Consensys-backed Linea urges Matter Labs to withdraw ZK trademark filing

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Ethereum’s layer-2 solution Linea is calling on Matter Labs to withdraw “ZK” trademark attempts, saying the filing “goes against the principles of Ethereum.”

Consensys-backed zkEVM layer-2 solution Linea is urging Matter Labs, the firm behind another layer-2 solution dubbed zkSync, to withdraw its trademark filing for “ZK,” which the firm is planning to use as a ticker for its upcoming token.

In an X post on May 31, Linea emphasized that using legal frameworks to assert ownership over a branch of cryptography “goes against the principles of Ethereum,” urging Matter Labs to “uphold their mission and withdraw their trademark attempts.”

Linea emphasized its support for StarkWare, which is also calling on Matter Labs to withdraw its trademark application. Thus far, the zkSync developer has faced opposition from top crypto executives, including Polygon co-founders Sandeep Nailwal and Brendan Farmer, StarkWare CEO Eli Ben-Sasson, and Polyhedra Network co-founder and zkBridge inventor Tiancheng Xie, among others.

The controversy began when Matter Labs filed trademarks for “ZK,” aiming to establish exclusive intellectual property rights, despite the ticker already being used by Polyhedra Network for its token. Following the news, Polyhedra Network changed its ticker to “ZKJ,” criticizing Matter Labs’ move as “a great job as a robber and a thief, not a blockchain builder.”

The action sparked backlash within the Ethereum community, with critics asserting that it could stifle innovation and collaboration in the rapidly evolving field of Zero-Knowledge cryptography.

Addressing the critique, Matter Labs stated in an X post that the decision to apply for ZK-related trademarks was made to “ensure that the term ‘ZK’ can be used freely in the context of ‘ZK Sync’, ‘ZK Stack’ and other related names. Like it or not, trademarks are the only legal tool available for this today.”

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