stETH – Trademark Dispute and Resolution

Yesterday it came to our attention that Lido (@LidoFinance) released a public statement, promoted via Twitter, regarding the use of the “stETH” symbol. We were surprised to see this private matter brought to a public forum rather than to discuss this via existing direct channels. 

To be clear, we do not think Twitter or any public domain is the appropriate medium for this discussion. Unfortunately, we now feel we have to correct some facts that we believe have been misrepresented and taken out of context on Twitter

Facts

For those of you who aren’t aware, StakeHound is a liquid staking platform which launched its first stakedToken stFIRO on the 29th of October and the second stXEM on the 7th of December. With many more stTokens are coming in the near future.. 

When Stakehound issues a new stToken, there is a substantial amount of work and coordination involved to make sure that our backend and our custody, staking and compliance partners work well together. With the anticipated launch of Ethereum staking, we began working on providing stETH to our customers as soon as it was announced on the 4th of November.

Registering a trademark is a normal business process and aims at protecting customers from mixing up different companies’ products that have the same name. This process exists precisely to prevent the need for confrontations and while we live and breathe the crypto philosophy and worked through countless nights to bring a quality liquid staking platform to the community, there is a real world that needs to be respected at times, and this is one of those times.

stETH & Lido

In December, our CEO, Albert, became aware that Lido was using these trademarks and sent a friendly email to the Lido team on December 19th 2020 to inform that StakeHound had a number of trademark rights and applications in relation to stETH and stakedETH in multiple places. He requested that in view of our trademark, Lido to stop using the “stETH” symbol to avoid confusion between StakeHound and Lido products.

The response was a letter from Defi LTD’s (Lido) legal counsel on December 31st, 2020. We were given two days to reply. Due to the nature of this response, we were forced to involve our own legal counsel who replied on Jan 5th asking for further clarifications on certain claims made. To date, we have not had a response other than the Twitter thread which has now followed.

Next Steps

We don’t feel social media is the best place for this discussion. We would like to extend an invitation to the great Lido team for a call/informal meeting to clear the air and hopefully move forward in a constructive direction for all parties involved.