maybe rather than, or in addition to, verified developers we set up a designation which is asserted by the store on a single snap that indicates that it is the snap endorsed by upstream whoever they happen to be.
Kind of like the way DV SSL Certificates are validated by proving you control some aspect of the domain in question when you request a cert, there should be a manual process for an individual snap-and-developer combination that certifies that the developer is actually allowed to publish on behalf of the project/product.
The snapcrafters initiative should not be blocked from registering the official names, though, because we’re registering the preferred name on the basis that we’ll hand-over control when upstream is ready. At the point we hand-over control in this case the store admins would perform the manual verification step that whoever we handed the snap to is the official place and apply the endorsement bit in the store. So people aren’t blocked from registering any name, but the store provides proof of a specific snap AND developer combination.