Blockchain startup Cognate is joining GoDaddy, one of the world’s largest cloud services platforms dedicated to small, independent ventures. The two Cognate founders and their engineers say they’re going to be working hard with the GoDaddy team on future trademark and documentation management services. Financial terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.
There would be quite some companies putting their energy into naming and branding efforts while lacking the tools and resources necessary to protect these crucial business assets. Cognate was born as a “simple, low-cost, yet effective” way for companies to protect their rights in unregistered trademarks, something GoDaddy sees as a value-added service for its customers.
Initially existing as a little more than an online database of names, the concept has grown and evolved into what it is today: a platform that empowers ventures of all sizes to protect their trademark rights (both registered and unregistered) by creating timestamped, tamperproof histories of their trademark use and subsequent rights, using blockchain and smart contracts.
Cognate’s screenshot tool automatically captures proof of use from the website(s) where goods and/or services are sold. This would allow users to organize proof of use evidence for registrations, common law marks, and all other brand-related materials in one place.
Why Cognate is using blockchain technology? Blockchain would offer ultimate insurance that all records are permanent, time-stamped, and tamperproof. As blockchain records are “secure and immune” to alteration, this may lessen the number of issues an infringer or other party will be able to challenge regarding the use of documentation.
Founders of Cognate are Bennett Collen, the son of two trademark attorneys, and Jess Collen of COLLEN IP, a New York based trademark attorney with over 30 years’ experience (and Bennett’s father). The two had a lifetime of experience to draw upon when reimagining how trademark protection should work, and building a service that aimed to transform trademark documentation and management.