Bored Ape non-fungible token creator Yuga Labs Inc. is facing rejection in its attempt to register 10 different trademarks for the Bored Ape Yacht Club brand with the US Patent and Trademark Office.
Jeremy Cahen, who is currently facing a trademark lawsuit from Yuga Labs over its alleged sale of NFT knockoffs, filed a notice of opposition to Bored Ape’s trademark applications on Thursday at the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board. Registered.
Cahen claimed that Yuga Labs gave up its rights to the trademarks by providing a broad intellectual property license to buyers of Bored Ape NFT.
The opposition is the latest development in a lengthy legal battle over Yuga Labs’ intellectual property rights. Yuga Labs sued Cahen and concept artist Ryder Ripps for trademark infringement last year in California federal court.
The company claimed that Ripps and Cahen created Bored Ape Yacht Club NFT knockoffs under the name “RR/BAYC”, which misled potential consumers into believing they were purchasing genuine Bored Apes. Ripps and Cahen have countered that their NFTs are protected speech criticizing the racist dog whistles allegedly embedded in the Bored Apes.
Cahen’s notice of opposition asks the PTO to cancel Yuga Labs’ registration applications, which cover variations of the “Bored Ape Yacht Club” name and the ape skull logo.
“The Trademark Office has preliminarily approved Yuga Labs’ trademark applications, and we look forward to full approval in due course,” a Yuga Labs spokesperson said in a statement to Bloomberg Law. “Jeremy Cahen’s filing is just another attempt to divert attention from the real issue at hand, his infringement of Yuga’s intellectual property.”
Cahen’s opposition claimed that Yuga Labs failed to demonstrate that it had a “good faith intent to legally use” the trademarks in its applications because Bored Ape’s NFTs should be classified as securities under federal law. He noted that Yuga Labs is subject to a US Securities and Exchange Commission investigation into whether the company should follow securities disclosure rules.
Cahen also claimed that Yuga Labs does not own and lost its rights to its various digital logo designs. Cahen said Yuga Labs’ terms of sale grant the owners of Bored Ape NFT “all rights” associated with the digital image, meaning the company cannot claim trademark rights in the images.
He also argued that Yuga Labs “donated” an NFT with an ape skull to a decentralized autonomous organization known as “ApeCoin” that came with “all rights and privileges of the logo’s intellectual property.”
Yuga Labs applied to register all 10 trademarks in 2021. The company has until March 21 to respond to Cahen’s opposition.