Israeli University Sues Professor for Zero-Knowledge Proofs Technology

Israeli University Sues Professor for Zero-Knowledge Proofs Technology

A leading Israeli university is suing one of its own senior staff members for allegedly creating a zero-knowledge proofs technology company based on the intellectual property the professor developed while working for the institution.

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The Technion Wants a Piece of Starkware

The Technion Israel Institute of Technology, a research university established in 1912, has filed a lawsuit in the Haifa District Court against computer science lecturer Prof. Eli Ben-Sasson, claiming that he acted in violation of the institutions intellectual property regulations. Ben-Sasson is the co-founder and Chief Scientist of the blockchain technology startup Starkware and the Technion now demands from the court the transfer of 50% of all his shares in the company.

The Israeli national flag next to that of the Technion

The university claims that the professor tried to keep it in the dark about the establishment of the company and that he did not ask for the Technions approval for the commercialization of the intellectual property that belongs to the institution. Ben-Sassons defense denies these accusations, saying that Starkware did not use or intend to use an invention belonging to the Technion and that the university therefore has no right to his shares. However, they have offered to give the Technion a certain share of ownership in the company, dependent upon reaching a compromise agreement in the near future.

Zero-Knowledge Proofs Technology Worth Millions

Starkware promises to improve the scalability and privacy of blockchains using STARK technology, providing zero-knowledge cryptographic proofs that are post-quantum secure with no need for a trusted setup. Besides Ben-Sasson, the companys other co-founders are Prof. Alessandro Chiesa (UC Berkeley), Uri Kolodny, and Michael Riabzev (Ben-Sassons doctoral student at the Technion).

The Computer Science Faculty building in the Technion

In May 2018, Starkware had announced it had completed a $6 million seed funding round with participation from Vitalik Buterin, Zcash Co., Arthur Breitman (Tezos), Da Hongfei (NEO), Bitmain, Elad Gil, Fred Ehrsam, Linda Xie, Pantera, Naval Ravikant, Metastable, Floodgate, Polychain and others. By October it closed a $30 million equity round, led by Paradigm with investors such as Intel Capital, Sequoia, Atomico, DCVC, Wing, Consensys, Coinbase Ventures, Multicoin Capital, Collaborative Fund, Scalar Capital and Semantic Ventures. In July of that same year the startup also reportedly got a $6.7 million grant from the Ethereum Foundation.

What do you think about this lawsuit? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

The post Israeli University Sues Professor for Zero-Knowledge Proofs Technology appeared first on Bitcoin News.

22.04.2019 / 12:30 56
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