Nick Johnson has written an open letter to Unstoppable Domains (UDs), questioning their patent applications for blockchain domain resolving.
The founder and core developer of Ethereum Name Service (ENS) has questioned their patent applications for blockchain domain resolving.
Johnson argues that UDs infringe on ENS’s innovations and calls for a legally binding patent commitment.
The open letter highlights the differences between ENS and UDs in their approach to open-source standards and innovation.
Established in 2017, the Name Service is a decentralized naming service that allows users to register and manage domain names on the Ethereum blockchain.
ENS has been committed to open source values, licensing all their work under open source licenses and making their standards accessible for anyone to implement.
ENS has also refrained from applying for patents, aligning with its principles of open innovation.
UDs, on the other hand, is a naming service that allows users to register and manage domain names on various blockchains, such as Ethereum, Polygon, and Binance Smart Chain.
UDs claims to support open innovation but has recently pursued patent applications for blockchain domain resolving.
Johnson points out a specific patent that UDs was granted earlier this year, labeled ‘Blockchain Domain Name Resolving,’ with the number US11558344.
Johnson contends that this patent relies entirely on innovations developed by ENS and lacks original contributions from UDs.
Nick Johnson expresses skepticism about the legal implications of UDs’ commitment to the Web3 Domain Alliance, a member-led coalition that aims to promote the technological advancement and interoperability of Web3 domain names.
Johnson asserts that non-binding commitments cannot be relied upon for core business aspects. He calls for UDs to give legal effect to its commitments and make an unconditional and irrevocable patent commitment.
Johnson warns that if this isn’t done, ENS Labs is prepared to challenge the patent, asserting its belief in the unique nature of its invention.