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Bored Ape Kennel Club Raises Intellectual Property Rights Controversy

The wolf skull logo design used by Yuga Labs for its Kennel Club NFTs appears to originate from an Easy Drawing Tutorial

Yuga Labs, the creators of Bored Ape Yacht Club NFTs, have been caught using an unlicensed design for its Bored Ape Kennel Club logo.

Ironically the company promotes its NFTs to help individuals have true ownership of their creations and avoid the illegal use of an intellectual property. Which is now something the company appears to have done itself.

The logo that Yuga Labs uses for its Bored Ape Kennel Club NFT collection did not use the original artist’s proper licence or permission. A Twitter user noticed that the logo design, which features the skull of a wolf, shares the likeness of an Easy Drawing Tutorial. Since then, the original creator and Yuga-Labs Co-founder have acknowledged the issue.

The left image shows the tutorial image and on the right is the BAKC logo

Problems for Yuga Labs

The original design creator saw the tweet and thanked the individual for bringing the issue to light. They then went on to express that Yuga Labs did not have a licence for the wolf skull drawing. The intellectual property rights for the drawing belong to Easy Drawing Guides, and their Terms and Conditions protect the artwork.

Easy Drawing Guides Twitter statement

This lands Yuga Lands in an awkward spot for a platform that models itself on user ownership. Yuga released the BAKC collection in June 2021 and applied a trademark to the logo in November. However, the official page for Easy Drawing Tutorial had posted the wolf skull art three months earlier.

Easy Drawing Tutorials’ terms and conditions explain that commercial use of its property content is not allowed and acts to provide individuals with step-by-step instructions to create drawings. These designs are simple to follow for kids and beginner artists.

Investigation underway

Yuga Labs, co-founder Greg Solano addressed the IP issue stating that the claims were “news to us and we’re still investigating the situation.” Solano also noted that the freelance artist Yuga hired to create the design has been contacted. In addition, the company has removed the logo from its website and marketplace.

Solano states in a tweet that “this collection was meant from the start to be about raising money for charity and I’m proud of the fact that BAKC raised over $1 million for animal charities. We will debut the new logo soon so we can continue to do some good work for the causes we care about.”

Yuga Labs have been dealing with other trademark cases lately when they filed a complaint against Thomas Lehman. Yuga Labs has also come under fire due to its celebrity endorsements, with stars such as Jimmy Fallon and Paris Hilton named in a lawsuit against the blockchain company.

Written By

Paige Cook is a writer with a multi-media background. She has experience covering video games and technology and also has freelance experience in video editing, graphic design, and photography. Paige is a massive fan of the movie industry and loves a good TV show, if she is not watching something interesting then she's probably playing video games or buried in a good book. Her latest addiction is virtual photography and currently spends far too much time taking pretty pictures in games rather than actually finishing them.

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