Ethereum Name Service decries Unstoppable Domains patent as a threat to open-source ethos

Nick Johnson, the lead developer of Ethereum Name Service (ENS), accused Unstoppable Domains of patenting its open-source innovation relating to “Resolving Blockchain Domain” in a Nov. 16 open letter posted on social media platform X (previously Twitter).

Johnson asserted that Unstoppable Domains’ patent was solely primarily based on ENS-developed improvements with none distinctive contributions from the rival agency.

Unstoppable Domains ‘anti-open innovation’ actions

Johnson additional defined how Unstoppable Domains’ patenting efforts contradict the ideas of open innovation, citing how the rival agency made a latest “application for reserving names akin to a ‘Sunrise Phase’ that has been common to the Domain Name Service (DNS) world for many years.”

However, ENS has shunned patenting its improvements regardless of being a chief within the house, saying its works are “under open-source licenses” and “publicly available for anyone to implement.”

Johnson emphasised the necessity for Unstoppable Domains to commit legally to donating its first patent below an “unconditional and irrevocable patent pledge,” saying, “Press releases are not legally binding.” Failure to do that, Johnson warned that “ENS Labs stands ready to challenge this patent, which we believe is entirely derivative of our inventions; a position we are able and willing to demonstrate.”

He concluded that the letter was obligatory to “emphasize the importance of permissionless innovation and open standards in the web3 ecosystem and to request [Unstoppable Domains] cooperation in ensuring web3 naming continues to be a place for innovation.”

Unstoppable Domains responds

In response, Matthew Gould, the founding father of Unstoppable Domains, highlighted his agency’s dedication to driving developments in web3 naming requirements. He emphasised the important function of collaborative efforts and discussions in navigating the trade’s evolving panorama.

In the meantime, Johnson proposed that Unstoppable Domains ought to prolong the openness of their patent licensing past ENS, citing fashions such as patent non-aggression pacts utilized by firms like IBM.

Nonetheless, Gould broadened the scope of the dialogue, declaring the broader trade implications, noting that the deal with Unstoppable Domains might simply shift to patents or logos from firms in numerous areas later.

Gould reiterated the need for a proactive discussion board for dialogue, inviting ENS to be a part of the Web3 Area Alliance to foster an atmosphere conducive to open dialogue and collaboration in shaping the way forward for web3 naming requirements.

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