Yesterday I had the opportunity to reach out to the developer of ChiaDogeCoin to get their take on the enforcement strategy that Chia Network is beginning against them for their use of the Chia trademark.
The developer goes by ChrisEvan on Discord and he is definitely pissed off. In our conversation he makes it quite clear that his feelings on the subject are that Chia Network is betraying their stated ideology of decentralization by exercising control over their name.
He invoked Satoshi Nakamoto a number of times in our chat, clearly being philosophically aligned with the Bitcoin world of total anonymity and no controlling interests. He is taking the decision to rename the coin to his community rather than just making the decision himself.
The crypto world is open source, shared, and punk
Did you see Satoshi Nakamoto applied for a patent and trademark?
Did you see that the creator of www World Wide Web applied for a trademark and patent?ChrisEvan, ChiaDogeCoin developer
I get the sense that he would also be pissed if Chia Network was going after another project, and not just his. He really does seem to want to make this a community project, and it seems the community wants them to continue on without facing legal issues.
He did not, however, answer a number of my questions preferring instead to ask “If you were Satoshi Nakamoto, what would you do?” and comments like that. I did ask what the plans for a new name would be, and again he indicated he would leave that up to the community.
We still don’t know why he is claiming to have been a Chia Project developer, and to be honest unless they were to prove that claim and give up their anonymity I don’t think I can recommend this project ever. After speaking to him I did not get the sense that there is a scam brewing because these coins have no real value, even on the underground exchange nor on the Chia Fork Traders discord at time of writing.
But at the same time, I do not condone kicking off with a lie, even if there was a merged pull request from this person in the Chia Project somewhere. The insinuation is clearly that the original developers of the Chia Project started ChiaDoge and that is absurd on its face. Incredible claims require incredible evidence and so far we have none.
My personal opinion here is that Chia forks are rival companies / competing projects and that they will need to be very careful not taking any trademarks from Chia. This is true in the open source world everywhere. When Microsoft forked Chromium to build the new Edge browser they did not called it ChromeEdge or EdgeChrome or ChiaChromeDoge or anything even though attaching the word Chrome somewhere would definitely have helped drive market share for them.
I also think that Chia needs to be really careful with these moves, because in the end this is the community they need to foster in order to grow. There is a delicate balance over protecting their marks from rival companies and threatening their fans.