Electric Coin Company (ECC), the creator of a privacy-focused digital currency Zcash, has passed the Zcash trademark to the Zcash Foundation for free. ZCash was developed by the ECC back in 2016, and in that time, the asset has been one of the most popular privacy-based cryptocurrencies on the market. Until yesterday, the ECC owned all trademark registrations and protections for the asset.
On the flip side, the Zcash Foundation is a non-profit that helps software engineers, developers, fans of the Zcash asset, and other members of the tech and crypto communities.
Zcash and ECC Negotiation Process
The negotiation for transferring the Zcash trademark to the Zcash foundation has been ongoing since August 2019. The final agreement, which was finally signed on November 6, 2019, stated that the Zcash Foundation would bear the implication that has to do with transferring, while Zcash Foundation and the ECC will be jointly responsible for assigning and protecting the trademark.
While announcing the news, the Zcash Foundation pointed out that they had gotten a standing disagreement with the ECC on the trademark’s future, and how after failing to reach a compromise, the Zcash Foundation and ECC had to reach an agreement.
Zooko Wilcox, Zcash creator and the leader of the ECC, told industry news medium CoinDesk some days back that the Zcash trademark negotiations were emotionally painful. Stating that it was similar to watching a baby bird leave its nest.
In its announcement, the ECC added, “It’s a novel agreement, for which there appears to be no precedent.” The transfer of trademark ownership is coming at no cost whatsoever. However, the process is also coming with some warning signs, as well. For one, no party will have sole authority to declare that it can dub a specific chain with the “Zcash” moniker. No independent party also has the power to make decisions on the wants of the community. For any of these to happen, there must be an agreement between both parties.
The deal will also see the ECC get non-exclusive rights to the trademark nonetheless. So, it means that any use of the Zcash logo (as well as other branding media) will need to be ratified by both the foundation and the ECC. In addition to that, both parties will need to come to an agreement on any upgrades to the Zcash network, including but not limited to new consensus protocols. If any hard forks occur, no chain can be referred to as Zcash, and this means that the the crypto asset as we know it would be affected as well.
ECC Spent $250,000 on the Trademark
According to ECC’s explanation, the new agreement is essential because it is instrumental in advancing two primary objectives of the ECC; furthering decentralization, and ensuring that the community’s voice as regards the future of Zcash is maintained.