In an ongoing lawsuit, Yuga Labs, the creators of the popular Bored Ape Yacht Club NFTs, have received a counterclaim from an artist and his business partner who are accused of forging "copycat" versions of the NFT collection.
Yuga Labs filed the lawsuit in June, alleging that artist Ryder Ripps and the founder of NFT marketplace Not Larva Labs, Jeremy Cahen, replicated their NFT collection and devalued the original Bored Ape products.
Ripps and Cahen have denied many of the allegations in their response to the complaint.
According to a court filing from Dec. 27, “Each of these NFTs is an entry on a decentralized digital ledger and entirely unique by design, making them both non-fungible and impossible to copy.”
Ripps and Cahen claim that their version of the BAYC collection, called RR/BAYC, does not infringe on Yuga Labs' copyright and that they used conceptual art to critique the hateful imagery used by Yuga Labs.
The U.S. District Court of Central California denied a motion in favor of Yuga Labs in December.
Yuga Labs is also facing a separate lawsuit from Californian law firm Scott + Scott, which filed a class-action suit against the company and almost 40 individuals and businesses, alleging that they participated in "a vast scheme" of undisclosed celebrity endorsements to promote products like BAYC.
A Yuga Labs spokesperson denied these allegations.