Snap hit with patent lawsuit over video-overlay technology

Snapchat logo is seen in this illustration taken July 28, 2022. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration

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  • Creator of Playvuu app said he met with Snap about his technology in 2016
  • Snapchat later allegedly incorporated his video-altering features into its app

(Reuters) – The creator of a video-sharing app sued Snapchat maker Snap Inc in Los Angeles federal court Wednesday, accusing the company of stealing his video-overlay and augmented-reality technology.

Shane Pollack’s Playvuu Inc told the court that the Snapchat app uses patented technology that he demonstrated for Snap in 2016 related to altering user videos and images.

Santa Monica, California-based Snap and attorneys for Playvuu did not immediately respond to a request for comment Thursday.

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Pollack — whom the lawsuit describes as a writer, TV director, philanthropist and “pop rapper” — said he created his app in 2009 as a platform that “anyone could use to create professional songs and accompanying music videos with creative overlays.”

The lawsuit said Pollack met with Snap in 2016 about potentially buying his technology. Pollack claims he demonstrated the app during the meeting and received a positive response from Snap executives, but Snap later told him that the company “didn’t see a fit” for his technology.

Playvuu accused Snap of incorporating its features into Snapchat starting in 2017, including the ability to add similar overlays, filters, and special effects to photos and videos.

The lawsuit asks the court for an order blocking Snap from infringing the patent and an unspecified amount of money damages.

The case is Playvuu Inc v. Snap Inc, U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, No. 2:22-cv-06019.

For Playvuu: Michael Horikawa and Christopher Kao of Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman

For Snap: not available

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Blake Brittain

Thomson Reuters

Blake Brittain reports on intellectual property law, including patents, trademarks, copyrights and trade secrets. Reach him at

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