Quick-rising music video platform Triller has filed a massive patent-infringement lawsuit against competing video-sharing app TikTok.
Triller recently submitted the legal complaint to a Texas federal court, also naming TikTok’s parent company, Beijing-based ByteDance, as a defendant. Promptly laying out the plaintiff’s qualms, the concise, 19-page-long document alleges at its start that TikTok and ByteDance infringed upon U.S. Patent 9,691,429, entitled “Systems and methods for creating music videos synchronized with an audio track.”
Filed in 2015 by Triller co-founders David Leiberman and Samuel Rubin (and approved in 2017), the patent describes the details associated with analyzing user-captured videos and timing them up with songs, based upon each’s respective characteristics. In the lawsuit, Triller claims that TikTok (and ByteDance) “directly and indirectly” infringe upon the patent by enabling its users to align their own videos with music.
At the time of this writing, TikTok officials hadn’t publicly responded to Triller’s lawsuit – though the filing relays that the matter was only forwarded to “[email protected]” on Monday, July 27th. The ultra-popular video-sharing application has faced an array of difficulties in recent months, as security-concerned talks of its possible stateside ban have gained further traction yet. Japanese lawmakers are also considering outlawing the app, and India did so – besides prohibiting 58 other Chinese apps – late last month.
We reported on Wednesday that Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States – which assesses the national security risks associated with foreign companies and investments – expect to provide the president with a formal TikTok recommendation this week.
Furthermore, TikTok’s U.S. CEO, Kevin Mayer, wrote in an open letter two days ago that tech companies (“namely Facebook”) are levying attacks “disguised as patriotism and designed to put an end to our very presence in the US.” Plus, the former Disney+ exec – who White House trade adviser Peter Navarro deemed an “American puppet” – called on social media companies to be more transparent with their algorithms and data.
It appears that Triller possesses the capital required to bankroll a potentially long, hard-fought courtroom battle with TikTok. In addition to completing several multimillion-dollar rounds of funding in the past, the five-year-old entity is reportedly in the final stages of raising $200 million to $300 million from multiple investment banks and professionals. While company higher-ups haven’t publicly commented on the possible fundraising effort, Triller reportedly paid over $50 million to secure the broadcasting rights for Mike Tyson and Roy Jones Jr.’s upcoming exhibition bout. The $49.99 pay-per-view event will also feature live music performances, but the involved artists haven’t yet been disclosed.