available during litigation proceedings like this one. It will also likely provide more insight into how each side views this case and what they believe their chances are of prevailing when it comes time for trial proceedings later this year.
All eyes are now on Monday’s ruling as both parties prepare for what could be a lengthy courtroom battle ahead of them in the coming months as they attempt to resolve this dispute over copyright infringement allegations between Yuga Labs and Ryder Ripps once and for all. Regardless of who prevails at trial, however, it will certainly be interesting to see how Monday’s ruling impacts both sides throughout these proceedings going forward.