Did Yuga Labs miss 21-day deadline to answer Ryder Ripps’ counterclaims in Bored Apes lawsuit?

  • Yuga Labs’ trademark infringement lawsuit against Ryder Ripps and Jeremy Cahen just took another dramatic turn.
  • On December 27, 2022, Ripps and Cahen filed their answer to Yuga Labs’ complaint. Ripps asserted counterclaims against Yuga Labs, including a claim for a declaration that the Bored Apes characters are not copyrightable because generated by artificial intelligence (Count 2). Such a ruling would, of course, be HUGE.
  • On January 16, 2023, Yuga filed a motion to strike and dismiss Ripps’ counterclaims. But the docket indicates the following court order: “Order STRIKING MOTION to Strike Counterclaims 86 for insufficient time. Filing date was a Federal Holiday.” (Monday was Martin Luther King Jr. Day.)
  • On January 18, 2023, Yuga refiled its same motion. But that date was 22 days after Ripps’ filing of the counterclaims. Under the Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(a)(1)(B): “A party must serve an answer to a counterclaim or crossclaim within 21 days after being served with the pleading that states the counterclaim or crossclaim.”
  • Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 6(d) allows 3 extra days if the service of Ripps’ counterclaims was by mail. But, if the parties consent, electronic service is allowed, in which case no extra days are added.
  • On January 19, 2023, a proposed order has been filed by Ripps to deny Yuga Labs’ motion to strike and motion to dismiss Ripps’ counterclaims. (Still figuring out the consequences if the court agrees with the proposed order!) See below.
  • We will have to wait and see–with bated breath–how the court rules.
  • COI disclosure: I own Yuga Labs’ NFTs (Mutant Ape and Otherdeed).