Feb 20, 2023

Yuga Labs Accused of Illegally Trademarking Wolf Skull Logo

The wolf skull logo of Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC), Yuga Labs’ premier nonfungible token (NFT) collection, has raised some eyebrows. It appears that the image was used without proper licenses, as it was originally released by a company specializing in drawing tutorials for children and beginners.

This news has caused a stir in the crypto community, as it goes against the very purpose of NFTs: to protect artists from illegal use of their intellectual property. The controversy began when Twitter user and NFT artist @Jdotcolombo discovered a post from April 5, 2021 on Easy Drawing Guides, advertising a wolf skull drawing tutorial. The art closely resembled BAYC’s official logo, raising suspicion of wrongdoing, as BAYC’s Kennel Club collectibles launched on June 17, 2021.

Easy Drawing Guides responded, confirming that Yuga Labs had no license to use the wolf skull drawing. Furthermore, the company revealed that the intellectual property rights for the drawing belong to Easy Drawing Guides, as it’s 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. 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.

This is not the first time Yuga Labs has faced an intellectual property dilemma. One of the founders of the BAYC copycat NFT collection RR/BAYC filed an opposition notice against 10 trademark applications from Yuga Labs. 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 news has caused many to question the effectiveness of NFTs and their ability to protect the rights of artists. It has also shed light on the importance of proper NFT promotion and marketing. As the industry continues to grow, it is essential for NFT issuers to be mindful of their intellectual property rights and to work with a reliable NFT marketing agency to ensure the proper use of their artwork. Furthermore, it is important to ensure that the artwork is properly licensed and that any trademarks associated with the artwork are registered with the USPTO. By following these steps, NFT issuers can rest assured that their artwork will remain protected and that their NFTs will be able to reach the right audience.

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