Hacker News new | past | comments | ask | show | jobs | submit login
Dear Instagram (bolt.co)
347 points by stanleydrew on July 28, 2014 | hide | past | web | favorite | 125 comments

Dear Bolt.co,

I truly wish you luck in your fight against Instagram. Name stealing is a rough game. I know because I have been traveling on Bolt buses for 8 years now (http://www.boltbus.com/). I know there is some confusion because you have basically the same symbol. Maybe there aren't too many ways to vary a lightning bolt shooting through an "O" in the word "Bolt" but I welcome you (and Instagram to try).

Sincerely, A bus rider.

I think you miss the problem here. There is very little confusion between BoltBus and Bolt.co in the sense that they are in completely different industries and the likelihood of confusion is low.

As bolt.co is claiming, there are many people who appear to be confused between instagram's offering and the company's product (they are arguably in the same space and possibly competitors).

Yes, I suppose you're right. Though how big would one of these need to be for the other to care? I surely could not name my blanket company Microsoft and get away with it, right?

The key issue is over whether or not the mark has a widespread reputation/is well-known. If I am able to show my mark has either, then if someone makes use of a similar/identical mark but for completely different services/goods then I can restrain that other party's use if I can show that their use takes unfair advantage of my mark.

For example if Microsoft Combine Harvesters popped up, it would be relatively straightforward to argue that they are making use of the Microsoft mark for the sole purpose of attracting attention to its product, by effectively piggy-backing on the real Microsoft's reputation.

Proving reputation is difficult but generally you will have to show substantial investment in marketing/advertising in the relevant territories.

If I can't show reputation I am limited to actions for straight infringement (identical mark/identical services/goods) or confusion-based actions (similar mark/similar services/goods).

Interesting. So what is Microsoft Combine Harvesters was founded before Microsoft Corporation yes the latter became larger faster? Even though Microsoft Corp is larger they were also later to the game. Can they try to get exclusive rights to Microsoft?

First user issues aren't as relevant in trade marks as in other intellectual property rights. Potentially you could have two companies in discrete markets/territories build up goodwill in an identical name with a dispute only being triggered when some form of encroachment occurs.

A good example was the Budweiser v Budvar saga http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Budweiser_Budvar_Brewery#Tradem...

Generally, you would hope that the parties could come to an agreement and enter what's known as a co-existence agreement where they just agreed to continue but in some cases agree not to further encroach on each other's markets for example.

The above example just ran and ran with each filing suits around the world, showing the difficulties of deciding who should have sole rights to a name when both have built up substantial goodwill over a long period of time.

Very interesting, thanks!

Yes. Think Apple. They weren't the first Apple, and they can't touch other Apple entities that have been around before the existence of Apple (ie. Apple Bank in NY). However, anyone that uses the name Apple, or a logo similar to that of Apple's, after Apple's original use, they can go after.

Side Note: trademark protection is more focused on protecting consumers than companies - unless the company has spent an excessive amount promoting and selling their products, at which point, they are given special protection/rights.

I highly recommend researching the Nissan Motors vs Nissan Computer case, as it covers many subtleties regarding names and trademarks

For more clarity, here's a search on Google Play for Bolt named apps, and their logos. https://play.google.com/store/search?q=bolt&c=apps&hl=en

Possibly. There's a company near me (I see the liveried van trundling around) trading as Apple Property Maintenance.

(I'm amazed The Beatles let them get away with it).

Trademarks are classified by "Goods and Services". A bus company is clearly different from a mobile app. A mobile app (Instagram) is clearly the same as a mobile app (Bolt). For the purposes of trademarking, the similarity of a "mobile voice and messaging" app and a "mobile photo sharing" app is not quite as clear. I'm sure some lawyers would be happy to help clear it up.

So, while I get your intention, that's not how trademarks work. If Bolt doesn't have a trademark, they should stop complaining.

Instagram/Facebook is NOT going to do anything about the name. Just look at the history. Facebook launched an iOS app and called it "Paper." And guess what? There was a very popular app, which was called "Paper" too.

From recent cases I only remember Microsoft to change their mind in regards to their "Metro" OS. However, even in that case Microsoft decided to back off because "Metro" was a big retailer that sold Microsoft's products, so bad blood could cause bottom line to take a hit.

They also were forced to rename Skydrive to Onedrive due to a lawsuit by the British broadcaster Sky.

