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Snap spending $7.7 million on Geofilter patent – is it even worth it?

admin 23rd, September, 2017

In the month of April, the Patent Industry witnessed ripples regarding how Snap Inc. had reportedly bought a Geofilter patent from photo-sharing platform Mobli for a whopping $7.7 million! The patent US20160373805, US9459778 is titled, Methods and Systems of Providing Visual Content Editing Functions. The specific nature of this patent allows for location-based filters to be created and distributed on the server side, meaning that the app itself doesn’t have to be updated every time there is a new Geo-photo filter to push.

Sources say that Snap’s decision to buy the patent was to protect itself and Snapchat from future lawsuits. And if news is to be believed, Facebook too was very much interested in buying this patent.

So this news got us thinking at IDS-IP as to why would someone shell out such a huge amount of money for this patent. Is the patent even strong enough to protect Snap from future Litigation? Will Snap be able to leverage this patent against its biggest competitor – Facebook in future times?! We were equally baffled at IDS-IP as you might be.

This patent was subject to accelerated prosecution using the Patent Prosecution Highway, thereby quickly getting through the USPTO. The patent was also subject to multiple amendments. The granted patent’s claims are the remaining claims after a Final Rejection that removed majority of the pending claims on obviousness ground. This meant that anyone who wants to challenge the validity of the patents has an easy roadmap to attack them.

So, we at IDS-IP, did exactly what we are best at – and performed a quick prior art search against the patent in question. Within a few days’ time, our searchers were able to uncover few really good references that easily suggested that ‘ using location and current event to create geofilters’ was a known technique and was publicly available much before this patent came into existence!

Please share your views. You may also reach us out at ip.support@idsil.com to have your copy of prior art!

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