Judge rejects Ryder Ripps’ counterclaims against Yuga Labs, orders $9M payout

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Artists Ryder Ripps and Jeremy Cahen have had their counterclaims in the lawsuit against Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC) creator Yuga Labs dismissed, with an unfavorable order requiring the pair to pay $9 million in disgorgement and other statutory damages.

In April 2023, Cointelegraph reported that a judge ruled in favor of Yuga Labs in its claim against Ripps and Cahen for violating copyright laws by creating unauthorized versions of BAYC nonfungible tokens (NFTs).

This came after the pair played on the words of the well-known BAYC brand, launching the Ryder Ripps BAYC (RR/BAYC) collection in May 2022.

As a result, Ripps and Cahen were ordered to pay a total of $1.57 million in damages to Yuga Labs, along with covering legal fees, supposedly bringing the lawsuit to an end. 

However, according to a Feb. 2 court filing, the court dismissed Ripps and Cahen’s recent counterclaims against the charges. 

This time around, Ripps and Cahen are required to pay almost $9 million, which will cover lawyer fees, expert witness fees and disgorgement.

They were also instructed to dispose of any RR/BAYC NFTs they have in their possession:

“If Defendants own any RR/BAYC NFTs, they shall destroy (e.g., “burn”) the NFTs or provide them to Yuga to burn.”

Cahen, also known as Pauly to his 174,100 followers on X, announced in a post that the pair intends to appeal the decision in the Ninth Circuit Court of California.

Ripps and Cahen filed counterclaims against Yuga Labs alleging intentional infliction of emotional distress, negligent infliction of emotional distress, as well as a declaratory judgment of no defamation.

However, the judge hammered down Yuga’s first and third cause of action against Ripps and Cahen, which alleged false destination of origin and cybersquatting — the act of buying domain names to profit off a trademark — while specifying the multimillion-dollar penalty.

Related: Yuga Labs co-founder addresses comeback rumors amid ongoing health break

Additionally, Ripps and Cohen are required to hand over all the social media accounts associated with RR/BAYC NFTs, as well as the smart contract.

“Defendants shall destroy any and all other infringing materials, including NFTs, articles, documents, software, promotional items, or advertisements in their possession or control using any BAYC Mark,” the filing stated.

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