The difference is that Instagram is trying to build a similar product with the same name, whereas the mentioned bus company is just a bus company that has a few stops in the United States. So most of the people living on this world will never even get chance to confuse the two of them.

I don't really understand in what way this would be considered a similar product; aside from the fact it's a mobile app, they don't seem to overlap.

That is exactly what the problem is.

and here's the cms called http://bolt.cm

I'm curious who got this name earlier.

How many people remember bo.lt from 2011 ? https://www.facebook.com/getbolt

And how many remember bolt.com from the dotcom bubble? https://web.archive.org/web/19981207004638/http://www.bolt.c...

And the media sharing forum: http://bolt.cd/

And the 2008 animated Disney movie: http://movies.disney.com/bolt

Bolt.co registered 2010-07-21

Bolt.cm registered 2012-09-19

Bolt.cd earliest record 2011-01-04

Not to mention the javascript framework: http://boltjs.io/

I think this is different. Instagram's Bolt & Bolt are both Apps. Which will be searched for in the same apps stores.

Bolt Bus will definitely not be confused with the Bolt App.

Probably true. Though BoltBus does have an iTunes and Android app, too.

The word Bolt always has to have the lighting bolt in the "O".

Bolt (the Disney movie): http://cdnvideo.dolimg.com/cdn_assets/abd7aa3a4851f515796d9d...

Bolt Browser: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bolt_(web_browser)

Clickable link to the Bolt homepage: https://bolt.co/

I always find it annoying when the blog company logo doesn't bring you back to the company's homepage.

Me too, but this one does: the far right link. I had to click most of the links on the top to figure that out, though.

Ah - good call. I totally missed that link.

Me too, so what is best practice?

I put together a simple layout for my company's blog and made this link very explicit specific, see: http://blog.vidoyen.com

Is that more in line with a blog reader would generally expect? I'm genuinely curious, because I've seen variants of this comment time and time again on HN.

My personal preference is for the top-left logo to always bring a user back to the domain's top-level ignoring any sub-domains, though I'm not sure that could be considered best-practice.

This approach works for me though, because I find most company-blogs to have a much lower volume of published content than a website whose primary function is that of a blog. In most cases, I've wound up on the site from a direct-link to whatever blog post I'm reading. If what I've read in that post is interesting, I'm probably going to want to check out the product or service they're selling before reading any more of their company blog.

Your site would actually make it pretty easy:

Have the logo redirect to your homepage. Have the 'Blog' go to the blog feed.

Logos that don't go to the homepage drive me batty.

I think we can surmise Instagram is not going to change the name of their new product just because this company wrote a blog post.

They will need to compel Instagram into doing so.

> Imagine how it would have felt if Google or Apple or Facebook had launched a photo-sharing app called Instagram in 2011.

"Bolt" is a short, common word. "Instagram" is not (it's also more descriptive.)

Unfortunately, the days of naming products desirable things like "bolt," and being able to defend them, legally or not, are over.

The strange-made-up-word naming trend is annoying, but at least you're guaranteed a name no one else wants.

> The strange-made-up-word naming trend is annoying

Why? Is it really a “trend”?

Chevrolet, Toyota, Lexus, Microsoft, Kodak, Leica, Nikon, Canon, Nokia, Rolex. Some of these are not entirely made up, but they sound like it if you are not familiar with small Japanese towns.

It being annoying seems to be, but time will tell.

"Rolex" has certainly played out to be a great made-up name.

"Weebly"... eh, I'm not putting my money on that one.


Toyota is the name of the founder, though the transliteration is archaic. We'd spell it "Toyoda" today.

Wikipedia says the difference between the spelling in Toyoda's name and Toyota is deliberate - that there were aesthetic and connotative reasons for spelling the company different from the family name. Although obviously, I'm not sure how the exact Japanese writing would work for that.

> But Risaburō Toyoda, who had married into the family and was not born with that name, preferred "Toyota" (トヨタ) because it took eight brush strokes (a lucky number) to write in Japanese, was visually simpler (leaving off the diacritic at the end) and with a voiceless consonant instead of a voiced one (voiced consonants are considered to have a "murky" or "muddy" sound compared to voiceless consonants, which are "clear").


Obviously, though, I don't speak Japanese. Would both the family name and the company name be Latinized as Toyoda?

Same as Honda which is also named after its founder. The transliteration in Honda is modern though, as both Toyota and Honda in Japanese end with a 田.

