Matter Labs Trademark Application Now Withdrawn Amid ZK Community Controversy

Key Points:

  • Matter Labs trademark applications for “ZK” have been withdrawn after backlash from the ZK community.
  • Leading ZK figures, including co-inventors of ZK proofs and Polygon leaders, condemned the move.
  • Matter Labs acknowledged the community’s concerns and decided to drop the applications to maintain harmony.
Matter Labs, the company behind zkSync, has decided to withdraw all trademark applications for the term “ZK.”
Matter Labs Trademark Application Now Withdrawn Amid ZK Community Controversy
Matter Labs Trademark Application Now Withdrawn Amid ZK Community Controversy 2

Matter Labs Trademark Applications Now Withdrawn

The Matter Labs trademark application withdrawal decision was made after significant backlash from leading figures in the zero-knowledge (ZK) community, who argued that ZK technologies should remain a public good accessible to all.

The controversy began when Matter Labs trademark applications were filed for “ZK” in nine countries, asserting exclusive intellectual property rights over the term “zero-knowledge.” Notable critics included Shafi Goldwasser and Silvio Micali, co-inventors of ZK proofs, and leaders from Polygon and StarkWare, such as Sandeep Nailwal and Brendan Farmer, and Eli Ben-Sasson.

They collectively issued a statement condemning Matter Labs’ actions, emphasizing that ZK should not be monopolized by any single corporation and must remain a public good. They also warned that going through with the trademark would alienate Matter Labs from the ZK community.

The trademark controversy emerged just as zkSync was preparing for a highly anticipated airdrop in mid-June. Coinciding with Polyhedra’s use of the ZKJ ticker for its own token listing further complicated matters. Polyhedra, Polygon, and StarkWare reiterated that ZK should not be a corporate trademark but should continue serving as a public resource.

Matter Labs Responds to Community Backlash

In response to the criticism, Matter Labs announced on June 2 via a post on X (formerly Twitter) that it would abandon its trademark efforts. The company acknowledged the difficulty in establishing a neutral body to manage such trademarks globally and recognized that what might work for Ethereum wouldn’t necessarily apply universally.

Matter Labs emphasized that its intent was to protect the term “ZK” within the scope of its projects, such as ZK Sync and ZK Stack, without restricting its broader use in the community. Despite this, the firm conceded to the community’s concerns and decided to drop all trademark applications.

Matter Labs Trademark Application Now Withdrawn Amid ZK Community Controversy

Key Points:

  • Matter Labs trademark applications for “ZK” have been withdrawn after backlash from the ZK community.
  • Leading ZK figures, including co-inventors of ZK proofs and Polygon leaders, condemned the move.
  • Matter Labs acknowledged the community’s concerns and decided to drop the applications to maintain harmony.
Matter Labs, the company behind zkSync, has decided to withdraw all trademark applications for the term “ZK.”
Matter Labs Trademark Application Now Withdrawn Amid ZK Community Controversy
Matter Labs Trademark Application Now Withdrawn Amid ZK Community Controversy 4

Matter Labs Trademark Applications Now Withdrawn

The Matter Labs trademark application withdrawal decision was made after significant backlash from leading figures in the zero-knowledge (ZK) community, who argued that ZK technologies should remain a public good accessible to all.

The controversy began when Matter Labs trademark applications were filed for “ZK” in nine countries, asserting exclusive intellectual property rights over the term “zero-knowledge.” Notable critics included Shafi Goldwasser and Silvio Micali, co-inventors of ZK proofs, and leaders from Polygon and StarkWare, such as Sandeep Nailwal and Brendan Farmer, and Eli Ben-Sasson.

They collectively issued a statement condemning Matter Labs’ actions, emphasizing that ZK should not be monopolized by any single corporation and must remain a public good. They also warned that going through with the trademark would alienate Matter Labs from the ZK community.

The trademark controversy emerged just as zkSync was preparing for a highly anticipated airdrop in mid-June. Coinciding with Polyhedra’s use of the ZKJ ticker for its own token listing further complicated matters. Polyhedra, Polygon, and StarkWare reiterated that ZK should not be a corporate trademark but should continue serving as a public resource.

Matter Labs Responds to Community Backlash

In response to the criticism, Matter Labs announced on June 2 via a post on X (formerly Twitter) that it would abandon its trademark efforts. The company acknowledged the difficulty in establishing a neutral body to manage such trademarks globally and recognized that what might work for Ethereum wouldn’t necessarily apply universally.

Matter Labs emphasized that its intent was to protect the term “ZK” within the scope of its projects, such as ZK Sync and ZK Stack, without restricting its broader use in the community. Despite this, the firm conceded to the community’s concerns and decided to drop all trademark applications.

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