Vancouver based Investel takes patent case against Snapchat owner to U.S. court

A Canadian company is taking its patent-infringement claims against the owner of Snapchat to the U.S. federal court system.

Investel Capital announced the U.S. legal battle on Friday, a day after Snap Inc. officially filed for a U.S. initial public offering that could raise an estimated US$3 billion or more from investors.

The Vancouver-based investment fund says it owns the rights to location-based filters used by the Snapchat social media platform, which shares photos and videos over the Internet using smartphones.

It says the “sponsored geofilters” mentioned in Snap’s IPO filing violate Investel’s rights to technology for pinpointing the geographic location of users _ information that can be used to generate revenue from advertisers.

Investel previously filed a similar claim in Canada’s federal court system last August. The facts of the claim have not been proven or disproven in court but the Federal Court of Canada has ruled that the claim can proceed.

A Snap Inc. spokesman called the patent claim “meritless” and said the filing was a “futile effort to cash in on publicity around Snap’s business plans.”

Investel’s lawsuit has been filed in the U.S. district court for the central district of California, which includes Los Angeles.