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SC Man Claims 'Snapchat' Creators Stole App Concept

12:13 PM, Feb 28, 2013   |    comments
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Columbia, SC (WLTX) -- An app came onto the market two years ago called Snapchat, developed by students at Stanford University. 

The often derided app lets users share a photo or video with another individual for only seconds, and then destroys the photo or video after viewing. The Snapchat app prevents users from saving the sent item, and notifies the sender if their friend takes a screen shot of the photo or video. 

Over the last year it has drawn much criticism from many who say the app has become a favorite for teens indulging in "sexting" activities: sharing explicit photos or videos without concern of it being saved and distributed on the internet by the recipient. 

Now Frank Reginald Brown IV, a South Carolina man who attended Stanford University with the two Snapchat company heads of record, Evan Spiegel and Bobby Murphy, has filed a lawsuit in Los Angeles against the two and their company.

In the suit, Brown alleges that he came up with the idea of the app, and then approached Speigel with the concept. Shortly after, the two agreed to take their idea further, and brought aboard Murphy to develop the programming code. 

During July of 2011 the three launched the app after working on it together at Spiegel's father's house in L.A., with Brown claiming in his suit that he came up with calling it "Picaboo;" the three then took a short break, heading their separate ways following their development and launch. 

According to Brown's suit during August of 2011 the three had a falling-out; Spiegel and Murphy subsequently locked him out of the Picaboo servers and application, refused to answer his phone calls, and soon changed the name of the app to Snapchat. 

According to the Los Angeles Times' article, Brown's suit alleges that when Brown first presented his concept to Evan Spiegel, Spiegel called it a "Million Dollar Idea."

Read the full lawsuit filing, obtained by BetaBeat, below: 

Frank Reginald Brown vs. Snapchat by betabeat

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