COMP & LABS, and Risks to and Claims From Outside and Inside Actors Including Terms of Service, and the Assignment of Patents and Trademarks

Some weeks ago I posted a patent infringement claim letter which was received by some very large COMP holders. The post was removed from the forum, presumably so that the Compound team could control messaging and strategy.

To respect the community and deny the outsider visibility, I won’t repost any identifying details of his/her claim. But we believe that it is important for the community to memorialise the positions and steps that should be taken in response to similar or continued claims.

Prior to laying out the detail, we summarise our 3 recommendations as follows:

  1. Compound Labs should assign ownership of its US and international patents on COMP and the protocol to the community and COMP holders (and do so post-grant).
  2. a16z’s DAO legal analysis should serve as the cornerstone of our collective legal position relating to claims from outside entities including intellectual property, regulatory bodies, taxes, etc.
  3. Compound Labs should formally position itself as the gatekeeper for claims of outside agents not relating to the protocol’s Terms of Service or code matters.


  1. We (the community) generally claim that patents and trade secrets would be unenforceable against Compound or any other properly organized DAO and yet, Compound Labs owns and pursues patents over COMP and the protocol. These patents and any other intellectual property owned by Labs and the Labs team should be assigned to COMP and the community as soon as possible and pushed forward for rapid GRANTS. BTW - none of the COMP holders we contacted were aware that Labs’ was pursuing patents over the protocol.

Systems and methods for managing a money market of digital

Systems and methods for pooling and transferring digital

Systems and methods for managing a money market of digital

link: Google Patents.

If anyone were actually acquiring a patent, one would buy BOAG over LABS - BOAG scores “AA” in patent survivability and LABS patents scores “D”, but these are free.

  1. a16Z has written a widely published paper highlighting the legal risks that DAO members face - since we all love white papers, let’s clarify, and adopt this important paper as soon as possible. We have identified some sections and language that could benefit from further research and clarifications.

While we broadly agree with a16z’s analysis, but there is and always will be certain liabilities which need to be disproportionately shouldered by the organizer and first mover entities. After all, they received their share interest for sweat equity (a.k.a. for free)

  1. Because Compound Labs continues to own and direct legal matters such as fighting for trademarking rights over the Protocol (Compound Labs, Inc. v. Alex Mack, Inc. 3:2020cv02370 | US District Court for the Northern District of California | Justia). Let’s make sure we have the benefit of centralized expertise and a centralized repository of legal resources. Generally it’s best for us to exhaust the resources of the Compound Lab’s team, before trying to mobilize the community on legal matters outside the code or ToS.

Done right, I think COMP and Compound can and should be the gold standard for legal organization, DAO intellectual property, and community protections.

Oddly, as I post this, I see the earlier post deleted weeks ago was very recently restored?