Bored Ape Kennel Club (BAKC), a successful NFT collection owned by a blockchain company specializing in developing digital collectibles, has been using the logo which is almost identical to the image created by Easy Drawing Guides. The striking similarity between the two logos depicting an animal skull was noticed by a digital artist Joey Colombo who mentioned it in his Twitter post on February 17.
Although Yuga Labs submitted its logo for trademark registration in November 2021, Easy Drawing Guides, an educational resource with easy-to-follow step-by-step drawing instructions, had already posted a nearly identical image in April of that year. Easy Drawing Guides uses a cartoonish drawing style that stands out in the BAKC logo.
The platform with the drawing guides has explicitly stated that its copyrighted content cannot be used for commercial purposes, which means that Yuga Labs has violated its intellectual property:
"We grant you a non-transferable, non-exclusive, revocable, limited license to use and access the Website solely for your own personal, non-commercial use. Access to and use of the Website other than for your personal, non-commercial purposes is strictly prohibited. You agree not to use the Website, inclusive of any of the Products."
Both Greg Solano, aka Gargamel, the co-founder of Yuga Labs, and Easy Drawing Tutorial has acknowledged the similarity of the NFT collection logo to the image created by the educational platform.
In his 18 February Twitter post, Solano indicated that the logo was created by a freelancer who had been hired specifically to create the logo. Solano also mentioned the company's plan to change the collection's logo and make necessary updates, and explained the importance of BAKC:
"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 $1m for animal charities. Will debut the new logo soon so we can continue to do some good work for causes we care about."
Easy Drawing Guides has also commented on the incident in a Twitter post, pointing out that the image of the animal skull was their original drawing.
Reactions from the community of NFT enthusiasts varied widely, ranging from attempts to prove that there was no violation of Easy Drawing Guides' property rights to direct criticism of Yuga Labs.