“The Court concludes that the maximum number of statutory damages is fair, just, and appropriate because the evidence demonstrates that Defendants’ cybersquatting was willful and egregious,” Judge Walter wrote. “As the Court previously concluded in its April 21, 2023 Order, Defendants intentionally infringed Yuga’s BAYC Marks, did not have any trademark or other intellectual property rights in the domain names, and registered the domains, knowing they were identical or confusingly similar to the BAYC Marks, well after Yuga had already launched its BAYC NFTs collection.”
Along with siding with Yuga Labs in the case, Judge Walter also called Ripps and Pauly's behavior throughout this case obstructive and evasive, and said that Ripps and Pauly's statements about Yuga Labs, its team, and its lawyers were 'egregious.'
“Finally, Defendants’ conduct during the pendency of this litigation warrants a finding that this is an exceptional case,” Judge Walter wrote. “Defendants were obstructive and evasive throughout their depositions and during their trial testimony, which unnecessarily complicated these proceedings. In addition, Defendants unnecessarily and inappropriately made disgraceful and slanderous statements about Yuga, its founders, and its counsel during litigation, including calling Yuga’s counsel “criminals” who support “racism, antisemitism, bestiality, pedophilia” and accusing them of “using cartoons to market drugs to young children.” These statements were egregious and far exceed the bounds of acceptable conduct.”
Following the ruling, Yuga Labs’ Co-Founder Gordon Goner, who recently returned to the swamp as an advisor after taking a leave of absence due to his health, took to Twitter and said it was ‘a good day to be an Ape.’
“$1.5m + legal fees and another $100k+ for our anti-SLAPP of all their bullshit,” Goner tweeted. “Bad day to be a scammer. Good day to be an ape.”
Goner’s ‘good day to be an ape’ comment kicked off a copy pasta trend around the BAYC wit members sharing photos of their Bored Apes across social media.
As the Apes celebrated Yuga Labs' win in court, Beeple immortalized the moment by making it the subject of his October 26, 2023 Everyday piece dubbed 'FAFO,' featuring BAYC member TropoFarmer's notable primate.
While the BAYC celebrated Yuga’s victory, legendary NFT collector Pranksy, who minted a tenth of the BAYC supply back in 2021, saw today’s ruling as not only a win for Yuga Labs but also as a landmark case for Web3!
“A landmark case for all NFTs, algorithmic smart contract art can be protected by copyright and trademark,” he wrote. “It's not just shit made up to sound good.”
After today’s ruling, Yuga Labs’ Lawyers will meet with Ripps and Pauly’s Lawyers to determine ‘reasonable attorney fees and costs. Judge Walters stated that he wants the two side to work this out amongst themselves by November 20,2023, according to the filling. If they cannot come to an agreement by then, then the judge may refer this issue to a Special Master, who will be tasked with determining how much Ripps and Pauly owe Yuga Labs.