The makers of photo editing app VSCO are suing their “direct competitor” PicsArt for allegedly thieving photo filters. PicsArt employees are accused of making VSCO accounts with “obvious email address” in order to examine and copy filters.
As per the lawsuit, 19 filters were seemingly copied after the PicsArt employees intentionally copied VSCO. VSCO states that 17 employees created VSCO accounts, which they say they know due to the “obvious” sign up details – presumably their PicsArt work email addresses – later launching the 19 presets.
After this, VSCO’s color scientists revealed that PicsArt offered at least 19 presets copied from VSCO. And how did they determine it? Here’s VSCO’s explanation as stated in the lawsuit:
Specifically, VSCO determined that those PicsArt filters have a Mean Color Difference (“MCD”) of less than two CIEDE2000 units (in some cases, far less than two units) compared to their VSCO counterparts. An MCD of less than two CIEDE2000 units between filters is imperceptible to the human eye and cannot have been achieved by coincidence or visual or manual approximation. On information and belief, PicsArt could have only achieved this degree of similarity between its filters and those of VSCO by using its employees’ VSCO user accounts to access the VSCO app and reverse engineer VSCO’s presets.
PicsArt have since hit back with the following statement:
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.
The lawsuit continues, but PicsArt have since removed 17 of the 19 filters.