The Cognate Team

Bennett Collen, Cofounder & CEO. The son of two trademark attorneys, Bennett earned his "unofficial JD" in trademark law at the dinner table. He worked at his parents’ firm starting when he was 6 years old during summers and school breaks. Over parts of twenty years, Bennett saw firsthand the ins and outs of the costly, complicated trademark application process, and wondered why the system worked that way, given the fact that trademark rights are earned through “use” (common law rights), not by registering with the federal government.

Bennett graduated from Boston College in 2011, with a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Geosciences and a Bachelor of Arts in Communications.

Chris Murdock, CTO. Chris is a full stack engineer with experience across not just front end and back end web technologies but a wide variety of languages, frameworks and software engineering ideologies. Chris started his career with Verizon Wireless working on a number of internal web applications used by employees to facilitate provisioning of devices. He moved to Boston in 2013 to join the small but fierce front lines of mobile AdTech startup Jumptap contributing to his first consumer facing enterprise application among other duties. Soon after, Jumptap was acquired by Baltimore based Millennial Media, which, with the acquisition, became the largest global independent mobile advertising platform. Chris used the resources and opportunities at Millennial to really expand his knowledge and expertise from Enterprise Applications to Big Data and beyond.

In his free time, Chris tinkers with everything from the latest Javascript front end frameworks to mobile games and custom Counter Strike Servers. Having played baseball at his Alma Mater, Colby College in Maine, his passion for athletics never ceases as he hopes to bring home championships in his various adult intramural leagues.

Jess Collen, Cofounder & Advisor. Jess is the founding partner of a well-known New York based intellectual property law firm, Collen IP with over 25 years of experience. He has received numerous awards and national recognition for his experience and expertise in the field of trademarks and brand names. He also has a long background in the retail industry.

Years ago, Jess had an idea for a website dedicated to people’s love and fascination with names, something he saw first hand every day in trademark law. He realized that there was no centralized Internet database of business names, especially those that were not registered with the government. He also realized that people tend to be very attached to the all of the things that they name, and that – by and large – names have no online home.