One of the designers of the fake Bored Ape Yacht Club NFT collection RR/BAYC has filed opposition notifications against 10 trademark registrations from Yuga Labs.
In the ongoing legal dispute over intellectual property between RR/BAYC founders Ryder Ripps and Jeremy Cahen and BAYC inventors Yuga Labs, the decision marks yet another peculiar turn.
On February 9, Cahen sent the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board of the US Patent and Trademark Office the opposition notice (USPTO). As of this writing, the opposition status for all trademark applications is "pending".
Most of Yuga Labs' trademark applications were submitted in the second half of 2021, and they include a range of BAYC logos, images, and branding that might be used on digital goods like NFT-based artwork, trading cards, and wearables for the Metaverse.
The media also makes reference to tangible BAYC products including clothing, jewelry, watches, and keychains as well as entertainment offerings like gaming, television, and music.
In an interview with Bloomberg Law on February 11, a representative for Yuga Labs downplayed the likelihood that Cahen's resistance would be successful and asserted that the action was merely another attempt to generate difficulty for the company.
“The Trademark Office has preliminarily approved Yuga Labs’ trademark applications for registration, and we look forward to their full approval in due course,” they said, adding that:
“Jeremy Cahen’s filing is just another attempt to distract from the real issue at hand, his infringement of the Yuga intellectual property.”
In the notice, Cahen lists numerous "grounds for dispute" with Yuga Labs' filings. For instance, Cahen argues that the company "abandoned any rights" to certain brand and artwork designs because BAYC NFT sales granted the owners "all rights" to the digital images.
Certain Skull Designs Not Legally Yuga Labs's To Use
Additionally, he claims that Yuga Labs no longer owns certain skull designs because the business reportedly transferred ownership to the ApeCoin DAO in March 2022.
Cahen asserts that Yuga Labs failed to declare a "bona fide purpose to properly employ" the trademarks in its filings, which would have required registration of the NFTs and classification of them as securities under federal law.
Digital artists Ryder Ripps and Cahen were sued by Yuga Labs in June for using BAYC pictures in their RR/BAYC collection. The company also asserted that the two were "trolling Yuga Labs and deceiving others" into purchasing their fake NFTs.
The action by Cahen also comes three days after Yuga Labs and Thomas Lehman, the designer of the RR/BAYC website and smart contracts, came to a separate agreement.
As part of the settlement, Lehman basically agreed to a permanent injunction barring him from participating in any "confusingly analogous" BAYC-related endeavors. In a statement, Lehman expressed his separation with Ryder Ripp and Cahen.