Snapchat Finally Buys Geofilter Patent, Something They Should Have Done a Long Time Ago

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One thing that separates Snapchat from the competition (or straight up thieves, cough Facebook cough) are it’s geofilters. Geofilters are photo filters based on your location, whether it be a specific town or a store in a shopping mall. Advertisers, as well as normal folk who want to do something special for an event, can buy these filters, which makes up for a huge chunk of Snap’s revenue. According to Snap’s S-1 filing for its IPO “of the $400 million in revenues the company has, $360 million is made by selling geofilters.”

So, you would think they have a patent on these things, right?

Well they didn’t, until today.

According to TechCrunch, Snapchat just paid $7.7 million for the patent from Mobli, an Instagram competitor that patented the concept of geofilters in 2012.

While I’m not sure why they didn’t already do this years ago, sources claim Snap wanted the patent to protect itself from future law suits, though most think it was to minimize the future damage Facebook could inflict onto their profits if they keep copying their features.

TechCrunch understands that Mobli first spoke to Facebook about selling the patent. Facebook “100% wanted it,” according to one source.”

 Facebook is currently testing geolocated stickers on their version of stories on Instagram. While only live in a few cities, Facebook will probably roll this out across the country. But, now that Snapchat has this patent, they can legally fight back against their competition.

[Via The Verge]

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