GoDaddy buys up blockchain trademark startup Cognate

Blockchain rights protection firm Cognate is now part of the GoDaddy empire…

by Manoj Sharma for CNR

GoDaddy, one of the world’s largest cloud services platforms dedicated to small, independent start-ups, has acquired Cognate, a blockchain venture founded by Bennett Collen.  The deal has now been formally announced, although the exact details of the transaction have not, as yet, been released.

Cognate’s background is of a company that was created with the idea of giving a “simple, low-cost, yet effective” way for other organisations to protect their rights in spite of unregistered trademarks. It’s something that GoDaddy observes as a value-added service for its users, hence its decision to press ahead with the purchase.

In the blog post by Cognate, the company states that “We’re going to be working hard with the GoDaddy team on future trademark and documentation management services. The company’s staff, including its ‘all-star engineers’ will join GoDaddy”.

If this statement suggests anything, in particular, is that the acquisition is adding fresh expertise, rather than looking to amalgamate two companies and downsize one of them in the process.

Initially for Cognate, the concept was a little more than an online database of names, but, over the years, it has grown and evolved as a platform that empowers ventures to protect their trademark rights. In order to do so, Cognate creates timestamped, tamperproof histories of the companies’ trademark use and subsequent rights, using smart contracts and blockchain technology. These records can then be used to prove, enforce, or maintain trademark rights.

GoDaddy will be rolling out these services to its customer base, we’d assume, once the acquisition is fully complete.