Back in 2011, an Instagram rival by the name of Mobli launched, and though it never managed to outdo its competitor, the company was the first to patent geo-location filters on photos.
The location-specific filters were provided on the server side, allowing the company to provide different filters without the app itself having to update.
And now, according to a TechCrunch report, Snap has signed a $7.7 million deal (around £6 million) to secure the patnet from Mobli.
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It’s a big acquisition for the company as the filters themselves can be sold to advertisers to generate significant revenue.
The patent, which is referred to as “Methods and systems of providing visual content editing function” was seemingly confirmed as having been sold in an email to Mobli’s 100 shareholders, obtained by TechCrunch.
In it, the company says “this is by far the highest amount paid for a single patent in Israel”, with sources reportedly saying Snap is looking to protect itself from ‘future litigation’ with its latest move.
Some sources claim Facebook was interested in the patent, though others claim that was never the case
The sale is said to have been orchestrated by Mobli co-founder Moshe Hogeg, who refused to confirm the sale to TechCrunch when asked for comment.
The site further reports that Facebook was also offered the patent, with one source telling the site that the social network “100% wanted it”.
However, other sources claimed Facebook was not interested in the patent, and wasn’t even offered it in the first place.
Facebook has borrowed ideas from SnapChat in the past, most notably with Instagram Stories, which are now used more than SnapChat’s original version of the feature.
As such, it seems Snap is arming itself against any future attempts by large companies to create their own takes on Snap’s features.
Let us know what you think of Snap’s latest acquisition in the comments.