Fenwick Recovers $1.57M for ‘Bored Ape’ Creator in Landmark NFT Dispute

Months after Fenwick minted a first-of-its-kind trademark infringement victory on behalf of Yuga Labs—the creator of the Bored Ape Yacht Club NFT collection—a federal judge awarded the Web3 pioneers more than $1.575 million in damages. As part of the ruling, defendants Ryder Ripps and Jeremy Cahen are also required to pay Yuga Labs’ legal fees.

Ripps and Cahen, who violated federal trademark law by using the Bored Ape logo to sell look-alike NFTs, were also ordered to hand over the smart contract used to create the fake apes and the keys to websites and social media accounts they used for promotion purposes. The stellar outcome garnered coverage from Bloomberg, Reuters and Law360, as well as several crypto trade outlets, including Decrypt, Cointelegraph, Blockworks, and The Block.

In April, Fenwick made legal history by obtaining a first-of-its-kind summary judgment in the case, successfully enforcing Yuga Lab’s rights without a trademark registration. A one-day bench trial on remaining claims took place July 31, and on Thursday, the Court granted a permanent injunction prohibiting Ripps and Cahen from marketing, promoting, or selling their counterfeit NFTs—tokens they called “Ryder Ripps Bored Yacht Ape Club,” but which pointed to actual Bored Ape images.

The Fenwick team included litigation partners Eric Ball, Molly Melcher, and Todd Gregorian; litigation counsel Kimberly Culp; and litigation associates Ethan Thomas, Tony Fares, Ryan Kwock, Mary Griffin Sims, Zack Kalinowski, and Katie Hauh—in addition to team member Sofiya Andreyeva.