Snapchat buries embarrassing settlement under Apple's big announcement

Reggie Brown settled with snapchat for an undisclosed amount

Published September 10, 2014 7:54PM (EDT)

Snapchat CEO Evan Spiegel in Los Angeles.   (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
Snapchat CEO Evan Spiegel in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

On Tuesday, at precisely 1:00 p.m. — the same time that Apple’s announcement extravaganza began — Snapchat issued a release stating that it had settled “an embarrassing legal battle with an ousted cofounder,” as Fortune described it. 

Snapchat, the messaging service known for its disappearing photos, settled a legal battle with Reggie Brown, a former Stanford classmate, who claimed to have been a co-founder ousted from the company.

"Frank Reginald (“Reggie”) Brown, IV, and Snapchat, Inc., along with its CEO, Evan Spiegel, and CTO, Robert Murphy, announced today that they have settled their dispute over Mr. Brown’s claim of an ownership interest in Snapchat on mutually agreeable terms," the release stated. The settlement amount is being kept confidential.

However, the most interesting granule was that Spiegel and Murphy acknowledged that their Kappa Sigma fraternity brother "originally came up with the idea of creating an application for sending disappearing picture messages while he was a student at Stanford University." Snapchat is now valued at $10 billion.

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

By Sarah Gray

Sarah Gray is an assistant editor at Salon, focusing on innovation. Follow @sarahhhgray or email

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