34 comments

  • Michael AleoMichael Aleo, 5 years ago (edited 5 years ago )

    I'll say the same thing I said during the "Paper" uproar:

    When you select a name like Paper or Bolt, you do so knowing that there are already companies and products using that name. It's a common english word. Hell, Apple just settled their naming suit last year with Apple Records/Apple Corp, which was ongoing from 1978 until 2007.

    Bolt is a common surname, a town name three times over, the title of two movies, a comic book hero, the name of three sports teams, a bus company, and a social networking site that operated from 1996-2007.

    If you want to be completely unique, it's on you to come up with a name no one else is using, otherwise you're just as guilty as the next guy.

    Oh, and I don't think the iPad drawing app Paper was hurt at all with the launch of Facebook Paper.

    Edit: Incorrectly named Paper as Pages.

    41 points
    • Ben Henschel, 5 years ago

      I think you mean, "Paper".

      2 points
    • Nathan NNathan N, 5 years ago (edited 5 years ago )

      If you want to be completely unique, it's on you to come up with a name no one else is using, otherwise you're just as guilty as the next guy.

      This seems to be incredibly common with .co and .io domains where words that have been off the map for internet eons are reemerging in domain names. Bolt dot com being four letter domain was registered back in '97!

      There are a lot of ways to get the idea of 'Bolt' across; the English language is pretty clever.

      edit: Ofc I feel for the little guys in this situation; instagram doesn't need 'companion apps' .

      1 point
    • Clark WimberlyClark Wimberly, 5 years ago

      "a social networking site that operated from 1996-2007"

      Lol when I saw this post, I thought "Shiiiit, Bolt is still around?", thinking this Bolt was the same as that Bolt, and not even counting this new Bolt.

      Silly to claim ownership of a name that's already been used for an internet startup.

      2 points
    • Jonathan YapJonathan Yap, 5 years ago

      Instagram, I'm coming for you and it'll be lighting.

      Imgur

      4 points
    • Brian BehrendBrian Behrend, 5 years ago

      Yep, we could find a half dozen Internet/mobile companies (yet alone companies in other industries) using the name before Bolt.co. This letter makes them look silly.

      0 points
  • Derryl CarterDerryl Carter, 5 years ago

    Kudos. Very mature and sincere way to handle this. Hopefully it achieves the desired effect!

    10 points
  • Darth BaneDarth Bane, 5 years ago

    I liked it until the legal threat at the end.

    6 points
    • Jonathan CutrellJonathan Cutrell, 5 years ago

      I felt like the legal threat is necessary, because it puts them in the same language field as Instagram folks would be in.

      It also reminds the reader, "we have been around with this name since last May."

      0 points
      • Luke ChesserLuke Chesser, 5 years ago

        I think it would have more effect in a normal letter, but when you're a tiny company vs a Facebook-backed goliath, a legal threat is pointless. You can't win over something like this.

        It's too bad these things happen.

        0 points
        • Jonathan CutrellJonathan Cutrell, 5 years ago

          I think with a decent lawyer, you could at the very least get awarded damages if you could find a way to prove the app store confusion issues.

          0 points
  • Rich ArnoldRich Arnold, 5 years ago

    I'm not sure they have a leg to stand on here. They're not a direct competitor so (if I'm not mistaken) Instagram won't be infringing. If it's simply "you shouldn't name it "Bolt" because there is another "Bolt" then they'd both be guilty of that same thing. It seems this is an argument for having more ownable names. See Paper vs. Facebook Paper.

    5 points
    • Derryl CarterDerryl Carter, 5 years ago

      Not an exact match, sure. But they're both in the communications category, so it's a different situation than Paper was in

      1 point
    • Shawn BorskyShawn Borsky, 5 years ago

      Generally, when you talk about infringement and competitors its about being "Confusingly similar". If say Instagram was creating a new highly caffeinated coffee drink then its fine.

      But - They are both iPhone messaging apps. That is certainly close enough to be confusingly similar. Especially because Instagram's Bolt isn't even available in the US. Really, just both being "apps" would probably be enough.

