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Matter Labs Withdraws ‘ZK’ Trademark Application After Industry Backlash

Hongji Feng
Last updated: | 1 min read
Scientist

Matter Labs, the developer of the ZkSync Ethereum Layer 2 network, has dropped its attempt to trademark the term “ZK” following backlash.

According to a statement posted on social media by Matter Labs, the decision to withdraw applications came after extensive discussions with key figures in the zero-knowledge proof field.

Community Leaders Condemn Unethical Attempt


A group of industry leaders published a statement to criticize the company’s attempt. The backlash was driven by concerns that trademarking the term would undermine the community’s collaborative spirit and restrict access to a fundamental technology.

“We condemn this behavior in the strongest possible terms, as a transparent attempt by a corporation to claim ownership over something that does not belong to it,” the public statement reads. “We believe that ZK is a public good that belongs to everyone.”

“A company exploiting the legal system to annex a public good violates the crypto ethos, the Ethereum ethos, and the academic ethos. It even goes against Matter Labs’ own ethos, which states: ‘We can make this world better by increasing people’s freedom,’” the letter addressed.

The statement also emphasized that ZK should remain public and accessible to all users. It stated that the technology and knowledge were created collectively, and therefore, all contributions should be owned by the collective.

The signatories included ZK Proofs co-inventors Shafi Goldwasser and Silvio Micali, StarkWare CEO Eli Ben-sasson, Polygon co-founders Sandeep Nailwal and Brendan Farmer, Polyhedra Network co-founder Tiancheng Xie, and Kakarot co-founder Elias Tazertes.

Matter Labs to Launch ZK Token Airdrop


Matter Labs said in the post that the company was proud to be in the movement that demonstrated tremendous care about crypto values.

“As a result of these conversations, we decided to drop all trademark applications for the term ‘ZK,’” said the company. “What could have worked for Ethereum would not necessarily work for the entire world.”

In addition, the company planned to launch an airdrop and invited the current users to register for wallets whitelisting.