Feb 20, 2023

BAYC Logo Allegedly Illegally Trademarked

The Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC), a nonfungible token (NFT) collection developed by Yuga Labs, is embroiled in a dispute over its iconic wolf skull logo. It is alleged that the logo was illegally trademarked without proper licenses.

The original artwork was created by Easy Drawing Guides, a company specializing in drawing tutorials for children and beginners. On April 5, 2021, the company posted a tutorial for a wolf skull drawing, which closely resembled the official BAYC logo. This raised suspicion of wrongdoing, as BAYC’s Kennel Club collectibles were only released on June 17, 2021.

In response to the commotion, Easy Drawing Guides confirmed that Yuga Labs had no license to use the wolf skull drawing. Furthermore, the company stated that the intellectual property rights for the drawing belonged to Easy Drawing Guides, as it was their original drawing and protected by their Terms and Conditions.

The Terms and Conditions of Easy Drawing Guides grant a non-transferable, non-exclusive, revocable, limited license to use and access the website solely for personal, non-commercial use. Thus, BAYC supporters believe that no intellectual property was breached in using the logo; however, most agree that Easy Drawing Guides is entitled to some serious compensation.

Yuga Labs has not yet responded to the allegations. This is not the first time the company has faced an intellectual property dilemma. In response to 10 trademark applications from Yuga Labs, one of the founders of the BAYC copycat NFT collection RR/BAYC filed an opposition notice. In the notice, RR/BAYC co-founder Jeremy Cahen highlighted a list of “grounds for opposition” against Yuga Labs’ filings, claiming that the company “abandoned any rights” to certain logo and artwork designs due to BAYC NFT sales granting “all rights” of the digital images to the owners.

The dispute has highlighted the importance of proper licensing and copyright when it comes to NFTs. As the popularity of NFTs continues to grow, it is essential that companies and artists take the necessary steps to protect their intellectual property. This includes seeking legal advice, using proper licensing and copyright, and engaging a web3 agency or NFT marketing agency to promote their NFTs and ensure their artwork is not illegally used or sold.

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