DeFi Education Fund Challenges Controversial Blockchain Patent

CryptoMode DeFi Patent Troll

In a bold move against potential patent exploitation, the DeFi Education Fund (DEF) has approached the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Their objective? To contest the legitimacy of a patent owned by a company they believe operates as a “patent troll”.

DEF Takes a Stand Against True Return Systems

On September 7, DEF disclosed their submission of a comprehensive 90-page petition in an enlightening blog post. Their target? A specific patent held by True Return Systems.

Amanda Tuminelli, DEF’s legal chief, informed the public via a tweet on September 11. The patent in contention, granted in 2018, describes a technique for “connecting off-chain data to a blockchain.”

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Interestingly, True Return attempted to monetize its patent, trying to market it as a nonfungible token (NFT). However, when they found no takers, they shifted their strategy. MakerDAO and Compound Finance, two well-known DeFi protocols, faced legal action from True Return in October.

Tuminelli didn’t mince her words, indicating, “It appears True Return’s primary objective was to target entities unable to counteract the legal action. They sought a hassle-free default judgment.”

Concerns Over Legal Overreach

She further hypothesized that True Return’s next steps would involve leveraging the court’s decisions against token holders. Their game plan, she suggested, might involve repeating this tactic against other protocols. Especially those “lacking either the capability or funds for a legal counter.”

DEF argues that the technology outlined in True Return’s patent isn’t groundbreaking. In fact, they’ve pinpointed existing technologies such as the InterPlanetary File System (IPFS). Furthermore, decentralized storage solutions like Sia, Storj, and Swarm bear resemblances to the patented tech.

DEF’s Proactive Defense Against Patent Trolls

But why this spirited challenge against True Return’s patent? DEF aims to shield the freedom to innovate using open-source software. Moreover, they hope to deter any potential litigations True Return might contemplate against crypto projects. Ultimately, DEF’s goal is also to bolster MakerDAO’s and Compound’s legal defenses.

Now, the ball is in True Return’s court. They’ve been granted a three-month window to consider and respond to DEF’s petition. The USPTO, on the other hand, has a more extended timetable. After an initial six-month period, they’ll decide on proceeding with the patent review. From there, a 12-month countdown begins, culminating in a final decision on the patent’s potential cancellation.

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