Cardano Foundation is sued by former partner Z/Yen

  • The Cardano Foundation is sued by its former partner Z/Yen Group Limited, according to a statement made yesterday.
  • Charles Hoskinson clarified that the lawsuit is not about intellectual property or anything implemented in the Cardano protocol.

The Cardano Foundation announced via a blog post yesterday that the London-based think tank Z/Yen Group Limited has initiated legal proceedings against it. The company is a former partner of the Cardano Foundation, under the leadership of Michael Parsons, who was dismissed in November 2018 for “lack of activity and progress in the assigned tasks”.

In the blog post, the information concerning the lawsuit are very scarce. The statement merely states that the proceedings revolve around an alleged agreement between the two parties, which dates back to July 2017 and has already been dissolved. Due to the ongoing proceedings, more precise details cannot be disclosed at this time, according to the Cardano Foundation:

The proceedings relate to an alleged agreement between the Z/Yen Group Limited and the Cardano Foundation dated July 2017. The Cardano Foundation voided/terminated the agreement for various reasons. The Cardano Foundation fully rejects the claims raised by the Z/Yen Group Limited. Due to the ongoing nature of this judiciary process, no further information will be given while proceedings are in progress.

IOHK and the Cardano protocol are not affected

Via a short YouTube update, Charles Hoskinson, CEO of Input Output Hong Kong, provided further details. Hoskinson emphasized that the agreement is about an old agreement dating back to the former administration of the Cardano Foundation under Michael Parsons. Parsons was a friend of the director of Z/Yen Group and established contact with the company, which conducted industry-wide research. On the nature of the partnership and the separation, Hoskinson said:

So it wasn’t Cardano specific or protocol design. The nature of the relationship was, my understanding of it was that they would write a series of reports on behalf of the Cardano Foundation. When the administration changed, obviously there was an attempt to re-negotiate and re-evaluate all prior relationships. Because of the nature of the dismissal of Mr. Parsons from the Cardano Foundation.

Hoskinson also stressed that IOHK had no relationship with the Z/Yen Group. In addition, he added that nothing in the Cardano protocol was implemented that was developed or designed by the Z/Yen Group. So the lawsuit is not about intellectual property, instead it is a “business dispute”. Hoskinson is also optimistic that the litigation can be resolved quickly:

Basically it will get resolved very quickly. It’s not a substantial amount of money. It’s actually quite small all things considered.

After all, it will not affect the development of Cardano or timetables, as Hoskinson stressed.

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About Author

Jake Simmons has been a crypto enthusiast since 2016, and since hearing about Bitcoin and blockchain technology, he's been involved with the subject every day. Beyond cryptocurrencies, Jake studied computer science and worked for 2 years for a startup in the blockchain sector. At CNF he is responsible for technical issues. His goal is to make the world aware of cryptocurrencies in a simple and understandable way.

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