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DEF’s September Recap

Here’s what the DeFi Education Fund (DEF) has been up to in September. If you have any questions or would like to learn more about a specific activity, please do not hesitate to reach out at

DEF Challenges Patent Bludgeoning DAOs

In early September, seeking to protect DeFi and crypto from invalid patent infringement claims, DEF filed a petition with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”) seeking to initiate an inter partes review (“IPR”) and cancellation of all claims in a patent owned by True Return Systems LLC (“TRS”). TRS is a patent troll who first tried to sell the patent as an NFT, and when that didn’t work, sued both “MakerDAO” and “Compound Protocol” in federal court for alleged infringement of U.S. Patent No. 10,025,797.

The patent, which was applied for and issued in 2018, claims to invent a process for bringing off-chain data on-chain, including the use of oracles.

Talking to The Block about the petition, DEF’s CLO Amanda Tuminelli noted, “All of us benefit, in crypto and outside of crypto, from open source software development…It’s how we innovate, it's how people are able to improve on each other's technological developments. It is the opposite of open source ethos to patent something because what happens when you patent something is you get to say, this is mine, and nobody else gets to copy it."

DEF will be sure to keep the community informed on the progress of this IPR.

To learn more, please read the full petition and check out this great podcast episode from Law of Code.

Discussing the SEC & DeFi at Messari Mainnet

At Messari Mainnet, DEF’s CEO, Miller Whitehouse-Levine, had the pleasure of moderating a panel discussion entitled “Shifting Definitions: What’s the SEC’s End Game for DeFi?”

Click here to watch the full panel.

Also be sure to check out DEF’s CLO, Amanda Tuminelli, interview with Decrypt at Mainnet.



  • Decrypt: Defi Education Fund Advocates for Responsible Crypto Regulation

    • Amanda Tuminelli of the Defi Education Fund discusses the need for sensible crypto regulation. She says regulators should work with the industry to understand how protocols work before proposing expansive rules that could stifle innovation. Stacy Elliott of Decrypt interviewed her at Messari Mainnet 2023.

  • CoinDesk: Crypto Wants a De Minimis Tax Exemption in the U.S.

    • The DeFi Education Fund (DEF) similarly advocated for rules around crypto loans (using specifically fungible tokens) analogous to rules around loans of securities...Both the DEF and Coin Center also argued that Section 6050I of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act of 2021 (i.e. the bipartisan infrastructure bill) may not be workable for all parties. The provision requires any individual who receives more than $10,000 in crypto over the course of a tax year to report personally identifying information about the senders, which might not be possible given how many crypto transactions are pseudonymous.

  • Law360: DeFi Org Asks USPTO To Review Blockchain IP Held By 'Troll'

    • Crypto advocacy group the DeFi Education Fund has asked the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office on Monday to take a look at a patent held by a firm it said is "trolling" decentralized finance entities with lawsuits over a blockchain system the group claims is "indistinguishable" from solutions that came before it.

  • Law360: CFTC Enforcement Cases May Force DeFi To Comply Or Leave

    • The DeFi Education Fund advocacy group said in a statement to Law360 that the CFTC enforcement actions "completely reject" the New York court's finding..."The CFTC's enforcement actions yesterday completely reject the court's decision in Risley v. Uniswap Labs, which found that it 'defies logic' to hold the developer of a DeFi protocol liable for a third party's potential misuse of that software," the DeFi Education Fund said.

  • DL News: The Guidance: A peak into lobbyists’ agenda

    • While the stablecoin and market structure bills are front of mind, for the DeFi Education Fund, Senator Elisabeth Warren and Senator Roger Marshall’s bill on anti-money laundering provisions for digital assets is the priority....“What they propose to essentially do is make miners and validators financial intermediaries for regulatory purposes or software developers,” Miller Whitehouse-Levine, CEO of the Fund, told DL News. “So it’s highly problematic and certainly would kill the industry in the United States." But Whitehouse-Levine is hopeful because “everyone’s objective is the same, it’s just a matter of accomplishing how this objective is going to work.”


For up-to-date information about what’s happening in D.C. and what we are up to, please follow us on Twitter @fund_defi and subscribe to our Substack.


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