NFT News: Physical CryptoPunks, Mercedes NFTs, Yuga Labs’ Victory in ‘Copycat’ Lawsuit

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by Bhushan Akolkar · 3 min read
NFT News: Physical CryptoPunks, Mercedes NFTs, Yuga Labs’ Victory in ‘Copycat’ Lawsuit
Photo: Depositphotos

The NFT space is buzzing with activity currently. Yuga Labs recently won a lawsuit with NFT artists Ryder Ripps and Jeremy Cahen paying $1.6 million in compensation for infringement.

While everyone’s attention remains currently glued to Bitcoin and the broader crypto market, a lot has been happening parallel in the non-fungible tokens (NFT) market as well. CryptoPunks NFT holders had a unique opportunity to acquire physical versions of their digital art pieces for a limited 48-hour period. This exclusive offer happened through a collaboration between Yuga Labs, the proprietor of the CryptoPunks brand, and the online art store Avant Arte.

During the brief sale period, two distinct physical versions of CryptoPunks were available. “Punk-On-Chain” was reserved exclusively for CryptoPunks NFT owners, while “10,000 On-Chain” comprised a print collection of all 10,000 CryptoPunks, accessible to the general public.

Big German Firms Leveraging NFTs

In contrast to the prevailing downturn in the NFT market, numerous German firms have integrated NFTs into their corporate strategies. Notably, the German postal service is likely to introduce its inaugural limited-edition collectible stamp on November 2, 2023, a unique fusion of NFTs and artificial intelligence.

Similarly, Mercedes-Benz, the renowned German automotive company, unveiled its third NFT collection, “The Era of Luxury”, in September. This collection features digital collectibles that serve as contemporary reinterpretations of iconic designs spanning the brand’s seven distinct design epochs.

Lufthansa, in partnership with Lufthansa Innovation Hub and Miles & More, its frequent flyer program, has introduced a groundbreaking NFT loyalty program on the Polygon network. The innovative program revolves around the Uptrip mobile application, which empowers travelers to transform their journeys into NFTs. These NFTs subsequently open doors to an array of rewards, including mileage bonuses and access to business lounges.

Ryder Ripps Pays $1.6 Million to Yuga Labs

In the resolution of an ongoing NFT lawsuit, the United States district court judge has ordered NFT artists Ryder Ripps and Jeremy Cahen to compensate Bored Ape Yacht Club creator Yuga Labs with $1.57 million, covering disgorgement, damages, and legal fees.

Yuga Labs initiated the lawsuit alleging copyright violations by Ripps and Cahen in their creation of copycat versions of the renowned Bored Ape Yacht Club NFT collectibles. The NFT giant first filed the lawsuit against the creators back in June 2022.

“A trademark case is generally considered exceptional for purposes of awarding of attorneys’ fees when a party has taken positions that can be characterized as malicious, fraudulent, deliberate or willful,” the judge noted.

Judge Walter rejected the defendants’ claim that their copycat Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC) versions constituted “satire” and “parody”. The ruling determined that the defendants had willfully infringed upon Yuga’s BAYC trademarks with the intent to profit from them, dismissing their argument.

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