May 3, 2024
Divided Views: ENS's Challenge to Unstoppable Domains Patent
Altcoins News

Divided Views: ENS’s Challenge to Unstoppable Domains Patent

The crypto community finds itself divided as Ethereum Name Service (ENS) takes on Unstoppable Domains (UD) in a legal battle over a patent granted to UD in January 2023. ENS officially filed a petition on May 2, urging the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) to review the validity of UD’s patent, citing concerns over the future of the open web.

ENS: Protecting a Vision of Decentralization

ENS asserts that UD has patented technology that ENS pioneered, calling it “theft” rather than flattery. The organization, known for its commitment to decentralization and public benefit, argues that UD’s patent poses a threat to its core values, including the belief that essential web functions should be free from patent barriers.

Community Voices: Support and Opposition

Opinions within the crypto community vary widely. Some, like Adam Cochran from Cinneamhain Ventures, support ENS’s stance, emphasizing the importance of keeping blockchain names as a perpetual public good. Cochran stresses the value of building openly in the crypto space and avoiding the capture of intellectual property.

Meanwhile, the DeFi Education Fund stands with ENS, aligning itself with the advocacy for open-source protocols. However, dissenting voices argue against ENS’s actions. Some accuse ENS of inciting others against UD and criticize the organization for imposing high fees on investors.

UD’s Response and ENS’s Challenge

In response to ENS’s petition, Unstoppable Domains founder Matthew Gould defended the validity of their patent. Gould stated that ENS was cited in the patent alongside other blockchain domain systems, implying that ENS was aware of its contents during the review process.

ENS founder Nick Johnson challenged Gould to identify key innovations in UD’s patent that were not already part of ENS’s technology. However, Gould did not respond further to ENS’s challenge.


The ENS vs. UD dispute underscores the broader debate on intellectual property in the crypto space. With both sides fiercely defending their positions, the outcome will impact the future of decentralized web technologies. As community awaits the resolution, it reflects on the balance between innovation, patents, and open-source principles in the digital realm.

Image by wirestock on Freepik

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