Hacker News new | comments | ask | show | jobs | submit login

Smartcar | Backend Engineer | SF & Mountain View | Onsite

I'm an early employee at Smartcar. When I was job hunting back in the October, I looked at early stage startups in interesting spaces like eSports, VR, insurance, automotive etc. Smartcar is an automotive-related startup that's building the developer platform for the connected car.

Smartcar is in a massive space (auto-related industry is 10% of US GDP), has a great team, is well funded with an amazing investor, we're making money and tons of other great early traction.

We're looking to hire 3 engineers ASAP. Your voice will be heard and you will determine the company's technical roadmap.

You should be a generalist who will be tasked with designing a modern API platform for cars, building secure web and API backends, integrating with testing, coverage and deployment pipelines and more. Our stack is Node.js, Postgres, Redis, Docker, AWS.

$95K to $130K + up to 1.0% equity

Interested? email me at Martin@Smartcar.com or call me at 415 404 5650

Are you really called Smartcar? Is that not the name of the really really famous Mercedes backed micro-cars? Surely they won't let that slide...

It's not, surprisingly: Their brand is "Smart"; I'm assuming we call them "Smart cars" because "Smarts" sounds weirder than "Toyotas."

Trademarks are adjectives, not nouns. When you apply for a trademark, your lawyer will insist that you provide samples of marketing materials which use the mark as an adjective. So Toyota probably occasionally refers to "Toyota Automobiles", and I'd bet that Daimler's marketing refers to "Smart(tm) cars" all over the place... and they do, see google results for ["smart cars" site:smart.com]

Looking at the Google results for [smart cars] and ["smartcars"], it boggles the mind that anyone would try to register a new mark in the auto sector like that. So much potential confusion!

Trademark law generally covers you (sometimes after a lengthly legal battle) if there is a chance that you could be confused for the other party which in this case I clearly was. It was the first thing I thought in fact.

"which in this case I clearly was. It was the first thing I thought in fact."

FWIW, I made the same mistake. My first thought on reading the post was "How could he be an early employee of Smartcar if he started last October? Those cars have been on the road for years..."

Reading the rest of the post made it clear he was talking about something different, but though IANAL it seems like a pretty obvious trademark problem if they get big enough to be noticed by the maker of Smart cars, particularly since you can't just let trademark problems slide (unlike copyright, etc) without potentially weakening your trademark to the point where you lose it.

Actual instances of customer confusion is the acid test. Been sued over tm. Have successfully C&D'd. Not a lawyer.

interesting. people also said same thing about "Dropbox" vs "Box" as one was already around.

I just did a trademark search, it looks like "Daimler" which is parent company of "Mercedes Benz" has registered "Smart" but not "Smartcar".

Guidelines | FAQ | Support | API | Security | Lists | Bookmarklet | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact