Short-form video app Triller sues TikTok for patent infringement, alleging the platform is copying its editing feature

triller tiktok bytedance

  • The creators of a short-form video app called Triller filed a
    lawsuit Wednsday against TikTok and its parent company,
    ByteDance.
  • In the lawsuit, Triller alleges TikTok is infringing on its
    patent, approved in 2017, for the video-editing, sountrack-adding
    software made notable by TikTok.
  • TikTok currently faces an uncertain future in the US, as the
    Trump administration weighs banning the app due to its ties to
    China. TikTok’s US users and creators have started planning for a
    future without the app, and some popular TikTok influencers
    recently moved to Triller.
  • Visit Business
    Insider’s homepage for more stories
    .

The short-form video app Triller is suing the company behind the
social-media juggernaut TikTok, alleging that the viral app is
pirating Triller’s patented technology to use audio tracks to edit
multiple videos together.�

Triller claims that it had patented the video format back in
2017 that has been made famous by TikTok, and that the app as it
stands today continues to violate Triller’s US trademark. Lawyers
representing Triller are asking for damages, as well as the court
to file an injunction against ByteDance, TikTok’s parent company,
to prevent further alleged infringement of Triller’s patent.

The patent infringement complaint,
first reported by The Wrap
, was filed Wednesday in US District
Court for the Western Division of Texas. Although ByteDance is
located in China, TikTok operates globally and maintains offices in
Austin, Texas.

The
patent Triller is referencing
was filed with the US Patent and
Trademark Office back in 2015, the year Triller was founded. The
patent, approved in 2017, covers “systems and methods for creating
music videos synchronized with an audio track.” 

triller patent tiktok lawsuit

In a statement provided to Business Insider, Triller CEO Mike Lu
claims TikTok paid some creators to “actually not post on Triller,”
a move he called “neither ethical nor legal.” Lu also said Triller
plans to add an alleged antitrust violation to the complaint.

“If every 200B company could just pay their customers to not
join a startup competitor, entrepreneurship in America would die
and no new companies could ever exist,” Lu said in the
statement.

Representatives for TikTok did not immediately return Business
Insider’s request for comment. A representative for Triller said
TikTok has not yet responded to the lawsuit.

The lawsuit comes as
TikTok faces increased scrutiny
around its ties to China, and
the amount of access and influence the foreign government has over
user data and content moderation. Just earlier this month,
President Donald Trump publicly said he’s considering banning the
app in the US due to these concerns.

TikTok has been a dominant force in the short-form video-sharing
space and has amassed more than 2 billion downloads globally. But
TikTok’s uncertain future in the US has already led creators and
users to panic. In recent weeks, tech companies have taken
advantage of the chaos to lure the app’s loyal US following —

estimated around 80 million strong
— to their rival
platforms.

Triller is among those competing apps that have already seen
user interest and
download numbers spike
. Just earlier this week, Triller got a
boost when a group of prominent TikTok stars with a combined
following of nearly 50 million followers
announced they were taking their talents
to the rival Los
Angeles-based app. One of the TikTok influencers, Josh Richards,

told the Los Angeles Times
he was migrating to Triller “given
my responsibility to protect and lead my followers and other
influencers” after hearing the US government voice concerns about
TikTok’s ties to China.

Triller was founded back in 2015 as a music video-editing tool.
The app reports around 64 million active users a month. According
to figures provided to the Times by app-analytics firm Sensor
Tower, Triller has just 130 million downloads compared with
TikTok’s 2.3 billion globally.

However,
TikTok’s roots can be traced back
to 2014, when short-form
video-making app Musical.ly was founded in the US. The app hit to
the No. 1 spot in the US App Store in the summer of 2015, and was
purchased by ByteDance in late 2017 in a deal valued at $1 billion.
ByteDance shut down Musical.ly a year later, merging it into the
TikTok platform in markets outside of China.

You can view Triller’s lawsuit in full below:

 


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Source: FS – All – Entertainment – News
Short-form video app Triller sues TikTok for patent
infringement, alleging the platform is copying its editing
feature