Photo-editing app-maker VSCO has filed a lawsuit against competitor Armenian app PicsArt, The Verge reports.
The suit focuses on 19 PicsArt filters that were supposedly “reverse engineered from VSCO’s filters,” with VSCO alleging it has become a legal issue involving false advertising and violations of the app’s terms of service.
“VSCO has invested significant time and resources in developing its presets [a.k.a. filters], which represent valuable intellectual property of VSCO,” the company writes.
In a statement, PicsArt denied the suit’s claims:
VSCO is not a direct competitor, but they clearly feel threatened by PicsArt. VSCO’s claims are meritless. It’s disappointing that they have made these false claims against us. PicsArt will vigorously defend itself against these baseless claims and all options are under consideration.
Specifically, VSCO says that at least 17 PicsArt employees created VSCO accounts — probably not an uncommon competitive practice, but the suit claims they used those accounts to reverse engineer the filters, thus violating the terms in which users “agree not to sell, license, rent, modify, distribute, copy, reproduce, transmit, publicly display, publicly perform, publish, adapt, edit or create derivative works from any VSCO Content.”
In addition, the suit accuses PicsArt of engaging in false advertising by describing the filters in its PicsArt Gold subscription as “exclusive” and “only for [PicsArt] Gold users.”
VSCO does not appear to be suing for a specific monetary value, but the suit asks for “disgorgement of any proceeds obtained from PicsArt’s use of VSCO filters,” as well as injunctive relief, compensatory damages and “the costs of corrective advertising.”
PicsArt recently hit 130 million monthly active users worldwide, roughly a year after it amassed 100 million MAUs. Like VSCO, PicsArt now offers video overlays though images are still its focus,