TikTok feature allowing users to stitch multiple videos together while using a single audio track illegally copied a 2017 Triller patent, new lawsuit claims
Triller, the music-focused social media app, on Wednesday sued rival TikTok and parent company ByteDance for patent infringement.
In the suit, filed in U.S. District Court for the Western Division of Texas, Triller claims that TikTok lifted “systems and methods for creating music videos synchronized with an audio track” — for which Triller received a U.S. patent in June 2017. The suit said that a key TikTok feature, allowing users to stitch together multiple clips while using a single audio track, clearly infringes on Triller’s patent.
“Triller alleges that ByteDance and TikTok directly and indirectly infringe the Asserted Patent by making, using, offering for sale, selling and importing the popular iOS and Android software application known as ‘TikTok,'” the lawsuit said.
Triller’s lawsuit specifically highlights “Green Screen Video,” a feature TikTok rolled out last year allowing “users to shoot multiple video takes synchronized to an audio track.” The lawsuit includes multiple pictures of TikTok’s editing feature and claims TikTok introduced the features while knowing “portions of the Accused Products to be especially made or especially adapted for use in infringement” of Triller’s patent. The lawsuit is seeking an unspecified amount in damages, claiming TikTok’s patent infringement has hurt Triller’s growth.
TikTok did not immediately respond to TheWrap’s request for comment.
The lawsuit comes as TikTok and its Beijing-based parent company are facing increasing scrutiny from regulators and lawmakers in Washington, D.C., over its data collection policies and close ties to China’s communist government. On Wednesday, President Trump said he’s “looking” at banning the app, and earlier in the week, presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden told his staffers to delete TikTok from both their work and personal phones.
If TikTok were to be banned, Triller is one of the few apps that looks particularly well-positioned to benefit. Triller offers a similar user experience to TikTok, allowing users to combine their favorite music with short video clips.