Unstoppable Domains facing lawsuit from ENS developers over web 3.0 domains.
ENS developers urge Unstoppable Domains to drop patents or face lawsuit

Ethereum Name Service (ENS) Patent Dispute

Nick Johnson, the founder and lead developer of Ethereum Name Service (ENS), has called on blockchain domains company Unstoppable Domains to drop a recently awarded patent or face a lawsuit. Johnson shared his open letter on X (formerly Twitter).

Unstoppable Domains was granted US Patent No. 11558344 in January 2021. It claims that Braden River Pezeshki, Matthew Everett Gould and Bogdan Gusiev invented a technology that uses blockchain technology to determine domains.

According to Johnson, the patent is “based entirely on innovations that ENS developed and contains no novel innovations of its own.” All ENS work is under open-source licenses, with all standards publicly available for implementation. Johnson has attempted to contact Unstoppable Domains about the issue, but has had no success.

Johnson is now urging Unstoppable Domains to drop the patent or face a lawsuit. He believes that the web 3.0 technology, which ENS is part of, should be available to all and not monopolized by a single entity.

Unstoppable Domains Pledge Patent to Web3 Domain Alliance

Johnson noted in a thread that although UD has issued a press release ‘pledging’ its first patent to the Web3 Domain Alliance, an industry group founded and run by Unstoppable Domains, press releases are not legally binding. ENS Labs is “ready to challenge this patent, which we believe is entirely derivative of our own inventions; a position we are able and willing to demonstrate,” Johnson warned.

Matthew Gould, one of the alleged inventors from Unstoppable Domains, responded in the thread, extending an open invitation to join the Web3 Domain Alliance, the blockchain domain registry organization allegedly pledged with the patent. Gould argued that web 3.0 domains will work in a certain way. Cointelegraph reached out to Unstoppable Domains, but did not receive an immediate response.

The crypto community has taken notice of the thread. Bob Summerwill, executive director of the Ethereum Classic Cooperative (ETC Cooperative), pointed out that requiring organizations to become members of the Web3 Domain Alliance to gain access to the technology is a direct challenge to open-source ethos.

“Additionally, Matt, the commitment we are discussing is not the same as the one previously mentioned, because legal entities need to join the club to benefit from the patent pledge. You are retaining the right to patent attack anyone who does not meet your alliance’s requirements and join it.”

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