But back to the naming thing, I think it is not the worst idea to name things after japanese terms, because often they can be pronounced quite easily and are often rather memorable. I have often forgotten company names because they sounded so stupid and hard to remember.

> Toyota

Actually, Toyota[1] (豊田) is indeed a Japanese town, not even particularly small and is the home of Toyota Motor Corporation.

[1]: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toyota,_Aichi

But it's not. The town is named after the company, not the other way around.

The company, in turn, is named after the Toyoda family that founded it. The spelling was changed for aesthetics and connotation.

So yeah, made-up word.

You'll transcribe the kanji, but you won't read the goddamn article?

"The area was a major producer of silk and prospered from the Meiji period through the Taishō periods. As the demand for raw silk declined in Japan and abroad, Koromo entered a period of gradual decline after 1930.[2] The decline encouraged Kiichiro Toyoda, cousin of Eiji Toyoda, to look for alternatives to the family's automatic loom manufacturing business. The search led to the founding of what became the Toyota Motor Corporation.

On March 1, 1951, Koromo gained city status, and absorbed the village of Takahashi from Nishikamo District on September 30, 1956. Due to the fame and economic importance of its major employer, the city of Koromo (挙母市?) changed its name to Toyota on January 1, 1959."

"Chevrolet" was the surname of one of the founders. I suppose you could say it means "goat milk" (or some combination of "goat" and "milk", anyway) in French.

I'm pretty sure you can get trademark protection for short, common words, as long as they are not descriptive or common for the protected areas. You can name your car bar and your bar car, but not your bar bar and your car car.

I think that part of the issue is that in a competitive marketplace, the risk of a third party either a) objecting to your short common word upon its creation, or b) coming along at a later date and selecting the same or similar mark are much higher than if you create a compound name or a fanciful/unusual combination of words as your mark.

Simply put, if you create a fanciful term you will be able to operate with greater reassurance that you will not face trouble in the future in relation to your choice of name.

Part of the problem here is the imbalance between the parties' respective positions. The article in fact admits that it is not users being confused that Instagram's app is related to their existing app, but the other way round. You might say that due to Instagram's size, they have the ability to instantly develop goodwill around a new app and its name (I am playing devil's advocate here to an extent).

If I was Instagram I would probably offer a small sum to Bolt.co to change their name on the basis that I could offer a sum now or know I have a deep reserve of budget for legal fees to argue that Bolt.co has not developed sufficient goodwill/reputation to be entitled to prevent Instagram's usage of 'Bolt'.

> If I was Instagram I would probably offer a small sum to Bolt.co to change their name on the basis that I could offer a sum now or know I could have a deep reserve of budget for legal fees to argue that Bolt.co has not developed sufficient goodwill/reputation to be entitled to prevent Instagram's usage of 'Bolt'.

What? That is not at all how trademark works.

If Instagram wanted, it might have a shot at a protracted lawsuit, attempting to make it not worth Bolt's time to defend the trademark [0].

If that were to happen, though, I would hope that the suit would be dismissed with prejudice because in my non-legal opinion, any reasonable person would agree that Instagram is directly infringing Bolt's trademark in an area of business that is too similar for the average consumer to be able to differentiate.

[0] either by bankrupting them if they decide to defend it, or if Bolt can successfully mount a defense, it would require a large time investment by key employees like all the C-level executives, meanwhile Instagram (having more resources by far) is not impeded in its business nearly as much.

My example is how it would work in the absence of any trade mark registrations. I incorrectly assumed there were no registrations in place here. Having checked, yes, the presence of a registration would greatly improve Bolt's leverage in the manner you describe.

Registering a mark with the USPTO is _absolutely not required_ to have standing for an ownership claim, even if another party goes to USPTO and registers your mark or a similar one.

The point is that although yes, the incumbent would be able to bring a claim, in the absence of a registered trade mark, a claim on the trade mark would be based on the established goodwill in the name. It would then be open to the alleged infringer to argue the incumbent lacked the necessary goodwill.

I went and read up a tiny bit and learned about the requirement of showing that goodwill has been taken advantage of. You are indeed correct, sorry to come off as argumentative. It "only" took me one back-and-forth before I went and checked my facts.

Hey, if you can't argue on a HN thread, when can you argue? In fairness it looks like protection for unregistered trade marks appears to differ on a state-by-state basis so the position really isn't that clear. Plus mere use appears to be sufficient to get a modicum of protection but on a very limited basis.

> I'm pretty sure you can get trademark protection for short, common words, as long as they are not descriptive or common for the protected areas.

