ManyChat has won a lawsuit against SilFer Bots, because Silfer Bots’ Flow Builder is too similar to ManyChat one’s.
In this article, I will cover all the details, consequences and responses of the lawsuit.
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Why is ManyChat suing SilFer Bots?
According to Law.com, the lawsuit originally started in April 2020. The reason why ManyChat is suing SilFer Bots, is because the flow builder of SilFer bots looks too similar to the one of ManyChat.
Until yesterday, there hadn’t been any consequence on any of the platforms because of the lawsuit. But that changes today…
What is the consequence of the lawsuit?
The first consequence was that SilFer Bots has to disable access to their flow builder. This means that if you have a SilFer Bots account, you cannot create new chatbot flows or edit your existing chatbot flows in SilFer Bots.
But in February 2021, SilFerbots has chosen to shut down. The CEO of SilFer Bots said that “a new company with new owners is necessary”:
What does it mean if you are a SilFer Bots user?
Lately, many SilFer Bots users have encountered instability with the platform and some of the features not working.
Also, there were times that people could not access the flow builder of SilFer Bots and were not able to access or edit their chatbot flows.
Regarding the shut down of SilFer Bots, the CEO has said that the transition to the “new company” will be “as smooth as possible”.
What is the response of SilFer Bots?
SilFer Bots is really clear in their response and quoting from their original statement on their website:
It is a shame for Manychat, a company that got 18 million USD investment in 2019 and can’t compete with a company with only 1 developer. We are committed to helping businesses internationally by creating the best chat marketing platform in the world. If you continue to go against us, we will make the SilFer Bots an open-source project. You know very clearly that we made the changes to our flow builder, and it is a shame to use a screenshot from March 2020 known that in October 2020 the flow builder differentiate beyond any legal claims. Your 18 million USD can’t outwork our strong desire to win. We need 0 USD to create the platform that businesses need.
Also, people working at SilFer Bots has stated on Facebook that the platform will be back up and running in 48 hours.
What is the response of ManyChat?
According to the official statement of ManyCat lawyers’, ManyChat “is glad that justice has prevailed”:
ManyChat reached out to SilferBots multiple times before filing suit, but received no response. ManyChat filed suit against Silfer Bots for copyright infringement, alleging one-for-one copying of ManyChat’s copyrighted user interface. The Court entered judgment against Silfer Bots, found the software to infringe ManyChat’s, and enjoined distribution of Silfer Bots’ software. Silfer Bots did not contest the suit. ManyChat welcomes fair competition, but will always defend its intellectual property. ManyChat is glad that justice has prevailed and the Court’s order recognizes that SilferBots copied ManyChat’s interface and infringed its copyright.
As an IT developer for more than 30 years having to learn new languages as software changes I find that most software have similarities. As time has gone on GUI interfaces have been used to simplify coding in order to make products accessible to more people. Is ManyChat saying that their visual flow builder is unique?
There are so many alternative products outside chatbot development that have developed with similar visual interfaces. Are ManyChat intending to sue every company that hs a visual interface? … and where did ManyChat get their intellectual property and inspiration from?
Hey John! Thanks for the informative comment. I currently do not know what the basis is for the lawsuit. I contacted both ManyChat and SilFer Bots about more details, but they can’t say anything about it. I think we will just have to wait…
This is very concerning. Have you heard of Many Chat suing any other companies? Many chatbots appear visually similar, is that grounds for a lawsuit?
Hey Tessa! No, this is the first company I’ve ever heard of.