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Snapchat faces the loss of its "tap and hold for video" patent

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Back on August 8th  2012, Snapchat filed for a patent that allows smartphone owners to tap and hold on the handset's shutter in order to record video. A company called Mojo Media filed a similar patent 19 days later. While Snapchat was awarded the patent by the USPTO, Mojo Media has made life difficult for Snapchat by starting a proceeding against the latter. Now, it will be up to USPTO judges to decide if Snapchat will get to keep the patent after all.

If Snapchat filed first, why isn't this a cut and dried case? Because in the U.S., patents are awarded based on the first to invent, not first to file. Mojo actually had come up with a functioning "tap-and-hold" technology three weeks before Snapchat did. Mojo Media could end up with the patent even though no app was ever released containing its invention.

A decision will be announced within months, and besides Snapchat, the USPTO decision could affect others using the technology. That would include Facebook Messenger, Google Hangouts, Instagram Bolt and others. If Mojo is awarded the patent, it could request a licensing fee for its use. It would be upsetting for some if the feature had to be pulled by some apps. After all, the patent allows you to take video or shoot a photo without having to toggle a switch beforehand.


source: TechCrunch

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