Cardano Blockchain Project Faces Lawsuit from Research Partner


Cardano blockchain project faces a lawsuit from its former partner Z/Yen Group Limited. Charles Hoskinson, CEO of Input Output Hong Kong, clarified that the suit is not about intellectual property or anything else implemented in the Cardano protocol.

17 March, 2020 | AtoZ Markets – The Blockchain Cardano project, the issuer of the ADA token, faces a lawsuit from Z/Yen Group Limited, which is located in London. Z/Yen Group Limited is a former partner of the Cardano Foundation, under the leadership of Michael Parsons. He was dismissed in November 2018 for “lack of activity and progress in assigned tasks”.

Cardano did not disclose the most relevant details of the dispute. But, it explained that the procedure revolves around an alleged agreement between the two, which dates back to July 2017. Cardano said it had terminated the agreement for a variety of reasons, but Z/Yen likely has unresolved issues with the agreement. Cardano rejects the claims of its former partner. However, Cardano said it would not provide more information since the legal process is underway.

Z/Yen Was Cardano’s Research Partner

At the end of 2017, Cardano chose Z/Yen Group’s Distributed Futures practice as a partner to jointly research blockchain applications. The agreement intended to contribute to the expansion of the Cardano protocol and its ADA.

Distributed Futures focuses on blockchains, cryptocurrencies and artificial intelligence (AI). Z/Yen co-founder, Professor Michael Mainelli managed the unit, who has become the research director of the Cardano Foundation. Both managed to cooperate on several research projects. But the recent dispute proves that they have now taken separate paths.

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IOHK and the Cardano Protocol Not Affected

Charles Hoskinson, CEO of Input Output Hong Kong (IOHK), provided further details via a short YouTube update. Hoskinson noted that the lawsuit relates to an old agreement dating back to the former administration of the Cardano Foundation under the leadership of Michael Parsons. Parsons was a friend of the Z/Yen group manager and contact with the company, which conducted industry-wide research. On the nature of partnership and separation, Hoskinson said:

So, it was not specific to Cardano or protocol design. From the nature of the relationship, I understood, that they were going to write a series of reports on behalf of the Cardano Foundation. When the administration changed, there was an attempt to renegotiate and reassess all previous relationships due to the nature of Mr. Parsons’ dismissal from the Cardano Foundation.

Mr. Hoskinson also pointed out that the IOHK had no relationship with the Z/Yen Group. Besides, he added that nothing in the Cardano protocol had implemented that has developed or designed by the Z/Yen Group. Thus, the trial does not concern intellectual property, but a “business dispute”. Mr. Hoskinson is also optimistic about the possibility of quickly resolving the dispute.

After all, this will not affect the development of Cardano, as Hoskinson pointed out.

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