Matter Labs Files for ‘ZK’ Trademark as Industry Calls for Withdrawal


The CEO of StarkWare compared the attempt to trademark ZK-proofs to a “baker trying to impose a blanket patent on bread.”

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Outraged by the crypto industry, Matter Labs has filed trademark applications in nine different countries claiming exclusive ownership of the term “zero-knowledge.”

The company creating zkSync, Matter Labs, has attempted in the past to register a token with cryptocurrency exchanges under the ticker symbol “ZK” in an effort to solidify their control over the technological paradigm.

CryptoCaster Quick Check:

Cryptographic protocols known as zero-knowledge (ZK) technology allow one party (the prover) to persuade another (the verifier) that a specific claim is true without divulging any information about the claim itself.

Eli Ben-Sasson, CEO of StarkWare, called Matter Labs’ attempt to trademark ZK technology a “absurd IP grab.”

“ZK cryptography was developed for the good of all. It’s shameful to witness an IP land grab by a company trying to expropriate ‘ZK’ as private intellectual property. It’s as absurd as an individual baker trying to impose a blanket patent on bread.”

Experts in the crypto space demand that the trademark application be withdrawn.

In a letter made public, leading industry figures demanded that Matter Labs’ trademark application be withdrawn due to what they described as “oppressive behavior.”


Prominent individuals signed the open letter, including co-founders of Polygon Sandeep Nailwal and Brendan Farmer, CEO of StarkWare Eli Ben-Sasson, co-founder of Polyhedra Network and inventor of zkBridge Tiancheng Xie, and co-inventor of ZK-proofs and winner of the Turing award Shafi Goldwasser.

The letter observes:

“We believe that ZK is a public good that belongs to everyone. A company exploiting the legal system to annex a public good violates the crypto ethos, the Ethereum ethos, and the academic ethos. It even goes against Matter Labs’ own ethos…”

ZK proofs hold enormous promise for humanity, according to StarkWare CEO

Ben-Sasson of StarkWare stated that no one company should attempt to claim this paradigm as their own because of the potential of ZK technology.

“ZK cryptography has massive potential for humanity — actually far beyond blockchain. We, in blockchain, are honored to be pioneering its first great use case – and hope this propels it to many other use cases.”


ZK-proofs are relatively new technology, but they are becoming more and more crucial for digital identity solutions in the future.

Assuring a privacy-focused approach for users, Zk-proofs could be used as Europe’s new digital identity solution, according to Dr. Jonas Gross, CEO of Hakata, who stated:

“ZKPs have the potential to start a new paradigm of compliance that breaks down data silos around identity information.”

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