Troubled cryptocurrency fintech Yuga Labs is about to face more lawsuits in relation to its nonfungible tokens (NFT) collection, Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC), and other projects.
Rosen Law Firm, a global law firm focused on investor rights’ protection, announced on Jan. 30 that it’s planning to file a class action lawsuit against Yuga Labs.
Rosen invited purchasers of Yuga securities — including BAYC NFTs and the native token ApeCoin (APE) — to join the class action against Yuga by the lead plaintiff deadline set for Feb. 7.
The law firm emphasized that Yuga securities’ investors who bought BAYC and APE between April 23, 2021, and Dec. 8, 2022, may be entitled to compensation without payment of any additional costs through a contingency fee arrangement.
The new case targets a large number of defendants, including Yuga Labs co-founder Wylie Aronow, who took a leave from the office on Jan. 28, citing health problems. The case will also be against co-founder Greg Solano, billionaire BAYC founder Kerem Atalay, Yuga Labs CEO Nicole Muniz, as well as some world-known celebrities, including Madonna and firms such as Adidas and MoonPay.
The new lawsuit is yet another attempt to hold Yuga Labs accountable for massive losses by NFT investors who bought BAYC and APE over the past few years. By October 2022, the average transaction value of BAYC NFTs had plummeted below $85,000 after reaching $312,000 in April 2022. The floor price of BAYC NFTs also tumbled from around 144 Ether (ETH), or $226,000, to 64 ETH ($100,000) at the time of writing.
Yuga Labs also faced a similar lawsuit from American plaintiffs Adonis Real and Adam Titcher in December 2022. Similarly to Rosen’s class action, the complaint listed more than 40 people and companies as defendants, including Madonna, Justin Bieber, Paris Hilton, Snoop Dogg, Jimmy Fallon, Post Malone and others.
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Previously, law firm Scott+Scott filed a class-action suit against Yuga Labs in June 2022, arguing that the firm “inappropriately induced” the community to buy BAYC NFTs and ApeCoin.
Yuga Labs, a Miami-based company, has been additionally involved in some disputes concerning trademark and copyright issues. In June, Yuga Labs filed a lawsuit in a Los Angeles court against artist Ryder Ripps, claiming that he had used Yuga Labs’ trademarks to promote his own NFT collection. A subsequent court filing suggested that Yuga Labs lacked copyright registration for BAYC.
“Yuga Labs does not have a registered copyright, and there is, therefore no imminent threat of a lawsuit for copyright infringement,” the filing stated.
Despite facing a lot of issues, Yuga Labs has been taking measures to expand its NFT ecosystem. On Jan. 18, Yuga Labs launched its new Dookey Dash game, a skill-based minting experience allowing BAYC investors to claim free tokens in order to compete for the highest score and earn new perks.