Snapchat finally settles ownership dispute

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Messaging service SnapChat has privately settled a long-running lawsuit with co-founder Frank Reginald Brown, who had accused chief executive Evan Spiegel and chief technology officer Bobby Murphy of unfairly removing him from the company.

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Brown – who is better known as Reggie – had said that he had come up with the original idea of images and videos that “disappear” after a period off time.

Spiegel initially disputed that involvement, but has now acknowledged Brown’s role.

Recent investments have valued Snapchat at about $10bn (£6.2bn).

The settlement resolves a dispute over Brown’s claim of an ownership interest in Snapchat on mutually agreeable terms, and resolves Brown’s suit filed in the Superior Court of Los Angeles, as well as all other disputes between the parties, according to a statement by Snapchat.

The terms of the settlement are, however, confidential.

Brown claimed in the suit that Spiegel and Murphy failed to credit or compensate him for his contributions.

“We are pleased that we have been able to resolve this matter in a manner that is satisfactory to Mr Brown and the company,” Spiegel said in a press release.

“We acknowledge Reggie’s contribution to the creation of Snapchat and appreciate his work in getting the application off the ground.”

The settlement clears the way for one off the big fish in the technology pond to now swoop in and snap up Snapchat.

Stuart O’Connor