by Mike Butcher
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,” or photo filters based on location, which advertisers can buy. So owning the patent on that concept would seem pretty crucial. But Snap has never had such a patent, until now.
Mobli, an Instagram competitor launched six years ago that failed to get ahead of its competitor, actually patented the idea of Geo-photo filters in 2012, after launching it the previous year.
But according to sources, serial entrepreneur and investor Moshe Hogeg, who co-founded Mobli, sold Mobli’s Geofilters patent to Snap this month for $7.7 million. This is believed to be the highest amount paid for a patent from the Israeli tech industry. The news was confirmed in an email to Mobli’s 100 shareholders and obtained by TechCrunch in the form of a screen grab, displayed below:
Sources say Snap wanted the patent to protect itself from future litigation.
The patent (US#20160373805, US#9459778) was named Methods and Systems of providing visual content editing functions. The specific nature of the patent covered server-side filters, meaning the filter was coming from the server instead of from inside the app, which means the app itself doesn’t have to be updated every time there is a new Geo-photo filter to push.