Fenwick Secures First-Ever Summary Judgment for Plaintiff in Groundbreaking NFT Trademark Case for Yuga Labs

Fenwick represented Yuga Labs, the creator of the Bored Ape Yacht Club NFT collection, in a trademark lawsuit claiming two individuals, Ryder Ripps and Jeremy Cahen, created an infringing NFT collection that points to images taken from Yuga Labs.

In yet another win for Yuga Labs in a trademark infringement lawsuit that is being closely watched by those in the web3 industry, John F. Walter, the U.S. District Judge of Central California found that the defendants use of the Bored Ape logo to sell look-alike NFTs violated federal trademark law. Specifically, the court found that the defendants RR/BAYC NFTs that point to the same digital images as the Yuga Labs BAYC collection, is not artistic expression protected by the First Amendment. The court also ruled in Yuga’s favor in an action of cybersquatting finding that the defendants registered and used domain names that are “confusingly similar” to those of Yuga Labs.

The ruling notes the Yuga Labs is entitled to monetary damages and injunctive relief.

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