Like Apple?

>Unfortunately, the days of naming products desirable things like "bolt," and being able to defend them, legally or not, are over.

I have a feeling the guys at King disagree with you.

Kind of my point. How deep are King's pockets...?

They've got the .com though, bolt(.co) don't.

or Apple.

Apple's choice of name cost them all sorts of money, re: music.

This is a well-written appeal. I'm sure, however, that there's no intention of getting Instagram to actually do anything - the fact it was posted publicly, along with the "hurts us more than it hurts you" line makes that obvious to me.

But maybe that was obviously the point to everyone, and my comment is rendered unnecessary.

What do you mean by "no intention of getting Instagram to actually do anything"?

It seems like a pretty clear-cut public appeal to Instagram/Facebook to actually do something, which is to choose a different name before the product launches..

One has to hope/assume that Bolt has already tried private channels and met with little or no success, which is what forced them to go this public route..

Or are you implying they want to be paid off?

I'll explicate a little more.

Obviously, I'm not Bolt and can't know what their thought process was. If it were me, though, here's what I'd do:

I'd be angry that they're probably stealing my app's name, enough to write something like this with genuine feeling behind it. I mean, it sucks. But I'd also realize that (1) they're a big company with no prevailing need to listen to me, (2) any attempt on my part to force them to give up the name would result in lengthy, unpleasant legal proceedings I might very well lose, and (3) without some upset customers, they have zero incentive to do anything but throw lawyers at me till I go away.

So I would take my appeal, which I wrote back at the beginning, and instead of sending it through private channels, I'd post it online. This way, I win (or at least suffer less) no matter what happens. My app gets free publicity (and sympathy), users might feel like they need to pressure Facebook/Instagram to not let this happen, and even if neither of those occur, my company looks like a good and reasonable company.

I believe that if they had tried back-channels and failed, they would have said so in the letter (probably not with details, but with some sort of mention). I don't think they want to be "paid off" per se (i. e., settle for a large sum of money), but I think they want to reap some benefit from this circumstance mostly out of their control, and I don't blame them.

Your parent is implying they are taking this as an opportunity to get some publicity out of a David-Goliath story.

>What do you mean by "no intention of getting Instagram to actually do anything"?

GP means with this blog post Bolt is using this opportunity not to appeal to Istangram, but to get free publicity for the company.

Or possibly, as is actually mentioned in the article under discussion, to lay groundwork for a later legal defense of their mark.

I don't buy that this three-guy operation has the means for such litigation and this post gives no indication they've had any consultation with a relevant legal professional thus far.

Well, what of it? They're worried Instagram is going to eat their mark bones and all; whether they're planning to litigate or otherwise, their best defense is to make as much noise about it as they can.

This looks like a request for public support together with a subtle threat:

> We've been using the Bolt name in the mobile messaging market for a year, and technically we have to "police our mark", otherwise we risk losing it.

> We don't want a legal battle over this, and we think it's not too late for you to consider an alternate name before launch.

Sure the public appeal is a better option for a small start up to put pressure Instagram to use a different name rather than a behind the scenes legal notice...

Absolutely! That's exactly my point. And again, I'm not saying that's wrong or bad. I'm saying it's the smart, albeit cynical move.

He's saying that this might reasonably be considered the most effective way to actually persuade Instagram to change (even if it's still a longshot), which kind of goes against your main point of "there's no intention of getting Instagram to actually do anything."

For sure, it might be, but what I'm saying is that's not the primary intention. It would be nice if it happened, but it's not necessarily going to unless this gets serious traction.

It's hard to have much sympathy when your app already has an identical name (and a very similar logo) to a mobile web browser launched four years earlier: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bolt_(web_browser)

Idunno, the web browser has been discontinued for 3 years now. It also seems that bolt.co and Instagram's Bolt are much more similar to each other (apps dedicated to person→person communication) than Bolt the browser is to either of them, so the risk of confusion is much smaller.

It also seems that bolt.co and Instagram's Bolt are much more similar to each other (apps dedicated to person→person communication)

I disagree. A web browser is used for person to person communication too. All three are used for very, very different forms of it, though.

Trademark is about preventing confusion, not owning words. A browser is very different from an app voice/text app.

My point was that the two Bolts barely compete with each other. One is for voice calls, the other is for quick picture sharing. I can't imagine many scenarios where you could use them interchangeably.

