In addition to facing a quick-approaching stateside ban, TikTok has been named in yet another patent infringement lawsuit.
The complaint’s plaintiff, a storytelling-centered video app called 10Tales, recently submitted the patent infringement suit to a Texas federal court. DMN obtained an exclusive copy of the corresponding filing this morning.
To briefly recap, we also covered the late-July patent infringement lawsuit that competing app Triller filed against TikTok. Then, less than three weeks after the fact, Pixmarx IP LLC levied a separate suit, alleging that TikTok had infringed upon several of its digital photography patents.
This third (and newest) patent infringement complaint against TikTok is straightforward enough. The Pennsylvania-headquartered plaintiff company and its founder, David Russek, allege that TikTok infringed upon their patent entitled “Method, system, and software for associating attributes within digital media presentations.” This alleged infringement pertains specifically to TikTok’s “‘For You’ Feed” and the underlying “recommendation system.”
The concise lawsuit maintains that this recommendation algorithm, which tailors displayed videos based upon the preferences of the individual, “does precisely what is claimed by” the patent and accordingly “constitutes an act of direct infringement.”
The filing then cites TikTok’s own description of the For You page, as well as its utilization of users’ inputted information and social-media data in establishing the customized feed, in an effort to illustrate the alleged infringement.
A brief examination of the approximately 12,000-word-long patent at the case’s center reveals that it encompasses tech used in “customizing and personalizing content” with respect to one’s preferences, moods, and “affinity for certain content elements,” among other information. At the time of this writing, TikTok hadn’t publicly responded to the patent infringement lawsuit, which, as mentioned, represents at least the third such legal action against the video-sharing app in the last month or so.
Temporarily disregarding these suits, it’s been a decidedly difficult four weeks for TikTok, which, owing to far-reaching privacy and national security concerns, will be banned in the U.S. unless sold to an American buyer before mid-November. The app’s stateside CEO, former Disney exec Kevin Mayer, stepped down from his role seven days back, after just three months on the job, because he was reportedly uninterested in leading TikTok if it became a subsidiary of a major tech company like Microsoft or Oracle.
And on Monday, Digital Music News was first to report that the Chinese government had introduced new export restrictions on AI tech – including Beijing-headquartered ByteDance’s TikTok and, coincidentally enough, its recommendation algorithm. With the selloff deadline set to arrive in the not-so-distant future, it’ll be interesting to see how this policy factors into negotiations and, more directly, ByteDance’s ability to close a deal.