Instagram May Face Legal Trouble Over Its Rumoured 'Bolt' App

Instagram BoltThe VergeThe ad users were seeing for Instagram’s Bolt.

Rumours were floating around last week that said Instagram was working on a Snapchat competitor called Bolt. Some Instagram users reportedly saw ads for the app, describing it as “One tap photo messaging.”

Instagram has yet to officially comment on the rumours, but it is already facing some possible legal issues.

TechCrunch’s Sarah Perez spotted an interesting blog post from another service called Bolt, which is a voice-calling app. Now this particular Bolt is in no way a direct competitor to Instagram or its rumoured messaging app — it’s an Android app that lets you make calls for free — but they really don’t want Instagram to encroach on its branding.

“We’ve worked really hard… building the Bolt brand and technology to where it is today,” Bolt cofounder and CEO Andrew Benton said in the blog post. “Please don’t destroy all that effort.”

Benton insists he doesn’t want “a legal battle,” but claims his company has “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.”

Benton also claims its users have been reaching out to see if they were acquired by Instagram or are powering the technology behind the new messaging app. He’s also worried that people are downloading the current Bolt app, assuming it’s Instagram’s product, and then leaving disappointed with what they find.

“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,” Benton said. “I have a whole list of names we brainstormed last May that I’d be happy to share. Please do the right thing, and choose an alternate name.”

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