Fortunately, Bolt browser no longer exists and names, especially four letter common words, can't be reserved forever.

Technically they can. I could register whatever sequence of letters I want provided they can act as a unique identifier for me, and are not in themselves descriptive. If I register 'Bolt' for dog-walking services this is not descriptive and provided I pay my renewal fees I can protect the word forever, and take action against those whose use of it confuses users (for example 'Bolt' for dog food) or takes unfair advantage of the reputation in my mark.

The presence of a word in a dictionary/its length has no bearing on its registrability as a trade mark.

>provided I pay my renewal fees

That's my point. There's a maximum lifespan; the life of the company. Since Bolt browser no longer exists, I doubt they would renew the trademark.

I think the difference here is that the Bolt web browser was discontinued in 2011 (according to the Wikipedia article you linked), whereas the OPs "Bolt" voice/SMS service is very much an active project.

It's also hard to sympathize over confusion around a 4 letter word that's ALREADY a word.

uspto.gov doesn't seem to allow linking directly to trademark filing but search for Bolt and the first two results appear to be from Bolt.co.

One was filed in the 22nd and the other on the 23rd July 2014. Seems like something they should have done earlier but I do feel for them none the less, potentially going up against FB's legal team seems less than fun.

>"IC 009. US 021 023 026 036 038. G & S: Computer application software for mobile phones, namely, software for use in text, voice and video communication between users. FIRST USE: 20131014. FIRST USE IN COMMERCE: 20131014"

Bolt - you will likely lose this case, Facebook knows this. Don't litigate.

Bolt is used too often and the only way you would succeed in a reverse confusion trial is to show that you own the Bolt trademark when it comes to mobile communication - no easy task. Just look at FiftyThree's USPTO application for "Paper" and the letter of protest that was submitted.

You only recently filed for the mark in the USPTO, and even by some miracle you get it through the PTO, Facebook/Instagram can still file a Letter of Protest or file an Opposition in the TTAB.

Unfortunately, even though you have rights to the name Bolt, you likely won't be able to enforce it. That said, neither Facebook nor Instagram can successfully litigate against you in court.

The #1 way to spot a mushy web3.0 social startup is to see if they named their product a generic, overloaded dictionary word. This is a really irritating recent trend. Every time I see one of these I can almost hear the 'profile picture in a circle' of the CEO pitching the name to me:

'its a really utilitarian, no-nonsense product for People Who Just Get It Done, like me & my team, so naming it out of the common English vocabulary was really the most natural expression of this'

Naming your products tired names like 'Bolt' is not bold, it's just uncreative. It helps no one: it's pretentious, it makes your product harder to find (regardless of 'how dissimilar it is to previous products'), and it makes your brand less memorable. Why would anyone want to do this to their company or their customers?

Maybe people who perpetrate this sort of situation will continue to have tensions like this one and the trend will gracefully(?) self-destruct. Hopefully the people who are capable of building valuable products will choose names which don't cost them!

Not as extreme a case, but does anyone remember HealthKit?

I'd say that the munging of the two words together actually makes that relatively distinctive, and in line with Apple's "BlahKit" naming convention for their API sets.

Now Pages and Numbers, on the other hand...


Also, Facebook have a library named bolt: https://developers.facebook.com/blog/post/2014/01/30/let-s-b...

That is not in direct competition to Bolt. If Instagram launched a game or a washing service called Bolt, there would be no problem.

"Bolts Framework" is rather different from, and clearly not competing with, "Bolt."

Let's not forget Disney's Bolt while we are at it!


These days people seem to prefer using actual words as names which can only result in conflicts like this one. At least names like Flikr are pretty unique.

I hope they change the name.

Since Instagram is owned by Facebook and Facebook has launched Slingshot, a Snapchat rival, I'm wondering why they need another one?

I have a feeling Facebook is becoming a bit of an integrated app holdings company. Where as Amazon and Google have turned their infrastructure to the public, Facebook appears to be using it and its large investment dollars to be building a type of decentralized(partly) tech conglomerate.

It's almost as if they took their lessons from the struggles in becoming a platform for third parties and decided that there are only a small number of core applications people use. Instead of waiting for, and having less control of these high profile apps, Facebook instead is just owning them outright.

With acquisitions, Facebook has generally left the acquired company mostly alone (if it's big and successful already). Instagram, Occulus and WhatsApp as examples. Instagram competes with Facebook in some ways, too, but it's still separate.

Their goal is more data, not less competition.

