Unstoppable Domains Under Fire for Alleged Patent Appropriation
Unstoppable Domains is as of now under scrutiny for its alleged appropriation of open-source advancements from the Ethereum (ETH) Name Service (ENS) through the filing of a patent was known “Resolving Blockchain Domain Names” earlier this year.
Debate Sparked by Open Letter
An open letter from Nick Johnson, the lead developer of ENS, has sparked whole lot of debate. Johnson expressed concerns about Unstoppable Domains’ patent applications related to blockchain domain names, highlighting ENS’ commitment to open source, open standards, and governance.
The debate centers around Unstoppable Domains’ first patent, US11558344, granted in January. The letter states that the patent is based entirely on innovations developed by ENS, lacking originality, and raises questions about supporting open innovation while pursuing patents mirroring ENS’s work.
The open letter likewise highlighted Unstoppable Domains’ pursuit of additional patents, including one for reserving names similar to a “Sunrise Phase,” a concept well- established in the DNS world. Frustrated by unsuccessful attempts to communicate with Unstoppable Domains, the ENS developer stressed the importance of permissionless innovation and open standards in the Web 3.0 ecosystem.
In terms of Unstoppable Domains’ pledge of its patents to the Web 3.0 Domain Alliance, ENS expressed skepticism, urging UD to reinforce its commitment by making an unconditional and irrevocable patent pledge, aligning with the defensive purpose for acquiring patents.
ENS underlined the critical nature of such a pledge for maintaining an open and innovative Web 3.0 naming field, mitigating any probable chilling effect resulting from Unstoppable Domains’ ownership of patents allegedly derived entirely from ENS’ inventions.
Response from Unstoppable Domains
CEO of Unstoppable Domains, Matthew Gould, responded to the letter, keeping in mind that the focus on the Web 3.0 domain platform could shift to patents or trademarks from corporations in other regions. He invited ENS to participate in the Web 3.0 Domain Alliance as a founding charter member, fostering a proactive discussion forum.
Unstoppable Domains and ENS are the two most prominent Web 3.0 domain providers in the space. In July, Unstoppable Domains announced extending support for .eth domains, allowing users to make purchases directly through the official website.
Traditionally known for offering domain extensions like . cryptocurrency, .blockchain, .nft, etc., Unstoppable Domains expanded its services to include .eth domains, a space previously exclusive to purchases through the Ethereum (ETH) Name Service (ENS).
Hot Take: Unstoppable Domains vs. Ethereum (ETH) Name Service – Who Will Win the Battle?
The debate surrounding Unstoppable Domains’ patent appropriation has sparked whole lot of controversy within the Web 3.0 domain space. As these two prominent providers continue to clash, future of the blockchain domain innovation remains uncertain. Both parties’ commitment to open standards and permissionless innovation will likely be closely monitored as the debate unfolds.
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