Class: 2016 Winter

Company Description

Cognate is the home of the CM Registry, a trademark registry for the 98% of U.S. product and business names not registered with the USPTO (the federal trademark registration system). The CM Registry is the only common law trademark registry in the United States. To claim their trademark rights in a centralized, public database, companies enter information about: 1) their business or product name, and 2) how they use it. This puts potential infringers - intentional or unintentional - on notice, helps create a timeline of use, and helps the mark be found in trademark searches. "CM" is a certification mark that Cognate owns that signifies a mark has been registered in our database. Our customers will be: 1) Startups and other small companies sophisticated enough to have created trademark rights, but lacking the financial resources or time to seek federal registration. They will use Cognate as an affordable alternative to the USPTO for claiming their trademark rights, or as a stop-gap until they seek federal registration. 2) Trademark professionals - will use Cognate to document ALL of their clients' trademarks - not just the ones they register with the USPTO. 3) Big companies that have hundreds of names they create and use, mainly for products, but never federally register for various reasons (cost, short product lifecycle, etc.) - will use our registry to document their trademark rights in these names. Under U.S. law, common law trademark rights are earned through use, not by registering with the USPTO, and are legally defensible.

11/16/2015 05:58 PM
Need advice and guidance on many topics including: 1) Timing on approaching partners. How 'polished' should our product be before we approach well-established and sophisticated corporations about partnership? 2) How to reach a wide-scale audience and drive adoption of our service? 3) How and when to go about closing a seed round, and what a fair valuation would be for our company.


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