Matter Labs, the corporate entity behind Ethereum layer 2 scaling solution zkSync, planned to claim “ZK” as its intellectual property after filing trademark applications for the term in nine countries last week. Now, Matter Labs is backtracking on those plans, withdrawing all applications as a result of conversations with other members of the industry.


“These discussions came down to one important fact: it would be impossible to agree on a group of people perceived as credibly neutral by nearly everyone. What could have worked for Ethereum would not necessarily work for the entire world,” said Matter Labs in a post on X.

ZK or zero-knowledge is the term ascribed to the cryptographic proof that allows one party to prove it possesses certain information, without ever revealing that information. This encryption technology is key to building layer 2 networks to make Ethereum more scalable, and is used by zkSync, Starknet and PolygonZero. 

When Matter Labs first unveiled plans to trademark “ZK,” they sparked outrage among several other ZK builders in the space. Co-founders and leading executives at StarkWare, Polygon, Algorand, Polyhedra and Kakarot issued a public statement condemning Matter Labs’ attempt to claim ownership over the term ZK.

“A company exploiting the legal system to annex a public good violates the crypto ethos, the Ethereum ethos, and the academic ethos,” said the ZK builders in the statement. 

“Matter Labs’ own ‘credo’ encourages collective action in the face of oppressive behavior which seeks to undermine sovereignty.”

Matter Labs move to trademark the term ZK came after a dispute with Polyhedra over a proposed “Z”’ ticker symbol for its token generation event (TGE). Polyhedra contested zkSync’s attempt to claim the ticker and accused them of spreading misinformation on the issue.

The zkSync TGE  is expected to take place around June 13, according to internal team messages seen by The Block. The token is expected to have a supply of 21 billion, an airdrop event and official token launch will take place shortly after the TGE.