Triller files lawsuit against TikTok over patent infringement

TikTok logo
A TikTok logo is displayed on a smartphone in this illustration picture.

TikTok, the popular short-form video app, has been sued by rival Triller, which accused it of infringing its patent for stitching together multiple music videos with a single audio track.

Triller said in a complaint filed on Wednesday that TikTok and its Chinese-owned parent ByteDance Ltd willfully infringed the June 2017 patent by importing and selling its app for iPhones and Android-based smartphones.

The complaint was filed with the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas, which includes Austin. It focuses on “Green Screen Video,” a feature TikTok rolled out last December that lets users shoot multiple videos and synchronize them with an audio track.

Triller is based in Los Angeles, and became known for its focus on hip-hop music.

It is seeking an injunction against further infringements plus unspecified damages from TikTok, which has offices in Austin.

TikTok’s Chinese ownership has drawn attention from the White House and U.S. lawmakers, raising privacy and national security concerns including whether user data might be shared with the Chinese government.

The company has said it has never given user data to China, and would not if asked.

TikTok downloads have surpassed 2 billion worldwide.

The case is Triller Inc v ByteDance Ltd et al, U.S. District Court, Western District of Texas, No. 20-00693.

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