Snapchat settles lawsuit around app’s creation

10 Sep 2014

Snapchat’s lawyers have agreed to privately settle a lawsuit issued against the messaging app by a man claiming Snapchat stole the original idea for the app.

The man, Frank Reginald Brown, claims he originally came up with the idea of an image-sharing app that automatically deletes the images after a few seconds, according to the BBC.

Snapchat and its CEO Evan Spiegel had originally disputed the claims by Brown, saying he had no involvement with its creation, but now has reversed his original claim and agreed that Brown had some involvement with its creation.

According to Brown, he had originally mooted the idea with Spiegel and Snapchat’s current CTO Bobby Murphy when the trio were studying at Stanford University in California, only to be “excluded from all participation, profit and interest” within the company.

In a statement to the press, Spiegel said: “We acknowledge Reggie (Frank Brown)’s contribution to the creation of Snapchat and appreciate his work in getting the application off the ground.”

While the amount Brown is likely to receive in the settlement hasn’t been made public, the fact Snapchat is valued at about €7.7bn means even a small percentage would make Brown a wealthy man.

However, speaking last December, a lawyer representing Brown had confirmed their initial settlement was seeking somewhere in the region of €1.25bn, but this is unlikely to have been met.

Snapchat image via Shutterstock

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic