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Snapchat Spends $7.7 Million on Protection From Facebook

Brian Feldman

In what might be one of the best ways to protect itself from the looming shadow of Facebook, Snapchat has reportedly purchased the patent for geofilters from a smaller start-up. In an email sent to the shareholders of Mobli, obtained by TechCrunch, the company announced that it had sold the patent to Snapchat for a whopping $7.7 million.

The patent, titled “Methods and systems of providing visual content editing functions,” outlined how an image generated server side based on geolocation could be sent to a client device. “For example, the system allows a user to receive location based visual content editing functions which allow him to add automatically suitable graphics and/or text by a single click on the presented list,” it reads in one part.

The $7.7 million price tag is incredibly high for a patent. In its email to shareholders, Mobli said that the previous highest amount paid for an Israeli patent (where the company is based) was $2.7 million. But compare the patent’s price tag to Snapchat’s total $25 billion value, and it starts to look more like a bargain — less than $8 million to protect one of its app’s core features.

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