02/02/2015 22:09 EST | Updated 04/04/2015 05:59 EDT

Troy Spracklin claims Vancouver company stole his app

A Surrey software developer has filed a lawsuit in B.C. Supreme Court claiming the company he contracted to develop his app, stole it instead.

In his statement of claim filed in January, Troy Spracklin says he enlisted the help of a local technology startup company to help him develop Pixsel, an image-based, person-to-person consumer app that would rival online marketplace giants Cragislist and Ebay.

Spracklin, the president of Pixsel Technology Inc. claims Vancouver-based Invoke Labs, Invoke Media and Quietly Media stole his code while working on Pixsel and developed its own app called, "Quietly."

Invoke Labs is run by the founders of Hootsuite.

Spracklin says he poured nearly $60,000 into the partnership deal, but a year later, the relationship soured.

"They made a bunch of promises, they were gonna deliver my product, he told CBC News.

"All the while those individuals were working on their product, while they were working on mine, but spending more time on theirs, and I've got the time sheets to prove that, and instead of releasing my production on the time line they'd promised, they released their own product." 

Spracklin's lawsuit claims copyright infringement and intellectual property theft. 

But David Tedman with Invoke Media says Spracklin's allegations aren't true.

"It's a completely different product, completely different market, completely different customer," he said.

Tedman says Invoke had hoped to settle out of court, but the company is now reviewing its legal options.