Yuga Labs is one of the most successful companies in the NFT world. It is home to such iconic projects as the Bored Ape and Mutant Ape Yacht Club as well as Otherside, one of the most successful metaverse projects of the last year. And naturally, you don’t become that big without making some enemies along the way.
One of the most prominent of Yuga Labs’ nemeses is Ryder Ripps, a creator who has been at odds with the company and its creators for a long time. Currently, Ripps and Yuga Labs are embroiled in a lawsuit that will now see the founders of the company being deposed.
Yuga Labs Vs Ryder Ripps
To understand the current situation between the two parties, it is worth noting their long-running feud. For a while, Ripps has made some very serious accusations against Yuga Labs and the Bored Ape collection specifically. He has accused the founders of the NFT collection of being racist and said that it features nazi imagery.
Obviously, these are very serious accusations and Gordon Goner, one of the founders of the Bored Apes, published a lengthy blog post refuting all the accusations back in 2022.
“As you may have heard, we’ve become the target of a crazy disinformation campaign accusing us — a group of Jewish, Turkish, Pakistani, and Cuban friends — of being super-secret Nazis,” the blog post said, going on to reveal the origin of the ‘apes’ label and the meaning of the pseudonyms given to the founders.
But the feud went beyond just accusations as Ripps was also sued by Yuga Labs for launching RR/BAYC, an NFT collection that looked very similar to the Bored Ape Yacht Club. This project, Yuga said, was a violation of the trademark which Ripps has refuted, going as far as countersuing.
The argument that Ripps’ legal team has made is that the Bored Apes fall within fair use and as such, he has not broken the law. Last week, Yuga Labs filed a motion to stop Ripps’ team from deposing Yuga Labs founders Wylie Aronow and Greg Solano. They argued that the two are top executives who need not be deposed if their subordinates can provide whatever information is needed.
Unfortunately, this motion has been denied by a judge, who noted that it did not hold enough merit. As such, the two executives will be deposed in court and will speak on the origins of the Bored Ape assets in order to further the case.
But Yuga Labs is starting to find itself in trouble with the courts as Aronow did not appear for his deposition on January 9, 2022. Furthermore, the judge noted that Yuga Labs has repeatedly refused to respond to requests from Ripps’ team to schedule depositions. Solano, on the other hand, is due to appear in court via video for a January 11, 2023 deposition.
From the beginning, this case was primed to become one of the most significant in the NFT space and as time goes on, it only gets more interesting.