Matter Labs Abandons Trademark Effort for 'Zero-Knowledge' Following Backlash

Matter Labs Abandons Trademark Effort for 'Zero-Knowledge' Following Backlash

By: Eva Baxter

Matter Labs, the team behind Ethereum layer-2 network zkSync, announced on June 2 that it would drop all trademark applications for “zero-knowledge (ZK).” The move comes after a wave of scrutiny and criticism from various stakeholders in the crypto community.

Last week, Matter Labs faced intense criticism for attempting to trademark the term ZK. Key figures in the industry, including Polygon co-founders Sandeep Nailwal and Brendan Farmer, StarkWare CEO Eli Ben-Sasson, Polyhedra Network co-founder Tiancheng Xie, and Turing Award winner Shafi Goldwasser, expressed strong objections. They argued that the term 'zero-knowledge' is a public good that no single company should own, stating that Matter Labs' actions were contrary to the fundamental principles of the crypto industry.

Matter Labs Responds

In response to the backlash, Matter Labs decided to withdraw its trademark efforts. The company acknowledged the importance of community input, stating, “These discussions came down to one important fact: it would be impossible to agree on a group of people perceived as credibly neutral by nearly everyone. What could have worked for Ethereum would not necessarily work for the entire world.”

Matter Labs CEO Alex Gluchowski confirmed the decision, despite acknowledging increased legal risks. He emphasized, “The very purpose of ZK is to help humanity change its mode of cooperation from ‘don’t be evil’ to ‘can’t be evil.’ I feel that this is the right thing to do.”

Despite Matter Labs' public statement, the status of the ZK trademark application on the US Patent and Trademark Office website indicates that the process is still ongoing. The application, filed on February 27, has been accepted and is awaiting assignment to an examiner.

The announcement to drop the trademark application signals Matter Labs' commitment to uphold the decentralized and collaborative spirit that underpins the crypto industry. Industry observers will be closely following the situation to ensure that the firm's actions align with its public commitments.

Get In Touch

[email protected]

Follow Us

© BlockBriefly. All Rights Reserved.