Is collecting data the goal, or simply diversification?

My theory is that Facebook (the company) is preparing for the day when Facebook (the website) goes the way of Friendster and Myspace, and they're attempting to have other lines of business when that happens.

Hmm, I hadn't considered that. It could be. I dunno. Anyway, they definitely want to keep their acquisitions pretty separate for the time being.

Slingshot is dead in the water, having fallen out of the Top 200 for its category.

Facebook must be trying for a round 3.

Instagram also harassed us over our name Instapainting.com. They decided to ban us from using Facebook services unless we changed our name.

The app icon for Facebook Messenger has a bolt. It's a mobile messenger app. It uses a bolt as the main part of its logo.

I wrote about this topic a few months back, when 53 was upset about Facebook using the "name" Paper: http://www.erickarjaluoto.com/blog/the-perils-of-naming-your...

tl;dr Using a word to name a company is easy, but indefensible.

There was nothing named "Bolt" before Mr. Benton's product came around? Really?

The beta name for the first version of Adobe's ColdFusion Builder (IDE) was Bolt.

I don't see a trademark claim for the name Bolt on their website. I bet, had they gotten one, they would have an easier time defending the name. It'll be interesting to see how this plays out.

Claiming a trademark is distinct from registering a trademark. You can claim a trademark by just saying "this is our trademark." That will typically be done with the "TM" symbol. Registering a trademark means you applied with the USPTO to get a registered trademark, and it was granted.

You are correct in that they don't make an explicit claim, but I'm not sure if trademark law actually requires you to do that. It would certainly make everything less messy.

> I'm not sure if trademark law actually requires you to do that.

It definitely does not. It certainly could influence a court decision (there's always a degree of uncertainty with any court case), but you absolutely can defend a mark that you have not explicitly claimed or registered, as long as you can demonstrate sufficiently widespread prior use.

> I don't see a trademark claim for the name Bolt on their website.

This is a very common misconception. Trademarks do not need to be registered in order to be defended (and even registering a trademark does not mean you can defend it).

Registering a trademark might have prevented this situation, but only if the Instagram lawyers took the time to search the USPTO database for marks matching "Bolt" (but even then, it's not a guarantee since (A) the search interface is pretty bad, and (B) they may have decided to go ahead and use it anyway).

If you search the trademark database it looks like they only filed for an application 5 days ago.

I don't see this as getting any more interesting than Instagram ignoring this plea.

This appeal reminded me of HipChat's situation with Messages for Mac, and the similar (but better responded to) action they took [0]. It doesn't look like Bolt did anything to lay claim to the name, and they probably don't want to go up against Facebook's lawyers. Besides, they only support Android at the moment, so to any iOS user, Bolt is completely new (and, likely, same for Android, but at least they had potential to know the product).

0. https://blog.hipchat.com/2012/02/17/they-may-just-be-chat-bu...

Reminds me of when Facebook did this with Papers[1] too.

[1] https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=7171724

Off topic, but I'm curious, how do you dig in and find old HN postings? I see a lot of people doing it.

I read the article when it came out - remembered it, and then searched for it using the bottom search bar. Took a few different search terms to find the article - but it came up relatively quickly. Not too complicated - but does require me to have read the article a while ago.

I think this is a risk that bolt.co and really any startup that chooses a short 'techy' word as their company name has to factor in.

The #1 way to spot some 'mushy web3.0 startup' is to see if they name their fledgling product some generic, overloaded dictionary word. My perception has always been that owners choose this sort of name to market their product as 'truly the most no-nonsense utilitarian solution, for people who Get Things Done like me & u.' There have been a lot of these lately. Chosing a dull name to be cool isn't helping anyone and I hope collisons like this latest groupthink help the trend die quickly.

I worked at a startup in the late 90s called Bolt. It's hard to protect your name when it's a short, commonly-used word.

I think it might actually make yours get more popular if they use the same name (hop on the bandwagon of their marketing)

I humbly suggest changing it to "The Bolt". It's cleaner.

I wish them luck, although using the name of a common machine part as a brand is kind of asking for collisions. I'm also not sure it's wise to base one of your first steps in a potential legal battle on an open letter based on leaked information...

downloaded Bolt as the only way i can support from afar..

I hope the team makes the best of a bad situation and uses the attention (and possibly press) to convert supporters, like yourself, into users.

Lets go with "Dolt"

Registration is open for Startup School 2019. Classes start July 22nd.

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