While Snap Inc.'s (SNAP) revenue has a high dependence on Geofilters, the patent for the pivotal concept was held by an Israeli company called Mobli.
The company has now purchased the crucial Geofilter patent from Mobli founders for $7.7 million, which will help it stay clear of any potential litigation challenges in future, reports TechCrunch. As per its IPO filing, Snap makes around 90% of its revenues by selling photo filters based on location to advertisers who can purchase them to better target users. (See also, Report: Snapchat Beats Out Facebook, Instagram When It Comes To Daily Usage.)
A source speaking to TechCrunch said, Mobli first spoke to Facebook about selling the patent and "Facebook 100% wanted it."
Mobli was founded in 2010 by Israeli brothers Moshe and Oded Hogeg, and was launched as a social online platform for mobile photo and video-sharing. In 2011, the company launched a key feature, called Geofilters or Location Filters, which allows a user to tag and filter photos based on geographical location. For instance, applying a particular location filter on a photo clicked and shared while attending a particular conference on robotics, offers ease of search and sharing for similar photos for the interested users. Similarly, a particular brand sponsoring a major sporting event will find it easy to target users who are attending that event and sharing the event photos with the event’s geo-filter. Mobli patented the technology in 2012, but the company was forced to file for bankruptcy in 2016. (See also, Two Big Winners in Snap Inc.'s IPO)
The patent (no. US#20160373805 and US#9459778) cover nature and working of the server-side filters, that is the filters are sourced from server rather than from the user's mobile app. It does not require the app to be updated every time there is a new Geo-photo filter to push.
The Mobli patent sale exceeds the earlier $2.7 million patent deal linked to Google Maps, and becomes the most expensive technology patent deal in Israel, notes TC.