      There likely isn't much this Bolt can actually do unless they hold trademarks but I think Instagram should have been more thoughtful with their selection.

      1 point
      • Rich ArnoldRich Arnold, 5 years ago

        Sure, but that's like saying the Toyota Bolt and BoltBus should be at odds because they're both in the transportation business, but in reality they're not really in competition with one another.

        I suppose morally they SHOULD have been more thoughtful, but I've never known a billion dollar organization to be particularly thoughtful.

        0 points
  • Marcel VossMarcel Voss, 5 years ago (edited 5 years ago )

    Really well written letter but I'm afraid that Instagram/Facebook won't care.

    3 points
  • Jim SilvermanJim Silverman, 5 years ago

    they don't have a trademark and will likely not be awarded one. the name's fair game.

    3 points
  • deleted userdeleted user, 5 years ago

    Like Facebook going to give any shit about it. I'm sorry 'original bolt', but that's Facebook we're talking about. They just don't care anything about money.

    3 points
  • Michelle BlackMichelle Black, 5 years ago

    That's a really well written letter. I hope that the people at Instagram read it and reconsider the name change. I can't imagine how hard it must be for a small company like Bolt who's just starting off to make a name for themselves.

    2 points
  • Tyson KingsburyTyson Kingsbury, 5 years ago

    "I have a whole list of names we brainstormed last May that I'd be happy to share."

    lol...names that we decided against, in favour of 'bolt' since bolt is obviously cooler....so ...yeah....you want some of those less cool names?

    2 points
    • Christy Lee N.Christy Lee N., 5 years ago

      Don't jump the gun. At least they're offering.

      0 points
      • Tyson KingsburyTyson Kingsbury, 5 years ago

        I was just being (or attempting) funny.... but...it's not really an offer is it?....I mean....this is a stunt, I'm sure of it. it's not a genuine offer...it's a media stunt. No one is expecting Instagram to suddenly say 'oh...gosh..i'm sorry....you're right....that's your name, obviously...whups..just an oversight...we'll move along.'.... It's a media stunt to elevate their status a bit....to show them as the plucky young upstart against the hulking juggernaught of Instagram... to be sure...they definitely DON'T want Instagram using their name...but I'm fairly sure they know there's pretty much nothing they can do about it, except a media stunt like this to draw attention to themselves and their brand, and to differentiate themselves publicly... I'm curious as to what comes next....

        1 point
  • Robin RaszkaRobin Raszka, 5 years ago

    It's kinda pathetic

    2 points
  • Haik AvanianHaik Avanian, 5 years ago

    Do the right thing? There is no Right Thing in this scenario. Want exclusivity to the name? Trademark it—can't trademark it? Come up with a better name.

    1 point
  • Vinh LeVinh Le, 5 years ago

    oh no creative dash used bolt too http://ui8.net/product/bolt-ui-kit

    1 point
  • ChrisArchitec t, 5 years ago

    saw this a few days ago, feel bad for them. Tough thing, they're handling it well/great idea for a public post.

    Then yesterday I saw the first tech news articles with screenshots of 'Bolt' floating around and wow, I guess Instagram (FB) is just going to screw them.

    0 points
  • Christy Lee N.Christy Lee N., 5 years ago

    I think they're handling it well.

    At the same time..I'm a bit dissapointed. One would have figured that Instagrams designers, developers, decision makers and so forth would have done better research and come out with a more unique name on their own.

    0 points
  • Ryan MurphyRyan Murphy, 5 years ago

    Not an original name. Not a leg to stand on.

    You can't copy someone else, then get upset when someone copies you.

    0 points
  • Art VandelayArt Vandelay, 5 years ago

    Sounds like they shouldn't tried to trademark the brand name... Or something of that effect.

    0 points
  • Bilal MohammedBilal Mohammed, 5 years ago (edited 5 years ago )

    It'd be really interesting to see how Instagram responds to this.

    0 points