Investel sues Snapchat alleging geofiltering patent infringement

A Vancouver-based technology firm is suing Snapchat, alleging that the social media company is infringing on their "geofencing" patents, which allow the service to monitor the physical locations of its users.

Vancouver-based company says it owns rights to technology that helps link advertisers to locations

Investel claims one of the companies it owns, iFramed, owns the exclusive rights to use technology that allows social media users to work with advertisers based on their geographic location and demographics. (Investel Capital Corp.)

A Vancouver-based technology firm is suing Snapchat, alleging that the social media company is infringing on its "geofencing" patents, which allow the service to monitor the physical locations of its users.

Investel Capital Corp. has filed suit against Snapchat, Inc. in the Federal Court of Canada "seeking remedies in the form of monetary damages for past infringement, as well as injunctive relief prohibiting Snapchat, Inc. from continuing to infringe the patent.," the company said in a release.

The Vancouver company alleges that Snapchat — a wildly popular social media app that allows users to communicate with each other via text, pictures and video — uses technology owned by one of Investel's subsidiaries, a company called iFramed.

IFramed's business model is described as "allowing users to brand their own social media content with user‐related advertising .. based on their geographic location" and claims to have exclusive rights to the technology in North America.

"We will not stand by and permit other companies or organizations, including Snapchat Inc. to exploit our proprietary technology," Investel's managing partner Lawry Trevor‐Deutsch said.

A spokesperson for Snapchat issued the following short statement to CBC News on the suit: "We generally do not comment on pending litigation, but believe these claims are meritless."

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