Consensys-backed Linea urges Matter Labs to withdraw ZK trademark filing

As a long-time crypto investor and fervent supporter of Ethereum’s ethos, I strongly believe that Matter Labs should withdraw their trademark applications for “ZK.” The principles of transparency, collaboration, and innovation are the cornerstones of the blockchain world, and attempting to assert exclusive ownership over a term as fundamental as Zero-Knowledge goes against these very tenets.

Ethereum‘s Layer-2 solution Linea urges Matter Labs to abandon their “ZK” trademark applications. According to Linea, these filings contradict the values of Ethereum.

As a crypto investor, I’ve been closely following the developments of Consensys-backed zkEVM layer-2 solution Linea and Matter Labs’ zkSync. Recently, Linea has made a call to action for Matter Labs, urging them to reconsider their decision to use “ZK” as the ticker symbol for their upcoming token. I believe it would be in the best interest of both parties to avoid potential confusion and trademark disputes within our growing crypto community.

On May 31, Linea made a post on X, highlighting that relying on legal structures to claim ownership over a specific area of cryptography is contrary to Ethereum’s values. They strongly encouraged Matter Labs to remain true to their objectives and abandon their efforts to register trademarks in this field.

Matter Labs, the company behind @zkSync, recently filed trademark applications for the term “ZK,” which they aim to exclusively use. Zero-Knowledge, commonly abbreviated as zk in cryptography circles, is an advanced field of cryptographic research that has seen significant innovation from global researchers.

— Linea (@LineaBuild) May 31, 2024

Linea strongly advocates for StarkWare and urges Matter Labs to reconsider their trademark application. So far, this stance has met resistance from notable crypto figures such as Sandeep Nailwal and Brendan Farmer of Polygon, Eli Ben-Sasson of StarkWare, and Tiancheng Xie of Polyhedra Network, among others.

Today, we aim to rally wider public approval for requesting Matters to retract all questionable, generic trademark submissions. In line with Polygon Labs’ authentic Ethereum spirit, we continuously contribute open-source technology that enriches all. This dedication has yielded favorable outcomes.

— Polygon | Aggregated (@0xPolygon) May 30, 2024

The dispute arose when Matter Labs applied for trademarks on the abbreviation “ZK,” intending to secure exclusive rights. However, this ticker was already being used by Polyhedra Network for their token. After learning of this, Polyhedra Network modified its ticker symbol to “ZKJ.” In response, they accused Matter Labs of acting unethically and disingenuously, labeling them as “more like robbers and thieves than genuine builders on the blockchain.”

It is our belief that everyone in the community recognizes the essence of fairness and justice. Let’s identify who supports such misconduct and who will uphold fairness and justice instead.

— Polyhedra Network (@PolyhedraZK) May 24, 2024

As a researcher delved into the latest development within the Ethereum community, I couldn’t help but notice the intense backlash it received. Critics argued passionately that this action could hinder the creative process and cooperation essential for progress in the dynamic realm of Zero-Knowledge cryptography.

As a analyst, I’d explain the rationale behind Matter Labs’ application for ZK-related trademarks by saying: “In response to criticism, I, Matter Labs, clarified in an X post that we filed these trademark applications to safeguard the use of ‘ZK’ within our project names such as ‘ZK Sync’ and ‘ZK Stack’. Regrettably, at present, trademarks are the most effective means to secure this terminology in relation to our work.”

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2024-05-31 11:18