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Stanford Classmate of Snapchat Founders Sues Company

February 27, 2013

By Paul Thomson :: 2:36 PM

Snapchat Lawsuit.Snapchat, the limited-life video sharing app that allows users to send videos that expire after a set amount of time, has been sued by a Stanford classmate of founders Evan Spiegel and Bobby Murphy.

The lawsuit, filed by Frank Reginald Brown IV, who attended the University with Spiegel and Murphy, alleges that Brown was the brains behind the idea for the Snapchat application, which was originally called Picaboo.

Brown had approached Spiegel, the lawsuit claims, when the two lived at the same Stanford dormitory. and Spiegel called Picaboo a “million dollar idea” and via a verbal agreement the two worked together on plans for the app. Murphy, a friend of Spiegel’s was brought in as a programmer, and the three worked together during the summer of 2011 from Spiegel’s family home in Los Angeles.

Things went downhill in late summer of 2011, when Spiegel and Murphy blocked brown from the application’s development by changing passwords and refusing to take phone calls from him,or return e-mail messages. Shortly after shutting Brown out, they changed the name of the app from Picaboo to Snapchat.

Snapchat made this statement to the press on the matter: “We are aware of the allegations, believe them to be utterly devoid of merit, and will vigorously defend ourselves against this frivolous suit. It would be inappropriate to comment further on this pending legal matter.”