DeFi Group Fights ‘Patent Troll’ Targeting DeFi Protocols

  • DeFi Education Fund (DEF) takes action to protect the DeFi ecosystem.
  • DEF petitions the USPTO to review a True Return Systems patent.
  • True Return Systems is accused of attempting to profit from patent lawsuits against DeFi protocols.

Innovative thinking has become essential with the pace of the fast-moving DeFi landscape and the need for open-source principles. Despite an ecosystem that was once thriving, recent events have brought about darkness with accusations that True Return Systems exploited patents for financial gain via legal action taken against DeFi protocols. To protect the integrity of the DeFi ecosystem, the DeFi Education Fund (DEF) responded by taking bold action. According to this article, the efforts made by DEF regarding USPTO petitions and their potential implications for the future of DeFi are of particular interest.

The Alleged ‘Patent Troll’ And Their Target

  • True Return Systems is accused of exploiting patents through lawsuits against DeFi protocols

True Return Systems has been accused of acting as a “patent troll,” a term used for entities that seek to profit from patent lawsuits rather than innovation. In this case, True Return Systems claimed ownership of a patent granted in 2018, which involves linking off-chain data to a blockchain. Notably, the patent has become a focal point in recent legal battles against DeFi protocols.

DEF’s Petition To The USPTO: A Defense Of Open Source

  • DEF filed a petition with the USPTO to review True Return Systems’ patent

To counter the alleged patent trolling, DEF has filed a petition with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). The primary goal is to review and potentially invalidate True Return Systems’ patent. 

  • The importance of defending open-source principles in the DeFi space
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At the heart of this effort is the defense of open-source principles. The DeFi space thrives on collaboration, transparency, and innovation driven by a global community of developers. DEF’s actions emphasize the importance of protecting these core values.

Legal Battles In A Decentralized Space: MakerDAO And Compound Finance

  • True Return Systems’ lawsuits against MakerDAO and Compound Finance

The legal challenges posed by True Return Systems are unique due to the decentralized nature of their targets. True Return Systems has sued MakerDAO and Compound Finance, two prominent DeFi protocols.

  • Challenges in legal battles involving decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs)

MakerDAO and other decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs) are not controlled by a single entity, which complicates legal proceedings. In this case, neither MakerDAO nor Compound Finance initially appeared in court to defend themselves.

The Future Outlook: USPTO’s Decision And Implications

  • True Return Systems’ response and the USPTO’s timeline

The outcome of DEF’s petition rests with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). True Return Systems has a window of three months to respond to the petition. After six months, the USPTO will decide whether the patent should be reviewed.

  • Potential implications for the DeFi and cryptocurrency spaces

The implications of this legal battle extend beyond the specific case. The DeFi and cryptocurrency spaces closely watch this development, as it could set a precedent for defending innovation and open-source values against potential patent trolls. The decision will influence whether DeFi continues to thrive as a hub of innovation or faces challenges from patent disputes.


The DeFi Education Fund’s proactive stance against alleged patent trolling by True Return Systems underscores the vital importance of defending innovation and open-source principles in the rapidly evolving world of decentralized finance. As the legal battle unfolds, the outcome will undoubtedly have significant consequences for the DeFi and cryptocurrency space, determining whether it remains a thriving hub of innovation or faces potential threats from patent disputes. The next critical steps rest in the hands of True Return Systems and the USPTO, making this a pivotal moment for the DeFi community and its commitment to open-source development.

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